Sunday, October 26, 2003
This Probably Won’t Be My Most Popular Blog Entry…
Halloween is this coming Friday. It is probably no surprise to anyone that I don’t celebrate Halloween but my reasons might surprise you. Please keep in mind that I’m familiar with the origins of the term “Halloween” and how it developed into the “holiday” it is today.
Halloween has changed, though, particularly in the U.S., in just the last 20 or 30 years. It’s taken on new meaning as it’s been working hard to catch up with Christmas as the # 1 holiday of the year. Halloween has been the # 2 holiday for a number of years, which is rather amazing, since noone gets time off from work for it, noone gets any presents and families don’t get together to celebrate it. As a matter of fact, neighborhoods have generally gotten too dangerous to trick-or-treat anymore…and that “candy” might not be candy anymore. So what’s all the hype about? Costumes? Haunted houses? B-rate horror movies? Personally, I don’t get it…
I guess I look a bit more philososphically at the whole thing. The original meaning of Christmas, for example, was to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ upon the Earth over 2000 years ago, not Santa Clause giving gifts. And if the original meaning of Halloween had to do with a Celtic fire festival (“Samhain”) at the end of harvest, that’s radically changed, too -- to celebrating all things dark and evil.
To illustrate my point, something tells me the Celts wouldn’t be too interested in visiting the “House of Torment” haunted house in a renovated shopping mall…
It sort of makes me wonder why marketing companies have been so interested in modifying time-honored traditions to cheapen their meaning while at the same time, raising the price to celebrate them? I mean, the same thing happened to Easter – which was originally about Jesus Christ’s miraculous triumph over death – not chocolate eggs and bunnies. Modern horror movies clearly have no problem selling the concept of resurrection from the dead. One would hope a risen Savior would be easier to sell to the public than rotting ghouls. Maybe that’s part of the problem?
At a general glance, it appears that the marketing point is to direct public interest away from spiritual matters and to focus on Earthly concepts that can be marketed and sold to consumers.
So, in the proverbial nutshell, this is why I don’t celebrate Halloween.
Mark 8: 36 – 37 (King James Version) (Words of Jesus Christ in RED)
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
John 1: 1 - 5 (King James Version)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.