What's the WHY of Halloween?

Last week, I approached a few people on the streets, during our weekly outreach and asked them this very simple question:

"Why do you celebrate Halloween?"

The responses I got were altogether interesting, shocking and revealing.

A majority of the people looked at me, blinked and said nothing. 
A few people offered " For the party?". 
A young guy and dad shrugged and admitted " I do it for the kids and the wife. To keep them happy". Another man admitted " I don't actually know".


Two of the guys stopped to have a conversation with me about Halloween. The young father started telling me about how his young kids would pester him  so much about going out to a party or dressing up for the occasion that he would just give into their demands and give them what they wanted. I asked him what his opinion of the festival was and he said very honestly "It's wrong...its not good".Why? I asked
He replied by talking about the potential dangers his kids faced. Especially walking around on the streets after dark, exposed to strangers. their properties and "treats". He said he was concerned that his kids would be at risk, that they would be in danger. I asked him why, if he was so against the celebration for the sake and safety of his kids, he didn't withdraw them from joining in. He more or less admitted again because he just wanted to keep them happy... 
But is it worth risking safety and wellbeing for fun? And why is it okay for children to walk up and down at nightime and knock on strangers doors on one day of the year and its dangerous on every other??


The other guy I spoke to was much older. He took a leaflet from me, which was advertising a film my church was organising, and said he initially had declined one, because he thought it was some religious thing. I told him it kind of was (lol) and he looked back at me sheepishly (Although I don't consider myself "religious" at all. My Christianity is not religious) Anyway when I asked him his thoughts on Halloween, he said outright that:
1) it was blatantly evil- why go out masked and anonymous on a dark night?
2) its just another reason to go out, rave, get drunk and spend money.
3) its just another American import that we've brought into
We talked about the history, the origins in Paganism, the involvement of sorcery and the dead. He actually knew a lot about Halloween. 

However, amidst all this conversation, the most shocking thing was when he tried to convince me that despite all the history and purpose of Halloween, all the paganism, the rituals, the witchcraft was just all "stories" and wasn't really real. 
I told him he was mistaken and his face started to change colour. 
Really? He asked. Yes, I replied. I was shocked. He genuinely did not believe me.

Witchcraft is not made up. It does not just exist in Disney films. For if there is good, there must be evil. And witchcraft works for evil, not good.

Anyway, the reason I mention all of this is because I'm still amazed at how many families, young children and adults, men and women, engage in a festival that they generally have no clue what its really about. Sure these days, Halloween's advertised as one big party, of fancy dress, toffee apples and trick or treating. But like most celebrations, that's just commercialisation and society's used it as a way to reel in more money. But why is it that we don't stop for a second and ask ourselves that age old question WHY? I wonder why it doesn't bother people that they haven't actually thought about the purpose, the point of Halloween. Birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter: we know their purpose and most of celebrate them for a reason. But Halloween...what is its purpose? And if we really knew the truth, would we still celebrate it?

I asked the two men the same question. Both agreed that no,the stripped bare dark reality of Halloween was not and is not worth celebrating.

So, my question is the same for you.
WHY do you celebrate Halloween? And if you really asked yourself why you celebrate it, would that change anything for you? Would you really celebrate something that has its origins in the unknown, evil and danger? Would you really still celebrate without cause, without not knowing its true purpose?

Just a few thoughts. Take care.

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