Halloween a Celtic festival, not Christian

THE Rt Rev Dr John Inge stated in last week’s Bishop’s Diary that he would like to ‘reclaim’ Halloween as a Christian festival “...which is what it originally was.” Actually the festival was originally Celtic.

It was called Samhain, and was adopted by Christians around the 9th Century AD and renamed All Hallows Even, since they decided to celebrate All Saints on November 1.

The ghosts and witches are a hangover from ancient times, when it was believed that the souls of the dead were free to walk the earth on that night.

The ancient people wore masks and ‘guises’ to bring good luck and scare away any evil spirits.

None of these practices are evident in the later Christian tradition. I’m all for reclaiming our festivals from hype and marketeers, but let’s not forget their true origins along the way.

RUTH WILCOXON Belvedere Crescent Bewdley

Comments (11)

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2:56pm Wed 7 Nov 12

strawberryscented says...

the christians claimed most of it, christmas (yuletide)
easter (Ishtar)
May Day (Beltane)
Harvest (Lammas)

leave em to it, as long as we know the truth ;)
the christians claimed most of it, christmas (yuletide) easter (Ishtar) May Day (Beltane) Harvest (Lammas) leave em to it, as long as we know the truth ;) strawberryscented

7:05pm Wed 7 Nov 12

walkerno5 says...

Everyone knows that Halloween is a festival to commemorate the time when Jesus and the disciples put bedsheets over their heads and went around extorting food and money from the householders in Nazareth.

Where do you think the idea of the "holy ghost" comes from? Eh? One-nil to the bible I reckon......
Everyone knows that Halloween is a festival to commemorate the time when Jesus and the disciples put bedsheets over their heads and went around extorting food and money from the householders in Nazareth. Where do you think the idea of the "holy ghost" comes from? Eh? One-nil to the bible I reckon...... walkerno5

10:41am Thu 8 Nov 12

FlipC - The Mad Ranter says...

Co-opted:

Yuletide - yes (strictly speaking if the Bible is to be believed the birth of Jesus was probably in February)

Beltane (or Walpurgis night)- partially, mostly by the Catholic Church; really it's just a change of name with little religious connotations.

Lammas - Yes in the sense that it's more associated with Christianity now rather than simply being a non-denominational festival.

Easter - Partially. There's only one (unreliable) source for the whole goddess thing and this period has been observed by Judaism as Passover for some time; one could say that Christianity co-opted it from Judaism. That's not to say there weren't any 'pagan' festivals at that time; just that lots of people had them for various reasons and Christianity's version 'won'.
Co-opted: Yuletide - yes (strictly speaking if the Bible is to be believed the birth of Jesus was probably in February) Beltane (or Walpurgis night)- partially, mostly by the Catholic Church; really it's just a change of name with little religious connotations. Lammas - Yes in the sense that it's more associated with Christianity now rather than simply being a non-denominational festival. Easter - Partially. There's only one (unreliable) source for the whole goddess thing and this period has been observed by Judaism as Passover for some time; one could say that Christianity co-opted it from Judaism. That's not to say there weren't any 'pagan' festivals at that time; just that lots of people had them for various reasons and Christianity's version 'won'. FlipC - The Mad Ranter

10:49am Thu 8 Nov 12

walkerno5 says...

Jesus was a great fan of eggs and would consume a dozen raw each morning as part of his body building regimen.

Easter became associated with eggs because when he rose again on the third day, his first act was to catch up on all of the eggs he had missed out on during his imprisonment, crucifixion and death. He went from house to house, obtaining up to 200 eggs along the way, and gorging himself on them.

Needless to say, having consumed so many, he was then violently sick. Having done so, he swore off ever eating hens eggs again.

We pay homage to this by eating as many eggs as we can, until we're violently sick, but in honour of Jesus' decision to abandon hens eggs, we use proxy, chocolate eggs instead.
Jesus was a great fan of eggs and would consume a dozen raw each morning as part of his body building regimen. Easter became associated with eggs because when he rose again on the third day, his first act was to catch up on all of the eggs he had missed out on during his imprisonment, crucifixion and death. He went from house to house, obtaining up to 200 eggs along the way, and gorging himself on them. Needless to say, having consumed so many, he was then violently sick. Having done so, he swore off ever eating hens eggs again. We pay homage to this by eating as many eggs as we can, until we're violently sick, but in honour of Jesus' decision to abandon hens eggs, we use proxy, chocolate eggs instead. walkerno5

10:50am Thu 8 Nov 12

walkerno5 says...

Checkmate pagans!
Checkmate pagans! walkerno5

4:24pm Thu 8 Nov 12

Gobby Robby says...

Why is Paganism any less rational than Christianity?
Why is Paganism any less rational than Christianity? Gobby Robby

4:41pm Thu 8 Nov 12

FlipC - The Mad Ranter says...

Did anyone say it was? This seems more of a hit against "Let's reclaim this festival for Christians" when it wasn't theirs in the first place.
Did anyone say it was? This seems more of a hit against "Let's reclaim this festival for Christians" when it wasn't theirs in the first place. FlipC - The Mad Ranter

5:38pm Thu 8 Nov 12

Gobby Robby says...

If you subtract a few of the posts it is.
If you subtract a few of the posts it is. Gobby Robby

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