There is always debate: Halloween or not..
Each and every year, a variety of people holding a varied amount of opinions decides to opine over the Halloween trick or treating season.. they talk about ghosts and ghouls. This year, we are also greeted with DESTINATION AMERICA presenting a ‘real’ exorcism–not of a person, but a house–the night before Halloween. Live, as well. In living color, or as living and colorful as the TEE VEE sets will make it..
This year, I have studied more than a few opinions about Halloween. I have been directly been told by some of different religious perspectives of why the day is of the devil.. I have also read modern Christian text arguing that Halloween is the night to take back the eve from the devil, make it about community. God.
If you want a clear cut answer on whether Samhain, the old Celtic festival predating All Hallow’s Eve and thereby coming before the modern Halloween, was the precursor for all of this, you’ll be hard pressed to find it. Sorry.. no agreement. Scholars will argue that those old kooky Irish Celts sacrificed to gods and celebrated the seasonal changes with Samhain. (Sow – wen is the correct pronunciation for those keeping somewhat of a vocabulary) … Others, including a Roman Catholic priest I read today online, say that’s all hogwash. Untrue rumors.. just a fabled tale about a fairy tale.
Truth is stranger than fiction and it’s usually in the middle. As is the truth about the origins of Halloween.
No doubt. There were a variety of festivals around the globe that showcased colloquial tributes to seasonal changes, the harvest, and whatever god of whatever people. As Christianity spread, church councils eventually outsmarted the Pagans and made religious holidays coincide with existent festivals. Can’t beat em? Join em… Christmas, the trees.. Easter.. the spring.. Halloween? All Hallow’s Eve.. All Saints. And all souls. Declared for ever by Popes gone by, even Joan.
There are a number of reasons people celebrate Halloween.. for instance, my son, age 4.5 and then some, is ready with his Darth Vader costume to pick up some hard core hauls of candy. It’s coming, he can feel it in his bones.. the reason for the season for the Dark Side Tyke is to get as much abundance of sugar as humanly possible. Sure, some have a harvest. Others, like little Ayden, have a sugar high.
Judging from years of costumes and attire geared for adults, Halloween is clearly not just for kids. We all know that. Just about every child character or comic has been ‘sexified’ by costume makers. Sexy Bert and Ernie. Sexy Batman. Sexy anything. You want it? Sex it up.. Halloween falls on a Saturday this year. Undoubtedly bars across America will feature chugging drunkards with bellies hanging a bit too low outside of their Halloween outfit.. And maybe with it, some karaoke. The reality of modern Halloween is just that..
For others, it will be a feared day. Locked doors and turned off lights.. people frightful behind their house curtains, hoping like hell that hell isn’t unleashed on their homes.. They are afraid that Halloween conjures up demons and the dark side, ghoulish presences and the occult. But what is the occult? The hidden.. and knowing the occult gives the holy man a one up on the dark side. You should, after all, know your enemy..
But what is the enemy?
The night has long been the enemy. The coming winter season, just as winter seasons prior, gives you fear and sadness.. There is a certain grief around this time of year, one that can shroud your existence with dread.
In that sense, we have quite a bit in common with ancestors of all types from all times. They too feared the night. They also feared the unknown, the mystery over the hidden. Halloween is All Hallow’s Eve. We celebrate the souls.
And Stingy Jack scares away the devils..
The reasons for the season will be different for all who are polled. You may have a very different approach than me. And perhaps you’d be horrified I let my son dress as something he’s not for a day. Or two.
I say this: Go into the night, proud and on fire. Fire from the light of your soul and the goodness of your heart. If demons are in your way, stare them down and abolish them for your earthly borrowed time.
And get some candy.
Live a little.
Even as the darkness creeps around Every Corner, USA.