As you may realize, the roots of Halloween are planted in pagan society, apparently in the Celtic festival of Samhain. For three days, from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2, the ancient Celts celebrated the final harvest, death and the onset of winter. During this period, they believed the curtain dividing the living and the dead was lifted and the souls of the departed walked among us, accompanied by all kinds of other goblins, ghosts, witches and demons. The Druids even called upon Satan himself – the only time of year when such a summons wasn’t the most gross of sins – to aid in placating these dark, supernatural powers that supposedly controlled part of nature’s whimsical fancies.
Through the centuries, certain practices stemming from such ancient times evolved and morphed into costumes, trick-or-treating, jack-o-lanterns and today’s Halloween parties. These modern, playful customs were brought to America by Irish immigrants, but most other fundamentalist Christian immigrants, like the Pilgrims, condemned such mirthful celebrations because they seemed to worship evil beings.
Today, some religious sects and denominations, Christian and otherwise, still reject Halloween traditions because of their pagan beginnings. This seems a bit strange and irrational. I mean, we have all kinds of traditions, like honeymoons, weddings and bar mitzvahs that, in part, may have pagan origins, including our most important Christian customs. For instance, Christian communion apparently has its origins in similar heathen rites that were exercised long before Christ sanctified its practice. Even Christmas originated with the Roman holiday of Saturnalia, Dec. 17 through the 25th, which promoted drunkenness, rape and actual human sacrifice. Fourth century Christians succeeded in converting a large number of pagans to Christianity by allowing them to continue to celebrate some aspects of Saturnalia – and that became Christmas.
It also seems a bit strange and irrational that some Christians still refuse to celebrate Halloween because they feel the “holiday” worships or pays tribute to evil beings and the dark occult arts. Really now? Do you really think those costumed revelers wandering about the downtown clubs believe in vampires and zombies, let along worship such demons? (That question doesn’t even deserve to be dignified with an answer.) Even the little costumed kids running from store to store with their trick-or-treat bags know zombies are only make believe. Scary perhaps, but make believe nonetheless.
So, get outta the house, put on a silly outfit and come join the downtown circuit for a titilating and exotic good time. I’ll be the ugly vampire in female attire. Cheers!