Controversial Holidays

Why We Don’t Celebrate Halloween

Halloween was yesterday, and I barely even noticed. Several years ago, my husband and I decided that our family would not participate in Halloween and Harvest Festival celebrations. I haven’t regretted it. My children have gotten used to it, too. The 31st of October is just another day to us. I know other Christian families who do the whole Harvest Festival thing, and I don’t look down on them for it. Instead, I try to understand what their reasons are, and accept that we all see things from different perspectives. But if they ever decided to ask me why we do what we do, I might answer something like this:

First of all, the Bible forbids us to have any association with witchcraft.

“When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect [blameless] with the LORD thy God. For these nations, which thou shalt possess [dispossess], hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do [appointed such for you].”

Deuteronomy 18:9-14

Why would I want to have anything to do with a holiday that celebrates the macabre? That pays tribute to death and decay, ghosts and witches? To Satan himself? Christ has overcome death! I want to honor Him by rejoicing in His victory over the powers of darkness!

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

Hebrews 2:14-15

“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened [made alive] together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”

Colossians 2:13-15

I think that many churches have Harvest Festivals as a safe, healthy alternative to having kids out on the streets. When the children and their families come to church for the event, they not only play games and receive prizes and candy, but are (hopefully) introduced to the gospel message. While I am not entirely against this approach, I still think that the right thing to do is to separate ourselves entirely from this dark holiday. It seems to me that we can proclaim our Savior best by emphasizing the great distance that divides us from all such wickedness. When other people see that we refuse to lower our dignity by having anything at all to do with diabolical celebrations, they will ask themselves, “Why are these people different?” But if we continue to offer alternatives such as Harvest Festivals, it only looks to the world like we are still celebrating Halloween, just in our own peculiar way. We are not being much of a light!

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Matthew 5:14-16

Later, I want to look into the roots of Halloween, but I need to do some research first. For now, I know what I see, and that is that there are witches, ghosts, skeletons, spiders, cobwebs, graves, corpses and spooky lights all over the place. I think that is a reasonable indication of what Halloween is about.

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4 thoughts on “Why We Don’t Celebrate Halloween

  1. Although you have posted this awhile ago, I just wanted to let you know not celebrating Halloween from a child’s perspective.

    I grew up in a home that didn’t celebrate Halloween, and not just in the sense of not going out and getting candy, but also not giving candy away. And I am ever thankful that my parents made that choice.

    On halloween we would turn off our lights in the house and if someone rang our doorbell we would not answer. (We were eventually named the ‘scary’ house on the road because of that)

    My parents told my sister and I from a young age why they did not celebrate halloween and how when we were at home we to would not celebrate.

    But my parents also let us (my sister and I) choose whether we wanted to go school and dress up in a costume, with limitations. I believe most years I was some historical girl in a long dress, even once wearing a hoop skirt.

    Never did we choose skeletons or witches to dress up as. And soon when I reached the age of 10 – 12 I stopped wanting to, finally understanding my parents reasons. Instead on Halloween, in school, I would go to the library and just get to read all day.

    Of course there was the classmate who made fun of me, but I learned how to politely respond to them.

    Now it is surprisingly easier to stand apart and say no, to something that the world is saying yes to. I have learned to overcome the fear (with Gods help) that people will judge me.

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    1. Thanks, Lily, for sharing your story with me! It’s interesting to see how not celebrating Halloween left it’s mark on you as you were growing up, but in a good way! I liked what you said here:
      “Now it is surprisingly easier to stand apart and say no, to something that the world is saying yes to. I have learned to overcome the fear (with Gods help) that people will judge me.” How wonderful that your parents weren’t afraid to stand against the tide of what everybody else was doing, in order to follow God’s ways. It certainly helped you become the person you are now!
      Thanks so much!
      Jessica

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  2. I totally respect your views on Halloween and your not observing.

    My take is that yes it began as a pagan holiday in Ireland, but it has long since been co-opted by popular culture into a completely benign event.

    Most of what I see is little kids dressing like princesses, cowboys and superhero’s, and adults giving them candy. Some people dress scarry, but a minority. The good thing about the modern trick or treating is that is one of the few times we ever talk to or behave with charity to our neighbors.

    The modern holiday of Easter actually also has a pagan background with the eggs and the bunny. Our family chooses to skip that part and focus on Jesus. As a Christian I don’t think it would be realistic to “throw the baby out with the bath water” and skip Easter because of other things that come with it.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your own personal experiences with me!
      I don’t know that it’s a “completely benign event,” since Satanists STILL celebrate Halloween in much the same way that the pagans of old did, and take it VERY seriously. Also, I can’t go to the grocery store without seeing set-ups including zombies, skeletons, witches, tombs, etc. Some of it’s very scary for my children to see. Once, a tricker-treater came to our house (because I forgot to turn the porch light off), and one of the pre-teens had his face painted, very realistically, like he was half-dead. This was a scary sight for my little children, and since then, I’ve made sure to keep the light off. I’m not opposed to what I’ve heard some people do on Halloween to witness to their neighbors, by handing out tracts along with candy, and maybe I’ll do that one day; but for now, I think it’s just too scary for my sensitive children to be much-exposed to the sights that accompany this holiday.
      I certainly appreciate your reply, and always love to hear different viewpoints on these topics! So, please, if you have anything else to share, don’t hesitate to do so!
      Jessica

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