• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

Perceptions on Halloween

Discussion in 'Christianity and World Religion' started by Zoness, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. Goatee

    Goatee Jesus, please forgive me, a sinner.

    +3,212
    United Kingdom
    Catholic
    Married
    Sad that you love the modern Halloween 'thing'. It's definitely not Christian!
     
  2. Armoured

    Armoured So is America great again yet? Supporter

    +13,756
    Catholic
    Married
    It isn't devil worship, either. It's a pretty secular excuse for people, esp. kids, to dress up, have fun and eat too many lollies. I think it's sad people try to find sinister motives behind innocent fun.
     
  3. Goatee

    Goatee Jesus, please forgive me, a sinner.

    +3,212
    United Kingdom
    Catholic
    Married
    Our local priest is dead against it. I agree with him.
     
  4. Armoured

    Armoured So is America great again yet? Supporter

    +13,756
    Catholic
    Married
    Because of "reasons", obviously.
     
  5. dlamberth

    dlamberth Senior Contributor

    +1,025
    Other Religion
    US-Others
    Of course not. It's still fun for the kids, and adults too.
     
  6. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Newbie Supporter

    +807
    Agnostic
    Single
    I have been wondering if October 31st was the day of the Samhain originally? Did each culture celebrate it on a different day depending on completion of their harvest? Was Samhain originally set to some significant astronomical trait such as the fall equinox that was October 31st at that time and then the calendar drifted out-of-sync with the orbit of Earth?

    EDIT: I wonder if the magic of Samhain was derived from the Celtic people or the astronomy? Was it the ritual of celebration that made the magic or was it the precise time of year? What type of calendar did the early Irish and Scottish use - lunisolar? solar? lunar?
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017 at 9:28 PM
  7. awitch

    awitch @PluckyDuck3 on Twitter

    +1,662
    United States
    Pagan
    Private
    US-Democrat
    I think it was because the new calendar year for the Celts started on November 1.
     
  8. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Newbie Supporter

    +807
    Agnostic
    Single
    Do you know what kind of calendar the Celts used? Probably when Halloween was absorbed into Christianity, the Christians were using the Julian calendar which drifted out-of-sync with the seasons. October 31st seems like just a random day in late fall.

    EDIT: I guess if I was a witch who actually believed in the magical significance of Samhain then I would want to know if October 31st is the correct day. It might not be. (Obviously not all witches would care about that.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017 at 9:42 PM
  9. Zoness

    Zoness Cipherpunk Supporter

    +811
    United States
    Pagan
    Married
    US-Democrat
    No worries. As its a direct question form another forum member, I can answer. I'm so stingy about this because the moderators have burned us quite a bit (pun vaguely intended) about promotion so here goes:

    If I was going to give myself a pagan label I'd say I would closely align with Celtic Wiccans (with more emphasis on Western Hermeticism) and thus I generally follow the Wheel of the Year which is a calendar pattern that follows four Sabbats (major festivals) and four Esbats (minor festivals). The Sabbats mark the solstices and equinoxes and the Esbats mark the midpoint of those. Illustrated below:

    [​IMG]

    Generally among pagans who follow the Wheel of the Year, especially Wiccans, Samhain is regarded as the highest holiday of the year. It's a celebration of darkness. Not of evil but literal darkness; it demarcates the beginning of the "cold half" of the year and is typically regarded as a time to especially remember the dead and offer thoughts and prayers for them. Furthermore, its regarded as the the time the "veil between worlds" it is at its thinnest. The relevance is of this is that people who believe in and want to contact their ancestors are thought to have an easier time on Samhain.

    Of course it depends on your approach to faith and religion entirely. If you're less inclined to spiritual stuff its a nice time to have a small feast, give offerings in remembrance and perform a ritual.

    In terms of a ritual, this can be as simple or as complicated as you're comfortable with. It can be solitary or in a group. In the past I was a member of a small esoteric order of friends and acquaintances where we did meet for group rituals but since many of us have since moved to new locations, I am back to solitary.

    Google can show you a myriad of ideas but for me in my current living set up it will probably go to some effect as such:
    • Altar set up, cleansing the space
    • Lighting of candles and specific incense for the seasons
    • Prayers and meditation; focused on loved ones, memories, the coming season, the idea of change or frankly whatever pops into my mind. A great time for reflection.
    • Ritual offering, probably of some food that I will turn over to nature
    • Unsealing of the place, conclusion of prayers, tear down
    I went pretty light on the detail since I am still spec'ing out what I am going to do and balance it with my other evening plans that day. In the past I would do similar rituals but with a larger group. In those situations we'd conduct a feast; as in mostly just make dinner among ourselves while offering a plate of the food up for ancestors and the physical world.

    This is somewhat of a tough question to answer because of the fluidity of many pagan belief systems but the short answer is Celtic Wiccan. With a second place answer being Hermeticist but its not as much a belief system as it is an object of study and fascination. While I would describe myself as the former, I was part of a group that would be described as the latter.

    I'm not sure if this makes sense, even from a Christian perspective. Many things Christians do, or are involved in are not Christian by definition so I don't know what the problem would be with them celebrating a secular, neo-liberal Halloween.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  10. awitch

    awitch @PluckyDuck3 on Twitter

    +1,662
    United States
    Pagan
    Private
    US-Democrat
    Apparently they had their own calendars and this article seems to agree with Samhain falling right before the new year which corresponds to November 1 of our calendar today.

    Maybe if you subscribe to a Celtic pantheon. I do, but I don't subscribe to the belief that the veil between the worlds is thinnest on that particular date, as they say.

    I've heard of Samhain celebrations being shifted to coincide with the closest full moon.
     
  11. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Newbie Supporter

    +807
    Agnostic
    Single
    It's certainly a complicated issue. What made the magic?
    • Was it the moon?
    • Was it the sun/constellations?
    • Was it the local climate and its influence on herding and harvesting practices?
    • Was it the festive rituals of the community?

    I think if I was a witch, I would shift the date to match some cycle of the moon. I don't know if historians know if the Celtic months started on full moons or some other time. Given that they split between light and dark, I would guess the months must have split on half-moons. So I would shift Samhain to the nearest half-moon.

    Just my random ideas. :)
     
  12. Robban

    Robban -----------

    +825
    Judaism
    One day out of 365 is not much to make a fuss about, just that traditions and customs
    can clash,
    Jewish tradition is to light a Yahrzeit candle and recite a Yahrzeit prayer for a loved one
    on the years annerversary of their passing, in honor and rememberance.

    But in and with All saints day, I don,t know much about it but it is like those who have passed on are remembered on a certain day.

    Of course individually it differs from person or family.

    But it seems that is the main idea behind it.
     
  13. awitch

    awitch @PluckyDuck3 on Twitter

    +1,662
    United States
    Pagan
    Private
    US-Democrat
    There's sort of a focus on cycles; seasons, tides, phases of the moon etc. A full moon seems like a logical place to mark the start of the cycle.
     
  14. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

    +9,144
    Lutheran
    Single
    US-Others
    The thing about "Celtic Christianity" though is that it is often more-or-less an amalgam of overly imaginative Celtic romanticism and forms of anti-Romanism. The form of Christianity practiced in Ireland and, later, among the Picts and Scots, wasn't very different than Christianity elsewhere in Western Europe; there were differences that resulted in controversy that was ultimately resolved at the Synod of Whitby, but by today's standards those differences are so minute that we would hardly think anything controversial about them at all. For example of the major controversies, arguably the biggest point of contention, was in what manner monks should tonsure themselves. In the 7th century monastic tonsure had basically become standard throughout Latin-speaking Europe, which is what most of us think of when we think of monastic tonsure today--the top of the head is shorn with a crown of hair. The Irish monks had a different tonsure, it's not entirely clear what is meant in the descriptions we have, but going by memory one of the best guesses was that they would shear the front of the head. That tonsure was one of the biggest points of debate is probably indication enough that there really wasn't anything that significant.

    There were of course a few other quirks, for example Christian community life tended, among the Irish, to be centered more around the monastery than in Europe proper, with abbots having a far more prominent role in the regular life of Christian communities; in that sense Celtic Christianity tended to be more centered around monastery than cathedral. But I suspect that this had more to do with the fact that the Celts were by and large converted by missionary-monks, and the Celts of the British Isles were something like the "wild west" of Western Europe at the time, and there wasn't as strong a focus from Rome for conversion since they were largely doing it themselves (compare that with, on the converse, with how the Saxons were converted largely by force by Charlemagne).

    -CryptoLutheran
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • List
  15. Zoness

    Zoness Cipherpunk Supporter

    +811
    United States
    Pagan
    Married
    US-Democrat
    Thanks for sharing. I'd always wondered how diverse Celtic Christianity actually was, it makes sense that the understanding of it is largely a product of the Romantic age.

    That said I'm a bit surprised at the lack of diversity in Christianity especially in it's early centuries in Northwestern Europe.
     
  16. Silmarien

    Silmarien There is nothing new under the sun.

    582
    +662
    United States
    Christian Seeker
    Single
    US-Democrat
    Well, there are things to keep in mind like the Arianism of the Vandals. Whether you consider that diversity or heresy depends on your point of view!
     
Loading...