Teen Time: Christianity & Halloween, what’s the deal? (October 31st)

Over the past 2000 years Christianity has become a significant faith in almost every country in the world, making us a universal faith. And when people see their old festivals and celebrations through the lens of their new faith, cultures start to merge.

Some facts about the celebration of Halloween:

1. The name itself means “All Hallow’s Eve”, and was the night before “All Hallow’s Day”, which today we call All Saints Day

2. Christians celebrated our saints from the beginning, and when they got too numerous, it was agreed to collect them all into one day of celebration

3. All Saints Day started out being celebrated in May or June, after Pentecost, and the Eastern Orthodox traditions still celebrate All Saints Day this way

4. All Saints Day was celebrated in Rome for over a century until Pope Louis the Pious decided everyone throughout the church, no matter where they lived, should attend church and recognize the importance of our saints on All Saints Day

5. Martin Luther posted his 95 Thesis on the doors of the cathedral on October 31st because he knew crowds of people were attending worship on November 1st, and he wanted to start a conversation about the way the church was abusing the people with the Indulgence System (paying for yourself or a relative to get out of purgatory). October 31st is also Reformation Day

6. In the Celtic traditions in Ireland and Scotland, Samhain (pronounced Sow-in, or Sow-een), was the harvest festival when they brought the herds down from the north and had to slaughter most of them before winter began

7. Both Ireland and Scotland had different traditions for celebrating Samhain, and included things like bonfires, children going door to door asking for firewood or treats, feasting, dressing in costume, carving a face on a turnip, and remembering the dead

8. Settlers to North America from Ireland and Scotland brought the mixed traditions of Samhain and All Saints, and both traditions make up our modern tradition of Halloween (with a good amount of marketing from the candy manufactures)

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