Halloween is one of the most popular festivals around the world. Even though it is widely celebrated in numerous countries across the globe, some religions don’t celebrate Halloween. Roman Catholic people observe it as a religious holiday while it is merely a fun celebration to many communities.
What Is Halloween?
Halloween is a festival that started as a religious occasion in archaic times. This custom was begun by people living in Samhain, who was known as the Celts. More than 2000 years ago they would their new year on the first day of November. This day signaled the end of bright summer days and the beginning of a cold winter season. Cold, dark winter was often associated with human demises and bad spirits.
So, on the evening of October 31, the celts would light a bonfire and dance around it as a ritual. This was meant to keep the ghosts away from ruining their harvest. It was called “All Hallows Eve” Many religious and cultural beliefs merged into the American version of this festival and it became and later evolved into Halloween.
Halloween: A Religious Festival
Halloween is a Roman Catholic festival. While modern-day Halloween celebrations have made it almost impossible to imagine the day in a religious way, people do observe it with many religious customs. November 1 is known as “All Hallows Day” or “All Saints Day” and it began almost 2000 years ago. In Catholic holidays, people observe this day to commemorate all those who have gone to Heaven, and the day after Hallows Day is for the ones who haven’t made it there yet.
Thus, it is clear that Halloween has a religious history as well. But some religions don’t
celebrate Halloween at all, rather they prohibit it.
When Is Halloween Celebrated
Halloween is celebrated on October 31 all around the world. The evening of October 31 is when the celebrations are done but the day after is also observed n some places. You might be wondering when to decorate for Halloween. The most socially acceptable and appropriate time is the first two weeks of October. But if you want to be extra cautious, you can always start planning early.
Religions That Don’t Celebrate Halloween
Halloween is typically a Catholic festival and is widely celebrated among modern Christians. There are many religions that don’t celebrate Halloween or criticize it to some extent.
While modern-day Christians in Europe or America celebrate Halloween with great enthusiasm, there are also orthodox followers of Christianity who don’t prefer to observe this day.
Since the day isn’t mentioned in the Bible, many Christians refuse to take part in the celebrations. One of the main attractions of Halloween is the diverse costume party. Many backdated people consider dressing up as horror characters and decorating your house into a gothic look is a satanic ritual.
As they associate the Halloween celebrations with Satanism or Paganism, archaic Christians don’t celebrate Halloween.
Halloween celebrations consist of dressing up as other people and characters, watching horror movies, decorating your place with grotesque items – all these activities which are disapproved or strictly prohibited in Islam. So, Muslims avoid celebrating this day.
Halloween is an amalgamation of Pagan and Christian origins and customs. Due to this going against some Jewish laws, Jews don’t celebrate Halloween as much.
Jehovah’s Witnesses: These people don’t celebrate any religious or customary holidays. So, they don’t observe Halloween, Christmas, Easter, or any other day. Usually, they don’t even celebrate birthdays.
Even though many religions don’t celebrate Halloween, the followers often choose to observe the day with their friends and families. It always comes down to peoples’ personal choices.
Customs of Halloween Celebrations
There are many rituals and elements of a Halloween festival. The customs may vary from different countries and religions but they all revolve around similar concepts.
Trick or Treating
A ritual where kids dress up in their favorite costumes, such as – superheroes, monsters, movie stars, and so on, and go from door to door. They ask the neighbors “Trick or Treat!” and receive candies, chocolates. This ritual allows the kids to bond with the neighbors and socialize.
Ancient Celtic people used to carve out pumpkin heads to make scary faces that would keep the evil spirit away from their crops. This tradition evolved into Jack-o-Lanterns. A pumpkin head is carved into a scary face and is lit up like a lantern. This is one of the key decorations of Halloween. In modern-day celebrations, you can use any large vegetable to carve and decorate. There are no limitations when it comes to Halloween decorations!
Costume parties are the most prominent celebrations of Halloween. You can be dressed as a girl for Halloween, your favorite soccer player, or anything grotesque and attend your friend’s Halloween party! Some parties have a specific theme while some don’t. These parties lighten up the mood and make Halloween much more special.
This is more of an ancient, religious tradition that was maintained by the Roman Catholics. Since they observed the day in remembrance of the people who have made it to Heaven and those who have not, their customs had religious values attached to them. Catholics would prepare a special kind of dessert called “Soul Cake” and serve it to their neighbors and loved ones to encourage them to pray for the dead. This spiritual practice is still a part of Halloween celebrations in many places.
Halloween is the perfect occasion to watch a scary movie with your loved ones! It is often considered a celebration by many. Some of the most famous Halloween movies are Scream, The Conjuring, Nightmare on Elm Street, Scary Movie, etc. You can also consider visiting haunted places or houses as a Halloween activity. This will make your Halloween spookier and more fun!
These are some of the most popular ways to celebrate Halloween.
Halloween is undoubtedly one of the most joyous occasions. The celebration includes many fun activities and brings people together. People of different castes, religions, beliefs can attend the party and merge into a community. Thus, Halloween spreads the message of love and inclusion across the world.