“”What would Jesus drop into her pumpkin? Would Jesus run off to church or hide back in the TV room with the front lights off?... Or would He use this golden opportunity to share His love with her?
|—Caption to a photo of a little girl trick-or-treating on Chick.com|
Halloween is a traditional celebration that takes place on 31st of October. Celebrating all that is ghostly, ghoulish and long-leggedy, it involves children dressing up as monsters, faces being carved into pumpkins and rubbish horror films being shown on Channel 4.
Fundamentalist Christians often oppose Halloween. A prime example is Jack Chick; in his tract The Devil's Night Chick claims that Halloween originated in pre-Christian England, where pagan priests of Satan (pre-Christian beliefs and devil-worship being interchangable in Chick's world) worshipped a death god named Saman, portrayed in an ilustration as a grim reaper figure. According to the tract, trick-or-treating derives from the pagan priests' practice of going door-to-door and asking for offerings of food for their gods; if food was not given to them they sacrificed one of the household's children instead, leaving behind a jack-o-lantern to show that no-one else in the house would be harmed. Another of his tracts, Boo, delivers a similar story but also claims that the human sacrifices are still being committed by modern Satanists, and muddies its history even further by showing one of the pre-Christian druids carrying an Egyptian ankh. Both tracts depict pumpkins being used as jack-o-lanterns, despite pumpkins being unknown in Britain at the time, but this is really the least of the problems. The same claims about Halloween were earlier published by Chick in his 1978 Crusaders comic book Spellbound?, which also claims to locate the origin of rock music in the Druids. Chick's main source for Spellbound? was John Todd.
Similar claims were made by David Brown in a 1998 book on Halloween. Brown claims that trick-or-treating is derived from the practice of offering food to demons; that the modern image of the grim reaper was based on the Celtic death god Saman or Samhain; that Halloween costumes date back to a practice of wearing animal skins during sacrificial ceremonies; and, citing an unnamed book, that jack-o-lanterns originated as signs that households were sympathetic to Satanists.
In response to Brown's book, neopagan comentator Curr Cuhulain argues that Samhain was not a death god, but rather a minor deity associated with cattle - the Celtic death god was named Gwynn Ap Nudd, Bile, Donn, Beli, or Arawn, depending on the location. Cuhulain suggests that the idea of Samhain as a death god originated in Ray Bradbury's 1973 short story "Halloween Tree".
Other sources of fundamentalist misinformation about Halloween include Mike Warnke's 1979 album A Christian Perspective On Halloween, and Phil Phillips' 1987 book Halloween and Satanism. And it's not just Christians - the British Islamist organisation Muslims Against Crusades has coughed up much the same rubbish.
 All Saint's Day
The celebration has some connection with All Saints Day (November 1) also known as All Hallows or Hallowmas. (Hence, "Hallowe'en"; it's an abbreviation of Hallowmas Evening, much like Christmas Eve is the day before Christmas.) All Saints Day is a very solemn religions festival observed in Catholic countries.
Halloween seems to be an amalgam of this Christian tradition which venerated dead saints and relatives with a considerable quantity of non-Christian elements.
 See also
- ↑ http://fstdt.net/QuoteComment.aspx?QID=46257
- ↑ http://enterthejabberwock.com/2007/08/chick-dissection-the-devils-night/
- ↑ http://enterthejabberwock.com/2007/10/chick-dissection-boo/
- ↑ And, to be fair, the text in The Devil's Night does describe "something like a pumpkin" being used. It seems the illustrator was just being unimaginitive.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 http://logosresourcepages.org/HalloweenBook/h_origins.htm
- ↑ http://logosresourcepages.org/HalloweenBook/history.htm
- ↑ Note that, although it appears that this should be pronounced "Sam-hane", it is in fact, spelled with the insanely weird Irish orthography, and thus is properly pronounced "Shah-jig-a-ma-fig-la-mar" ... no, not really. Although, it is actually pronounced "Sah-win" which still doesn't seem to make any sense to anyone who speaks English.
- ↑ http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_article.html?a=cabc&id=4642
- ↑ http://www.muslimsagainstcrusades.com/press-releases/western-witch-vs-eastern-enlightenmentimg