Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween By Any Other Name ... Is It The Same?

Back in 2007 when I first started blogging my second blog post was short and sweet and too the point. It was simply about whether or not Christians should celebrate Halloween. The text of the post is included below:

Halloween ...Yes or No?
Should Christians celebrate Halloween? If you do not celebrate Halloween is it OK to have another celebration on the same night but call it something else? For example on October 31st some churches have a Hallelujah Night, or a Harvest celebration. Does changing the name of your celebration change the impact of Halloween?

So here I am two years later asking the same questions.
If you DO NOT celebrate Halloween, do you think it is okay to have a celebration on the same night but give it a different name? If it is still on Halloween night, what is the significance of changing the name of your celebration? Do you call it a Halloween celebration, Hallelujah celebration or Harvest celebration? Why?

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11 People Saying Something!

R.L.Scovens 31 October, 2009 14:28

I say as long as you present it as just fun to your kids, then why not have a good time. Let the kids get candy and dress up! Christians shouldn't overthink it.

CCGroovy!!! 31 October, 2009 14:35

I would think that an alternative title refers to an alternative intent. In other words; Halloween refers to ghosts, ghouls, goblins, i.e. "the dark side", whereas; a Hallelujah celebration would refer to a celebration of "the Light of God".

The name is differemt, the intent is different, so YES; the day of the event can be the same, but; we're talking about 2 completely different ballgames!!!

I personally don't have a problem with Halloween when kept to a certain perspective. I think that for the children, as long as the parent explains that this is "JUST FOR FUN", and establishes guidelines and monitors their activity, let the kids have fun.

Marvalus 31 October, 2009 15:07

I'm not into the decorating and all that, but my son goes trick or treating...even now at 14.

It's all in fun, or for the candy...and that is the way we've always viewed it.

Some folks do carry it a bit far, and I stay away from Halloween parties and things of that nature. I just don't want to be THAT into it.

msladydeborah 31 October, 2009 19:07

There is a difference between Trick or Treat/Beggars Night and Halloween. At least this is what I was taught as a child. Beggars Night is the time when children go out door to door to ask for candy. It comes from a European tradition of the poor going to the well to do to ask for food before winter set in.

Halloween is a sacred day for those who are into Paganism. I have never celebrated Halloween. We celebrated All Saints Day on Nov.1st.

I don't have a problem with Trick or Treat for children. I know that many churches do a Harvest Party as an alternative to going out for trick or treat. Which is fine as long as they stick to the theme. Which I find many people cannot do.

On my job we do the Harvest Party theme. It is different than the traditional "Halloween" party. It takes some imgination and some extra work to keep inside of the boundaries of the theme-but it can be done.

I do understand where you're coming from. I think that we have reached the point where either you do or don't get into this particular national tradition.

MrsGrapevine 31 October, 2009 21:39

We chose to abstain from Halloween, which is probably why I'm online now. I have mixed feelings because if it's a church event why would you deny any child a chance to know God, but on the other hand I don't think you have to compete with Halloween by adopting some of it same practices and renaming it.

They do trunk or treat, and in my mind how is that different from trick or treat. Or allowing kids to dress up in positive costumes, it's still the same principles.

Anyway, my kids and I just watched movies, and my oldest is 5 and he's starting to ask questions. But, I think it's an important lesson in teaching him to not following trends or doing what everyone else is doing.

I don't knock anyone who chooses to participate, but once the question is in your heart, it's hard to continue the Halloween "traditions"....

Great post!

Admin 01 November, 2009 08:50

I find myself feeling indifferent to it. While I don't celebrate it, I don't see too much of a problem as long as it's kept to a "just for fun" type of event, basically, costume party/dress up and begging for candy.


Well Regina as you know we stopped doing Halloween when you were young. We didn't stop having parties, or even masquerade parties; we just made an effort to change who and what we were celebrating and why.
Traditions are hard to let go, unless you have a concret reason for doing so; and when you take something away, what do you add to take it's place? These are questions that each person must answer in their own heart. I just say that whatever you do, know why you do it; and whatever you stop doing, know why you are stopping. I mean really know why. Know the true story behind the tradition so you can explain to your children with knowledge and clarity. Let them know what you are putting in it's place and its signifigance. As you know we made our own family traditons, and we made so many and have so much fun that no one actually misses Halloween.
So remember the woman with the turkey in the small pan. Don't just do things because you've always done it that way. Buy a larger pan. LOL My pan is called Jesus. 02 November, 2009 10:29

Hi Regina,

I am still wondering why every year, Christians start the "should Christians celebrate Halloween" debate... I honestly don't understand why the debate comes up every single year...

Christians celebrate Christmas in December when Jesus was born in autumn.

Christians celebrate Fourth of July when blacks were still enslaved on that date in American history...

I hear: "Halloween is a night where demons are honored" and I will tell them that EVERY DAY there are people honoring demons.

Then, there are people in the church who are saying "We shouldn't be adopting the norms of the secular world!" and they have had children out of wedlock!

I mean... it's just a conversation that I feel goes around and around in circles...

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

clnmike 03 November, 2009 03:55

I dont see the big deal, the Bible has a lot of pagan based rituals in it. Whats one more?

Raine 09 November, 2009 06:14

Here in the Philippines, we do not celebrate Halloween as you do in the States. We do celebrate however, all souls and all saints day every november 1 and 2, where we visit our deceased loved ones. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, since this practice is a gray area. Practices such as offering prayers or masses to the dead, though, is definitely unscriptural and displeases God.

Teena in Toronto 09 November, 2009 16:55

Happy blogoversary!

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