Halloween - Satan's Trick
This article is written with the idea of providing a means to get started in this study. It is by no means an effort to answer every question or give you all the proof you need. To truly understand, you need to do some research on your own. Most of the Scriptures quoted are from The Interlinear Bible, by Jay P. Green, Sr., as general editor and translator.
Once a year, they go door to door - little children dressed in all sorts of costumes, carrying a bag for loot. They ring doorbells and cry out "Trick or treat!" when the doors open. Candy or other goodies are dropped into their bags so they won't do any "tricks" to the occupants of the homes. Then they head off to the next house on their route. These children are enjoying Halloween. But do they know what it is? Do they, or their parents, know what it pictures and what it means? Is it really harmless child's play? Just innocent mischief?
When I was a child, it was not really a big deal like it is today. There were only a few decorations each year and very little money spent. I attended a little country school and each year we had a carnival at that season. Each class had a booth with some sort of game for the children and parents to play and try to win a small trinket. Most of them did not even wear costumes. Since we lived on farms, there was no trick or treating door-to-door.
But today? Decorations are elaborate. There are even Halloween greeting cards now. The adults often have fancier larger and parties than do the children that they say the holiday is for.
Most Halloween history and tradition goes back to the Druid times of the Celtic peoples. Some also originated with the Roman harvest celebration of the goddess Pomona. But that isn't our intent today, is it? So that makes it all okay, doesn't it?
From Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, revised by Ivor H Evans -
From page 503 -
"Halloween - 31 October, which in the old Celtic calendar was the last day of the year, its night being the time when all the witches and warlocks were abroad. On the introduction of Christianity it was taken over as the Eve of all Hallows or All Saints."
From page 561 -
"Ignis Fatuus - The 'will o the wisp' or 'Friar's lonthorn', a flame-like phosphorescence flitting over marshy ground (due to the spontaneous combustion of gases from decaying vegetable matter), and deluding people who attempt to follow it; hence any delusive aim or object, some Utopian scheme that is utterly impracticable. The name means 'a foolish fire' and is also called 'Elf-fire', 'Jack o'lantern', 'Peg-a-lantern', 'Kit o' the canstick', 'Spunkie', 'Walking Fire', 'Fair Maid of Ireland', 'John in the Wad'."
From page 23 -
"All-Hallows' Eve or Hallowe'en (31 October), also called 'Nutcrack Night' and 'Holy Eve', is associated with many ancient customs including bobbing for apples, cracking nuts, finding one's lover by various rites, etc."
From page 204 -
"Celtic - Applied to the peoples and languages of that branch of the Aryan family which includes the Irish, Manx, Welsh, Cornish, Bretton and Scottish Gaels. Anciently the term was applied by the Greeks and Romans to the peoples of western Europe generally, but when Caesar wrote of the Celtae he referred to the people of middle Gaul only. The word Celt probably means a warrior; fable accounts for it by the story of Celtina, daughter of Britannus, who had a son by Hercules, named Celtus, who became the progenitor of the Celts."
From The World Book Encyclopedia, volume 9, page 25 -
"Halloween is a festival celebrated on October 31. Its name means hallowed or holy evening because it takes place the day before All Saints' Day.
"Many superstitions and symbols are connected with Halloween. The Irish have a tale about the origin of jack-o'-lanterns. They say that a man named Jack was unable to enter heaven because of his miserliness. He could not enter hell because he had played practical jokes on the devil. So he had to walk the earth with his lantern until Judgment Day.
"The Druids, an order of priests in ancient Gaul and Britain, believed that on Halloween, ghosts, spirits, fairies, witches, and elves came out to harm people. They thought the cat was sacred and believed that cats had once been human beings but were changed as a punishment for evil deeds. From these Druidic beliefs comes the present-day use of witches, ghosts, and cats in Halloween festivities.
"The Druids had an autumn festival called Samhain, or summer's end. It was an occasion for feasting on all the kinds of food which had been grown during the summer.
"In the 700's, the Roman Catholic Church named November 1 as All Saints' Day. The old pagan customs and the Christian feast day were combined into the Halloween festival."
From The Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend, 1950, page 535 -
"Jack-o'-lantern - The phosphorescent light frequently seen moving in the air over marshy places; the corposant or will-o'-the-wisp that retreats from those who try to reach or follow it. It is the proverbial misleader of belated travelers who fall into swamps and marshes or ponds and are drowned. It is also often called ignis fatuus, foolish fire: the implication being that only a fool would follow it, and that the light is foolish to flee from a fool. In Ireland … it is commonly believed to be the wandering soul of one who has been refused entrance into both heaven and hell. He often terrifies night travelers; sometimes he warns them."
How Halloween Evolved
From Halloween, An American Holiday, An American History, by Lesley Pratt Bannatyne -
Various quotes from throughout the book -
"The history of Halloween begins in ancient times in the lands populated by Celtic peoples - what is now northern France, Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and Brittany. Centuries before the birth of Christ, these rugged peoples forged a life-style from their hunting and herding. The celebrated two major seasonal events: the onset of winter, when the herds were brought in to shelter, and the onset of summer, when the herds could be released to pasture."
"In the climate of northern Europe, winter came early - around November - and lasted close to six months. The first day of winter was considered the beginning of the new year, and celebrated as New Year's Day."
"Only the finest of the herd were brought to shelter on this day. The others were slaughtered , making it an occasion of great feasting and celebration. From the very beginning, this communal feast was dedicated to Samhain, the Celtic Lord of the Dead (the festival opposite Samhain on the Celtic seasonal calendar, approximately May 1, was known as Beltane and heralded the grazing season)."
"The festival of Samhain was the most sacred of all Celtic festivals. It's rituals helped link people with their ancestors and the past. The Celts believed that the dead rose on the eve of Samhain and that ancestral ghosts and demons were set free to roam the earth, harm crops and trouble homes. Since spirits were believed to hold the secrets of the afterlife and the future, the priests of the Celts, the Druids, believed that on the eve of Samhain predictions had more power and omens could be read with more clarity. Druid priests divined the health of the tribe, the wisdom of a proposed move, the right time to make magic or the key to curing a sickness."
"The Druids were also closely linked to witchcraft. For practitioners of this ancient craft, the festival of Samhain was one of their major annual celebrations, which may explain why witches are bound to Halloween imagery even today (in fact, Samhain remains a principal sabbath among modern-day witches and other neo-Pagans)."
"Samhain marked the start of the season that rightly belonged to evil spirits - a time when nights were long, and dark fell early. It was a frightening time for a people who were entirely subject to the forces of nature, and who were superstitious about the unknown, with only a primitive sympathetic magic system to rely on for comfort. Samhain was a night of mystical glory."
"Each year on Samhain, the Lord of the Dead was believed to assemble all lost souls for resentencing. This was the 'Samhain Vigil,' held during the darkest part of the night. Samhain judged the dead, sentencing sinning souls to twelve months of afterlife spent in the shape of a lowly animal. Good souls were sentenced to another twelve months of death, but were allowed to take the shape of human beings."
"The Celts believed that gifts could make Samhain more temperate on this night, and offerings were made in hopes that he would allow the spirits of their loved ones a brief visit home to enjoy a warm fire and the smell of good food cooking. Food and wine were set out for the dead souls of the ancestors, sure to be weary from their travels in the netherworld. To avert unwanted guests - those malicious spirits set free on that night - the Celts hid themselves in ghoulish disguise so that the spirits wandering about would mistake them for one of their own and pass by without incident. Masked villagers representing the souls of the dead also attempted to trick the spirits by forming a parade and leading them to the town limits. If they thought appeasement or gentle persuasion was more appropriate, the Celts offered sweets to the spirits."
"The Celtic New Year was also the time to celebrate the life-giving sun god, Baal. People believed that the sun grew weaker during the winter months, and feared it would leave them forever in the cold night of winter. The Celts celebrated a second feast, known as Taman, on November 1 to please and glorify the sun so that it would not disappear during the long cold months ahead. Since they believed that like begets like, a bonfire was lit high on a hill - and still is in parts of Scotland and Wales - in an attempt to fuel the waning sun. Each member of the village could take part in this renewing ritual by rekindling their home fires from a 'new fire' built on the last day of October."
"Horses, believed sacred to the sun god, were sacrificed in great fires, and the Druids divined the future by observing the movements and entrails of the animals as they died. Evidence suggests that the Druids also sacrificed humans during these festivals. They imprisoned criminals - possibly practitioners of black magic - in wicker cages built to resemble animals and burned them. There were incidences of sacrificing horses to the sun as late as AD 400. And even in the Middle Ages, cats were burned in wicker cages on the November 1 fires."
"Other elements, such as romance and apple lore, came from another part of the world entirely. Just before the birth of Christ, the Celtic lands were conquered by legions of Roman soldiers, and the Druidic Samhain practices merged with Roman mythological beliefs."
"To the Romans, the apple was a symbol of love and fertility. The Roman divinity Pomorum, or Pomona, was the goddess of orchards and the harvest. She was celebrated on November 1 with feasts featuring apples, nuts, grapes, and other orchard fruits."
"The festival of Pomona was celebrated on November 1, after the harvest was safely stored away for winter. It coincided with the Celt's Samhain festivities, and a synthesis naturally occurred. By the first century AD, Romans and Celts inhabited the same scattered villages throughout Europe and most of the British Isles. Their life-styles merged and the pure origins of each culture's festivals were obscured."
"Christianity spread across the Roman Empire and beyond from the first through the fourth centuries. The emperor Constantine officially declared Christianity legal and thousands of pagans were baptized into this new religion. The Church expounded a potent theology based on a holy trinity of one God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit. The pantheistic, nature-bound realm of Roman mythology was superseded. And although the new church decried the pagan practices of its enemies, it was in fact largely responsible for the health of pagan Halloween in Celtic countries. Rather than obliterate pagan ways, shrewd church leaders set about assimilating existing pagan rites into their new Christian ones."
"The celebration of All Saints' Day is attributed to Pope Boniface IV, who dedicated the Roman temple, the Pantheon, to St. Mary and the Martyrs on the thirteenth of May, 610. Boniface set the day aside as a memorial to early Christians who died for their beliefs without official recognition of their sanctity, so that 'the memory of all the saints might in future be honored in the place which had formerly been devoted to the worship, not of gods but of demons'."
"The clergy encouraged their flock to remember the dead with prayers instead of sacrifices. People were taught to bake 'soul cakes' - little pastries and breads - to offer in exchange for blessings rather than trying to appease the spirits with food and wine."
"Villagers were also encouraged to masquerade on this day, not to frighten unwelcome spirits, but to honor Christian saints. On All Saints' Day, churches throughout Europe and the British Isles displayed relics of their patron saints. Poor churches could not afford genuine relics and instead had processions in which parishioners dressed as saints, angels and devils. This religious masquerade resembled the pagan custom of parading ghosts to the town limits. It served the new church by giving an acceptable Christian basis to the custom of dressing up on Halloween."
"In addition, the Church tried to convince the people that the great bonfires they lit in homage to the sun would instead keep the devil away - God's mortal enemy in the new Christian religion."
"The early Church's contribution to the popular celebration of Halloween was a considerable one. The Church ironically gave the holiday its name - during medieval times All Saints' Day was known as All Hallows, making the night before it All Hallows Eve, which became Hallowe'en, then Halloween. The Church sanctioned the long-standing custom of remembering the dead on the eve of November 1. Furthermore, it added credence to the old Celtic masquerades, parades and great blazing fires set on the dark evening before November 1. It was the Church, too, that firmly established the custom of visiting from house to house on All Hallows Eve - a practice that eventually evolved into America's most popular contemporary Halloween custom: trick or treating."
We've seen that the origins of Halloween are steeped in deep paganism. Since it was "Christianized" over the centuries and "cleaned up", does that make it okay today? Is it now just innocent fun for the children to participate in each fall? That is what most people will tell you - that they just celebrate Halloween for the kids. What does Yahweh have to say about such things?
The King James Bible substitutes the word "witch" for "sorceress".
In history and today, Halloween is the major holiday for witches and witchcraft.
Leviticus 19:26, 31
The Celtic peoples were heavily involved with the spirits and turned to diviners. In the history, we found that they believed predictions and omens were clearer and more powerful on Halloween.
Yahweh has given us His commands - and that is what He wants us involved in. And that is what we should be looking at - not what these other peoples did.
So what are two of the main symbols of Halloween? Black cats and spiders. Aren't those animals and creeping things? The Celtic peoples were worshipping the sun, too, weren't they? It was known as Taman.
If you follow these customs of Halloween, you are following some of the patterns of the ancient peoples. Yahweh says you are not to do so! It also says that they, in some instances of their customs, sacrificed people, burning some of them in wicker cages.
This says they were to stone the person for enticing - not because they had been worshipping. That is strict! So what should our response be to those who want us to go trick or treating with them or to celebrate any holiday that has a basis in paganism? We are not to do so.
So what does this mean for today's astrology? Or games of magic? Or ouija boards? Is that something we are not to be doing as well?
In verse 11 above, an "observer of clouds" is not referring to a weatherman. It is Strong's #6049 in Hebrew, anan. It means to cover; to cloud over; to act covertly, ie to practise magic. In refers to an enchanter, a soothsayer or sorcerer.
They were joining into the rites regarding the dead. The Celts were using foods as offering to appease the spirits. It is included in the ancient practices of Halloween.
Yahweh gives us a standard for our behavior and our practices - His law and testimony. That is all!
This chapter goes on with a good description of a Christmas tree, but the meaning is still there - we are not to learn the ways of the heathen and how they worship their gods.
I Corinthians 10:20-21
2 Corinthians 6:14-18
It looks like we are being told that we must make a choice. We cannot honestly worship Yahweh and Yahshua and keep our foot in the world's practices and customs as well. We can't have it both ways. It is either one way or the other. As the holiday approaches this year, where will you be standing?