A heavily celebrated occasion around the world, Halloween is the second largest commercial holiday, second only to Christmas. Additionally, Halloween dates back more than 2,000 years ago. So what does this mean for Christians then? Do Christians celebrate Halloween? More importantly, given the background of Halloween and the meaning of Halloween, we have to ask ourselves: should Christians celebrate Halloween?
Should Christians Celebrate Halloween? Content
What is Halloween All About?
What does Halloween celebrate? Now, Halloween marks the start of the Allhallowtide season, which includes Halloween itself, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day. With the start of the Allhallowtide season, the celebration of Halloween thus marks the day before the Western Christian feast of All Saints. Other names for Halloween include All Hallows’ Eve, All Saint’s Eve, Hallowe’en, and Hallowe’en.
What and why do we celebrate Halloween today? Is there a reason why people celebrate Halloween despite not actually practicing Samhain? For the most part, many people continue to carry on with Halloween parties as a form of entertainment. It is also a time for many to play dress-up and have fun in their elaborate out-of-the-norm costumes. Halloween is also an event that justifies pulling pranks, trick or treating, bobbing for apples, and even pumpkin carving.
Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?
Now that we know the origin of Halloween, we as followers of God must ask ourselves: should Christians celebrate Halloween? After all, it marks the rise of the supernatural in a time when the lines between the living and the dead are blurred. In short, we are not called to celebrate Halloween as Christians. God’s scriptures give further clarification on this, as in Philippians 4:8 where we are taught to praise what is good and reject any notion of evil.
What Does Halloween Mean in the Bible? Is it a Sin?
But let’s dive a little deeper into this topic. Is it a sin to celebrate Halloween? Yes, and no. Certain Halloween activities, such as dressing up in costumes (of non-evil figures), are not sinful. When asking themselves, “What should I be for Halloween?”, some people even opt for spiritual Halloween costumes and dress up as biblical figures to celebrate their faith.
Yet, when we look at the overarching ideologies of what modern-day Halloween celebrates then yes, it is a sin. Deuteronomy 18:9-13 makes a clear statement about occult practices: “do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there… who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.” And since we are called to keep God’s commandments (John 14:15), it is clear then that Christians should not celebrate Halloween.
Ultimately, there’s no denying the Pagan roots of Halloween, given the fact that its roots can be stemmed back to old Christian practices. Halloween is also not a Pagan holiday. There is a difference between Pagan holidays versus Christian holidays, after all. Just because Christians can, doesn’t necessarily mean we should celebrate Halloween.
What Does the Bible Say About Halloween?
We understand that the struggle is real. After all, Halloween is a major festival in the USA and a deeply rooted culture. But God did not leave us to struggle. He gave us His Word (literally) to help us de-conflict our thoughts.
The Bible has many stories that tell tales of the fight between good and evil, light versus darkness. It’s quite fitting, given how Halloween has relations to dark forces. Look to these scriptures as the biblical response to Halloween and remind ourselves of our identity in Christ.
1 Corinthians 10:21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.
Ephesians 5:11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
Romans 13:12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
3 John 1:11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.
1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Should Christians Trick-or-Treat?
What does the Bible say about trick or treating? It’s interesting to note that although there are bible verses against Halloween, trick or treating can actually be rooted in Christian practices. In Revelation 3:20, the Bible teaches us to open our doors and share our blessings with those who knock. This is similar to the practice of trick or treating, where young children go door to door, asking for candy and other treats.
However, at its essence, trick or treating is still a part of Halloween festivities. What does this mean for Christian parents? Ultimately, parents must be able to discern what is truly best for their children. Parents can choose to distance themselves from Halloween and educate their children with the Bible on how to best approach Halloween as a child of God.
This doesn’t mean we reject anyone who comes knocking for treats on Halloween though. You can choose to still hand out candies to kids who come knocking, or simply respond politely that you don’t have any treats to give. After all, God instructs us to respond to everyone with love and kindness, not condemnation.
What Then Should Christians Celebrate on Halloween?
Does Halloween have anything to do with Christianity? Yes. While the Bible teaches us the Christian meaning of Halloween in the context of our faith, there are actually other connections between Christianity and Halloween.
Despite its connections to the supernatural, October 31 doesn’t have to revolve around evil spirits for it to be celebrated as a whole. In fact, there are other occasions Christians can celebrate Halloween:
What does Reformation Day celebrate? For Protestantism, October 31 is very special, as this day became known as Reformation day – which is also a Protestant Christian holiday. It is the basis of founding one of Christianity’s three major branches, the other two being Catholic and Orthodox.
Why should we celebrate Reformation Day? Reformation Day should be celebrated because it brings all Christians from different backgrounds together to celebrate our one common faith.
All Hallow’s Eve
As the eve before All Saints’ Day (otherwise known as All Hallows’ Day), All Hallows’ Eve traditionally marks the beginning of the Allhallowtide season. This encompasses Halloween, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day. For Christians, we can commemorate this as the beginning of our prayers for our departed loved ones, whom we celebrate on All Souls Day. On this day, we thank God for their lives and pray for their souls to be at rest.
Should Christians celebrate Halloween? The final decision is still yours. On Halloween, the best we can do as Christians is to celebrate God’s triumph over evil. At the end of the day, with a bit of creativity, we can always turn any occasion into a celebration of our faith in God!