Halloween and Potatoes might not go together as well as chocolate and peanut butter, but there is a connection. In the 19th century the Irish Potato Famine displaced millions of people. Many of those went to find a new home in the New Country of America. As these Irish immigrants came to America they brought with them many of the traditions that came along with the celebration of Halloween. The holiday is a religious one. The name is really shorthand for All Hallows Eve. Halloween is always the day before All Saints Day that falls on Novembers 1st. Just as Christmas Eve is the day before Christmas. All Hallows Eve is the day before All Hallows Day!
It is a little known facts that the date of the festival of All Saints Day used to be on May 13th – making Halloween May 12th. In the 8th century Pope Gregory III moved the holiday. There is some speculation that the holiday was moved to November 1st to coincide with the pagan festival of Samhain. We can argue about the wisdom of trying to Christianize a pagan holiday, but it points to the larger question of how to combat a culture that isn’t Christian.
The battle still goes on today, but I think the holiday has shifted, at least in America. American spend $804 Million on pumpkins. That’s just the orange gourds. That doesn’t count pet costumes, candy, decorations, parties, and movies. Our modern culture has a way of commercializing everything! Traditions are watered down and put on a shelf. I know that there are still old dark traditions that go along with the holiday, but if the question for you is – “Should I let my family participate in Halloween?” That answer can be different depending on your family. It’s a very personal decision. It is possible to celebrate the holiday to the glory of God. At Star of Bethlehem we offer a Trunk or Treat. You can find pictures from the event HERE.
Please click HERE to watch Pastor Jeremy’s video on encountering demons.
Please click HERE for the Bible class slides.
Want to learn more about Halloween? Watch this week’s Bible class: Halloween and Potatoes.