October 31 - What we celebrate!
We try very hard not to make nuisances of ourselves about our feelings & beliefs concerning Halloween. But I thought I might be blog-brave....take a risk.....and just share a little of our opinions and personal choices concerning Halloween. As a child, I did dress up in cute costumes and go around the campus and dorms collecting candy. And I turned out okay, I think. : ) But I will admit that we do not understand the excitement over a holiday that openly admits to being about death and gore and superstition and evil. (In our town, we have even had our Bibles stolen on Halloween night!) Those are not things that we like or love or care to celebrate. Costumes and candy? Sure! But devils and witches are real. And frankly, they are scary. In real life, not just in the Walmart displays. I have a hard time understanding why a Christian family would want to hang ghosts from their trees. It's an opinion. Don't shoot me. : )
I would venture to say I am rather sensitive to the spirit world. (For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Eph. 6:12) I have had conversations with a friend whose mother was a witch. My friend was dedicated to Satan. Her name was Angel. The things she told me are burned into my heart. What I learned makes me want to cling to the power and light and goodness and protection and safety of God and to avoid - in every way possible - the darkness of the evil one. I have a healthy fear of real, living, roaming Evil.
I am not inferring that every Christian family who dresses up in cute costumes and collects candy is purposefully celebrating the devil. (We have had multiple talks with our verbal children about not being a nuisance at school trying to convince people that Halloween is bad. : ) In fact, we have very few friends who DON'T celebrate Halloween. We have confidence in Christian people who make decisions that are different from ours. Of course! That's to be expected. But what if I put on a Bunny costume on March 31 of next year and told you I'm not celebrating Easter, I'm just enjoying spring and candy. Or what if I decorated with green and red and put up a tree in my living room and opened gifts on Dec. 24 but told you we just like winter and gifts, not Christmas?
I do understand that there are lots of people who celebrate Easter who aren't celebrating our Risen Jesus. And there are people who put on witch (or bumblebee or fairy) costumes who aren't celebrating Satan.
I guess it just makes sense to us - for our family - to draw the line a bit wider. Please don't be offended if you have a different take on this holiday. Stand firm in your beliefs without being threatened by mine. We can agree to disagree.
We are very aware that going back to to some of the ancient customs of almost any holiday can bring up paragraphs about false gods and superstitious behavior. But this holiday certainly takes the cake as far as evil-ness goes.
This is just one example of thousands of historical descriptions:
Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.
To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.
We're a little weird around here. We don't celebrate Halloween in any way. We don't even hand out candy. *gasp* (I told you we were weird.) We celebrate Reformation day! Which just happens to be on October 31. Every year. And is one of the most important events in Christian History - which set a direction for who we are as Christians today. Doesn't it sortof boggle the mind that we ignore this history-turning-event in favor of a holiday that celebrates blood, death, witches, goblins, bats and spiders?
Who likes bats and spiders?!
We aren't sad about our kids not getting to dress up in costumes and have fun with friends and go out collecting candy. Because they DO get to dress up in costumes and have fun with friends (and goodness knows there's no shortage of sugar in their lives!)
It is very interesting that everyone knows about Halloween, but not so many are aware of the whats, whens, or whys when it comes to Reformation day. I am hoping to blog about the happy, safe, Christian side of October 31 tomorrow!
In case I don't get time to blog again this very busy week, here is a sneak peek of some of our hilarious fun celebrating October 31 - Reformation Day!
Our favorite Reformation Day resource: "A Night of Reformation" We have used and loved it for years.
|Part of our home Reformation Day celebration last year. 2011|
|Watching the Papal Bull burn!! 2011|
|Even the old people get in on the Reformation-Day-Fun!! (Mr. Ron Coleman and Mr. David Fry - jousting it out. Reformation Day 2009) I think this picture is just priceless.|
|Reformation Day Celebration @ FCA 2008|
|The Diet of Worms (Hilarious worm eating contest) Who ever said studying Church history was boring?!|
|This story has excitement, danger, kidnapping, lightning, and crazy romance! Martin Luther (a monk) married Katie (an adventurous nun who escaped the convent with her friends in fish barrels!).|