Volume. XXXV, No. 17
Sunday, 25 October 2020

The Christian Perspective of  Halloween (Part 1)




It is coming to October again this year and the all important Protestant Reformation day on the 31 October which is to be properly remembered by God‘s people, is sadly neglected or forgotten by many Christians today. Instead, Halloween has taken center stage. It was featured in advertisements in  the local newspapers  and on many bill boards and it   is celebrated in many countries today including Singapore (Christians and churches alike) as a fun time for kids in major supermarkets are selling these wares) and adults, putting on evil looking wizards or witches’ costumes, cauldrons, brooms, vampires apparel, skeletons, candles, amulets, tarot cards, voodoo dolls, spells, charms and chants and other activities in horror theme parties here.


In some  local kindergartens, child care centres, night spots  and even some condominiums, events are organised  for children to go door-to-door to get candy and play ghostly tricks on others. It is yet to be seen if  the pandemic will have an effect on this activities. It is also notorious as a season of witches, imps, ghouls, goblins, ghosts and spirits that will come alive and haunt the earth. Sadly, some including less discerning Christians see Halloween as just a harmless season of fun and not a ghastly and demonically inspired night to be avoided as commanded by the Lord (Leviticus 19:27-31, Deut 18:9-14). The Harry Potter series popularized this diaboblical event as J. K. Rowling wrote favorably on it as  the main character, Harry  was involved with Halloween as well . 


As Christians, should we allow our children and ourselves to have some fun and participate in Halloween? Is it alright to go trick-or-treating? Can we dress our homes or our kids up in skeletons and witches or  diabolical costumes on that day for some malevolent fun? Let us discuss from a biblical perspective .


Halloween's Origins


Some information on the objective history of the event or celebration of Halloween will help here. The word Halloween is derived from the term "All Hallows Eve" which occurred on October 31, the end of summer in Northwestern Europe. "All Saints Day" or "All Hallows Day" was the next Day, November 1st. Therefore, Halloween is the eve of All Saints Day.


According to a source, the origins of Halloween can be traced back to ancient Ireland and Scotland. On October 31st, the Celts celebrated the end of summer. This was important because it was when animal herders would move their animals into barns and pens and prepare to ride out the winter. This was also the time of the crop harvests. This annual change of season and lifestyle was marked by a festival called Samhain -- pronounced 'sow-ane' and means 'end of summer. To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter (see http://www.history.com/topics/halloween)


There was much superstition associated with this season including the belief in the supernatural like the fairies, and that the spirits of the dead wandered around looking for bodies to inhabit. Since the living did not want to be possessed by spirits, they dressed up in costumes and paraded around the  houses and  the condos  making noises to confuse and frighten the spirits away. The new year began for the Celts on 

November 1. So, the day of Samhain was believed to be a day that was in neither the year past nor the year to come. Often, many would surprise one another as a result with ghostly tricks and treats.

Later, around the 5th century, as the Catholic Church developed and moved into the area, instead of adding a new day to celebrate, it took over the Samhain celebration. November 1st became "All Hallows Eve" where all the saints of the Catholic church were honored. A later custom developed where some would go door-to-door on November 2, requesting for food in exchange for the promise of saying prayers for some of the dead relatives of each house.

This arose out of the religious belief that the dead were in a state of limbo before they went to heaven or hell and that the prayers of the living could influence the outcome. This may have been the precursor to Trick-or Treat.


Halloween Superstitions


Halloween has always been a holiday filled with dark mystery, magic and superstition. It began as a Celtic end-of-summer festival during which people felt especially close to deceased relatives and friends. For these friendly spirits, they set places at the dinner table, left treats on doorsteps and along the side of the road and lit candles to help loved ones find their way back to the spirit world. Today's Halloween ghosts are often depicted as more fearsome and malevolent, and our customs and superstitions are scarier too. We avoid crossing paths with black cats, afraid that they might bring us bad luck. This idea has its roots in the middle ages when many people believed that witches avoided detection by turning themselves into cats. Many  try not to walk under ladders for the same reason. This superstition may have come from the ancient Egyptians, who believed that triangles were sacred; it also may have something to do with the fact that walking under a leaning ladder tends to be fairly unsafe. And around Halloween, especially, we try to avoid breaking mirrors, stepping on cracks in the road or spilling salt (adapted from http://www.history.com/topics/halloween).


So, it appears that the origins of Halloween are a mixture of old Celtic pagan rituals superstition and early Catholic traditions. As  blood bought true believers set apart for Christ, we are to be separate and to have nothing to do with both of them for they are contrary to the biblical teachings of scriptures which clearly forbid the celebration of occutlic events or practices (Leviticus 19:27-30, Deuteronomy 18; 9-14).



To be continued………..

More Lively Hope



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Praise & Thanksgiving

  • God’s daily guidance, protection & providence.
  • Church activities in the past week.
  • God’s mercy & protection from COVID-19 in SA & easing of restrictions in Australia.
  • Journey mercies: those who have travelled.



  • God’s comfort in grief - Bros Joseph & Christopher Selvanayagam & their families.
  • Healing: Rev Mathews Abraham, Rev Pong Sen Yiew (S’pore) & otherswho are sick.
  • COVID-19 pandemic – God’s continued guidance and protection for Australia & all who are affected.
  • Journey mercies: those who are travelling.
  • Missions: IBPFM Missionaries worldwide.



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