Origin of Halloween

Leviticus 19:31Leviticus 19:31,Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.”

 

Occult (in latin “accultus”) means to cover up, hide or conceal.  The purpose is to deceive you.

 

Halloween, also called All Hallows’ Eve, dates back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).  Today, in the United States, it’s a secular celebration where children visit homes and receive candies and other goodies, after the traditional greeting of “trick or treat.”

 

Let’s look back at the origin of this celebrated day.  About 2,000 years ago, the Celts lived in the area that is now called Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France.

 

The Druids were the early Celtic priesthood.  The word, “druid” means “knowing the oak tree”.   This meaning may have derived from druidic ritual, which seems in the early period to have been performed in the forest.

 

The Druids believed that on October 31, the night before their New Year and the last day of the old year, Samhain, the Lord of Death, gathered the souls of the evil dead who had been condemned to enter the bodies of animals.

 

They taught the doctrine of transmigration of souls and discussed the nature and power of the gods. Many of their beliefs and practices were similar to those of Hinduism, such as reincarnation and the transmigration of the soul, which teaches that people may be reborn as animals.

 

The Celts celebrated their new year on November 1. November 1 was also the date on which the herds were returned from pasture and land tenures were renewed. It was also a time when the souls of those who had died were believed to return to visit their homes.

 

Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred and they thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future.

 

To commemorate this event, Celts set huge sacred bonfires on hilltops where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities and they sometimes wore masks and other disguises to avoid being recognized by the ghosts thought to be present. It was in these ways that beings such as witches, hobgoblins, fairies, and demons came to be associated with the day.

 

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.

 

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, they added their own festivals of Feralia, commemorating the passing of the dead, and of Pomona, the goddess of the harvest with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.  The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of “bobbing” for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

 

By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands.

 

In the 7th century AD, Pope Boniface IV established All Saints’ Day, originally on May 13, and in the following century, in an effort to replace the pagan holiday with a Christian observance, it was moved to November 1. The evening before All Saints’ Day became a holy, or hallowed, eve and thus Halloween.

 

By the end of the Middle Ages, the secular and the sacred days had combined. The Reformation essentially put an end to the religious holiday among Protestants, although in Britain especially Halloween continued to be celebrated as a secular holiday.

 

The early American colonists largely prohibited the celebration of Halloween.  However, in the 1800s festivals were developed that marked the harvest and incorporated elements of Halloween.

 

When large numbers of immigrants, including the Irish, went to the United States beginning in the mid 19th century, they took their Halloween customs with them, and in the 20th century Halloween became one of the principal U.S. holidays, particularly among children.

 

‘Tis now the very witching time of night, when churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
contagion to this world.
~William Shakespeare

 

Deuteronomy 18:10-14, “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. 13 You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. 14 For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you.”

1 John 5:21, John said, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”  

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