Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Which Sounds More Pagan to You?

Harvest Festival?


History of name

The term Halloween (and its alternative rendering Hallowe'en) is shortened from All-hallow-even, as it is the eve of "All Hallows' Day",[1] also which is now known as All Saints' Day. It was a day of religious festivities in various northern European Pagan traditions,[3] until Popes Gregory III and Gregory IV moved the old Christian feast of All Saints' Day from May 13 to November 1. In the ninth century, the Church measured the day as starting at sunset, in accordance with the Florentine calendar. Although All Saints' Day is now considered to occur one day after Halloween, the two holidays were, at that time, celebrated on the same day. Liturgically, the Church traditionally celebrated that day as the Vigil of All Saints, and, until 1970, a day of fasting as well. Like other vigils, it was celebrated on the previous day if it fell on a Sunday, although secular celebrations of the holiday remained on the 31st. The Vigil was suppressed in 1955, but was later restored in the post-Vatican II calendar.


Harvest Festival:

Festival of the harvest?

How bizarre that the same people who get upset calling Easter break "Spring break," freak out at the thought of "Halloween" parties at church...


mandrews said...

Totally know what you mean Ryan! It's funny how people get so upset over a simple name. I personally love and appreciate the history of Halloween and what it still is in other countries (Dia de los Muertos for example), but I can't stand what it has become here in the US (girls dressing like slooters - a holiday all about scaring people - playing tricks on peope...). I actually might blog about it...

hestermom said...

Okay, in fear of getting a littled trampled on over this...
I did just want to mention, that before All Saint's Day, and All Hallows Eve, (as you eluded) it was a pagan holiday in which Celts sacrificed crops and animals to their gods. Then the Romans added their influence, and they honored the passing of the dead and Pomona, the goddess of fruit and trees. Then, All Saint's Day, or All Hallow's Eve was sort of an attempt to make a pagan holiday more religious. So, I think the more important question is not what we call the day, but what are we celebrating? Because God makes it very clear that the Festivals and ordinances He gave us were to be a constant reminder of His desire to dwell with man and His work on our behalf. And we are most certainly, as His people, called to be set apart. Please know where I am coming is not to tell people what to think about this "holiday", but as a mom, trying to figure out what to teach my kids, and how best to example for them that if we are celebrating, it is unto our God, and none other. It gets a little tricky sometimes, because it is fun to see them dress up and play games and eat candy. But, I would think that this too is an issue of the heart...?

Ryan said...

Great comments Lisa.
I am really struck by the similarities between Easter and Halloween, and find it odd that one is often demonized, and the other "redeemed".
I think that we could do a lot more to redeem Halloween than simply call it something else.

frisky said...

What about Christmas? The world has put so many secular things into that, that we all do (like trees and such), then I get the emails about how to change that into a Christ centered theme (ooh, this whole time the Christmas tree was to be a symbol of us pointing to God, huh?). It all confuses me.