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Halloween and World Religions

Halloween has changed dramatically over the years. Originally a Celtic celebration of the New Year, it has transformed into a holiday with evil connotations. Many equate the once benevolent celebration of community into a celebration of evil or “devil-worship.”

It is for this reason that many religious people question whether they should celebrate the holiday. While it is not wise to generalize and assume one’s opinion by that expressed by the whole as a group, let us take a look at each religion’s viewpoint on Halloween.

(Not all followers of each faith prescribe to the opinions listed, but these are general findings of the opinion of each religion. Also, this is a limited selection of the vast amounts of religions found throughout the world. Many religions have little to no connection with the holiday at all.)

Islam:

The devout followers of Islam do not celebrate Halloween for it is forbidden in the Qu’ran to celebrate non-Muslim holidays. A quote from Islam.com further elaborates, “ . . . Moreover, it symbolizes the beginning of the ancient Druid new year, who hold that the dead revisit their homes at that time, thus in essence, Halloween represents the devil worshipper's New Year's celebration.”

From an Islamic standpoint, Halloween is one of the worst celebrations, due to its origins in Paganism. It is clearly forbidden for a Muslim to participate in a Halloween celebration.

Judaism:

Those of the Jewish faith do not celebrate Halloween for the same reason Muslims do not – it is forbidden in their faith to celebrate a non-Jewish holiday. Halloween’s Celtic roots and Christian connection (All Saint’s Day), Jews do not consider it to be a non-sectarian holiday.

However, Jews do celebrate a holiday that is similar in festivities. The holiday is Purim, and it commemorates a time when Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination. The celebration of this holiday involves costumes and candy.

Christianity:

Christians range in opinion on this topic, from evangelists who condemn anything to do with the religion, to those who welcome it as a chance to spread messages of faith to trick or treaters, and also to those who infer the holiday was started by Christians.

Most devout Christians forbid celebration of Halloween, due to the belief that its origin comes from Paganism and devil-worship.

Some Christians believe the holiday as Christian roots, in reference to All Hallow’s Eve or “Feast of All Saints” which occurs on November 1st and celebrates the dead in heaven and purgatory. It became customary on All Hallows Eve to bang pots and pans together to let the dead know the damned know they were not forgotten.

Satanists:

Religious Satanists do not assign any significance to Halloween. The holiday is NOT Satanic in origin, and Satanists certainly do not practice any sort of sacrifice on Halloween (nor is animal sacrifice an accepted practice of any organized Satanic group).

Wiccans:

For Wiccans, Halloween represents the New Year, a time of reflection and celebration. New life is welcomed while the dead are remembered. It is believed that the veil between the spiritual and material worlds is the thinnest at this time of year.

Halloween is one of the eight Sabbats (or seasonal holidays) celebrated by Wiccans. Samhain, as Wiccans refer to it, symbolizes the transition or death of the elderly Great Horn God (not to be confused with the Christian idea of Satan), the male energy of the Divine. It also celebrates the aging Goddess, the female energy of the Divine.

Buddhism:

The Celtic priests, or Druids, who originally celebrated the holiday shared the Buddhists’ belief in rebirth, and in the indestructibility of the mind. There are correspondences between the traditional Celtic celebration of Halloween and the Buddhist concept of “Bardo.”

Halloween symbolizes the entry of the separated spirit from the spiritual world into the material world. Bardo is the concept of the consciousness experiencing apparitions (ghosts, demons, etc.). If the mind recognizes these apparitions as false hallucinations, liberation is possible.

Religious stances range from support and celebration to ignorance and condemnation and anywhere in between when it comes to Halloween. In the end, it is up to the individual and their personal beliefs and feelings.

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