The majority of people who allow their children to dress up as characters and go door-to-door “trick-or-treating” are not thinking of witches and satanic rituals; it is just some fun. Some people decide not to participate in Halloween activities simply because of safety issues. And then there are those who fully understand the spiritual activity behind the celebration of Halloween and thus do not participate.
Halloween originated as a Druid celebration that honored the god of the dead. It was believed that on this day, spirits returned to their homes and demanded a type of worship. This became depicted in the practice of trick-or-treating. Prosperity was promised to the generous donors, and tricks to all who refused, during the Irish, Druid event. It was hoped that a glowing pumpkin placed on the doorstep would keep away the evil spirits. And black cats were considered to be reincarnated beings with the ability to divine the future.
Traditional Halloween symbols, such as witches, black cats, the death’s head cut from a pumpkin, candles, masks, and parties appeared in the U.S. during the late 1800s. Occultic groups still celebrate Halloween as a tribute to Satan. And witchcraft practitioners continue to declare October 31st as the best time to practice their arts.
It is necessary that each family determines plans for Halloween based on their own convictions and understanding. This is a responsibility for the parents to undertake. Children can greatly pressure the decision-making process but should not be allowed to do so. The pressure that children face at school and in the neighborhood can keep them from seeing the situation clearly. Some families decide that it is okay for their kids to wear costumes and go trick-or-treating. Others find alternatives like getting involved with a youth group that is organizing a Christian option. Other families completely check out of the whole process and go to a movie or do some other fun thing.
This issue is serious because your decision about whether to participate in Halloween activities sends a strong message to your children about what they should allow in their lives. If you decide to participate, let me encourage you to make it a teaching opportunity. Inform your kids; let them know what the day is all about. Then let them help you think of ways to reach out to other kids. Handing out Gospel tracts with the candy, hosting your own neighborhood party where kids dress up as Bible characters–you get the idea. Try to make every day Christ-centered, especially this day.