Why We Don't Celebrate Halloween And How To Explain It To Others

By: Tia Johnson 5 Comments   10/26/2011

In the rare chance that a trick-or-treater comes to our door, they're greeted with a smile and an explanation: "We don't celebrate Halloween."

What? Don't celebrate Halloween? seems to flash across their face. These people must be in some weird religion.

Well, our religion is weird, but not uncommon. We're Christians, and the reason we don't celebrate Halloween is because of our faith. While Halloween does include fun with friends and family, these gatherings are centered around attributes (such as witchcraft, death, deceit and fright) which are opposing to God. 

Now, it's not that these attributes are subtly snuck into the day; in fact, Halloween openly boasts them. 

These attributes were also part of a Celtic pagan religion which takes credit for instituting Halloween traditions. Even today, Celtic Reconstructionists continue to make offerings to the gods of their ancestors during Halloween, according to Wikipedia. Most people don't copy that practice, but they do copy other pagan practices.

For example, the tradition of "trick or treat"-ing is from the pagan belief that spirits awoke from the dead and arrived at one's door. If a "treat" wasn't left for them, they fearfully believed a trick was destined to follow.

Also, carving Jack-O-Lanterns are nearly identical to the custom the pagans followed, but their Jack-O-Lanterns were made to ward away evil spirits who were said to be on the look-out for a man named "Jack."

Again, it's not that these traditions are loosely connected to the practices of today; they're almost identical- just done for "fun" instead.

It's easy for me to relay this information on paper. But sharing it face-to-face is another story. Non-Christian tend to better accept the reasons why we don't celebrate Halloween. They seem to recognize the emphasis on evil and why a believer in Christ would not desire to take part in it.

Many Christians, however, tend to take offense to it. One Christian actually suggested that I was handing the day over to the devil by my firm stance on Halloween. On the contrary- I feel that only by going against my convictions am I giving Oct. 31 to the devil.

Seriously, I don't want to touch Halloween with a 10-foot pole. It's not that I don't want to be identified with the holiday (although that certainly isn't desirable). It's that the holiday is rooted in ideologies which are dishonoring to God. I just can't take part in it. I can't bring myself to celebrate a holiday which elevates evil.

So, how does one discuss this without causing a family or friendly feud?

Foremost, one must seek to understand the position of the other.

Christians who choose to celebrate Halloween are probably offended because they see nothing wrong with their choice. They anticipate the day with excitement.

Potentially they are unaware of the strong ties to the pagan religion. Maybe they haven't yet realized the importance of integrating our faith into daily decisions (like whether or not an activity honors God).

My husband came up with a good question to ask those opposed to our view of the holiday: What do you celebrate on Halloween? Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus, Easter celebrates His resurrection. the 4th of July celebrates the birth of our nation... so what does Halloween celebrate?

Depending on how this discussion goes, you might also ask, "What do you think Jesus would do?" or "Where would you draw the line in cultural activities which dishonor God? Would a praise song glorifying evil be too much? Or the real practice of witchcraft at your child's party?"

Some may insist that they are partaking in the fun of the holiday, but not in the spirit of it. I would liken that to attending a party celebrating the most sinister event which happened in your community. You insist that you're not supporting the evil of the event and you're not approving it, but there's nothing wrong with playing a few games...

Yet to me, celebrating Halloween is like celebrating a day honoring murderers or thieves. These acts are sin and are opposing to God. How can I take part in a holiday which similarly elevates sin?

Finally, while discussing Halloween with others, be sure to offer grace. I have made plenty of turns and decisions without realizing the implications of them. Offer the same grace to others as Jesus has offered to you. It seems clear to me that Christians have no business participating in Halloween activities, yet it does not say explicitly in Scripture, "Don't celebrate Halloween." So, it might take awhile for a believer to understand why not to celebrate it.

Also, check where your finger is pointing. It'd better not be across the room. As Matthew 7:3 says, "why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?"

Through grace, prayer, and a firm yet loving explanation, you can stand your ground while maintaining your relationships with those who continue to celebrate Halloween. Maybe you'll also gain another companion to hang out with this Oct. 31.

A few attributes glorified by Halloween:

  1. Deceit and trickery: The phrase "trick" or treat was at one time very literal for a group of people. Also, the ability to deceive another through costume is set as a standard for the night. Proverbs 6:16-18 is just one reference referring to deceit.
  2. Witchcraft: I know many parents don't allow their children to dress up as witches or devils, and thus feel they are abstaining from this part of Halloween by doing so. However, if your children are trick-or-treating or attending a Halloween party, they're bound to be chatting with their friends amid decorations of witches and goblins. Or, maybe their friend was bold enough to dress as a witch and pretends to mix up a potion of some kind. Check your newspaper's report on Halloween, and you'll likely see pictures of witches. Even a report from the National Geographic admits the strong tie between Halloween and witchcraft. Leviticus 19:31, Galatians 5:20 are just a few scriptures regarding witchcraft.
  3. Fright: What Halloween celebration operates without something scary? A scary picture, dressed-up skeleton, spooky sounds, or a Haunted House with lots of pop-up frightening encounters? 1 John emphatically states "God is love," and 1 John 4:18 says, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." Why, then, take part in a day which celebrates and enjoys this frightening kind of fear?
  4. Death: Skeletons, ghosts and coffins are just a few facets of Halloween which glorify death. While physical death is a necessary passageway to eternity with God for Christians, it is also an enemy of God. 1 Corinthians 15:26 says, "The last enemy that will be destroyed is death." This is in the context of God putting an end to all rule, authority and power, placing all enemies under His feet. Hebrews 2:14 says, "...that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is the devil..."

Scriptures NKJV

So this Oct. 31st I encourage you to stand firm and refuse to celebrate evil, but instead worship the Lord and all he has done and blessed your family with.  Oct. 31st is a day like every other that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in all he has done.

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Reader Comments

Reality Says: on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 12:05:10 PM

Christ was not born in December, his birth is celebrated then to cover over a Roman God, ascention was not Easter that was also a Pagan celebration of fertility. Very little in the Christian calendar is accurate and much is associated with other religions. If you believe in Christ you must accept the devil as being real. The holiday demonstrates old customs to scare away the evil spirits...nothing more. Be a Christian but also have faith. I do not know of any Christian in my lifetime that stopped believing in God because of Halloween. On the contrary, most of my friends have a great deal of faith....faith is not a group thing! It is personal. Is yours so fragile it can be shaken by a little girl dressed as a witch or bumblebee? I agree commercialism and Hollywood are distroyin Halloween with gruesome costumes but is the responsibility of parents just like your children's faith. Let them have fun with their friends.... A Christian father.


Lesley Says: on Saturday, October 31, 2015 5:59:56 PM

Personally, I agree with Tia Johnson and this person who calls them self "Reality" in which most holidays do have a tie to other religions such as paganism. No, none of them will cause the faith of Christians to falter, but in celebrating these holidays we try to justify partaking in other practices that our Lord does not approve. Though the Bible doesn't say it word for word, it's there, and if we partake, we follow everyone, everyone but God. We follow them as the Shepherd's lost sheep. Therefore, if we do not follow such practices, we remain true to our Shepherd, our Lord.

vera Says: on Thursday, November 05, 2015 12:16:30 PM

When one grows up in a certain culture, he takes on the customs without a doubt or a second guess probably because it's been done by generations before him. But when an outsider comes and sees it with fresh eyes, things look a lot different. I grew up on the other side of the world and came to America as an adult Christian. No, I am not shaken by a little girl dressed as a bumblebee, I am shaking by the fact that Christians don't find any fault at the holiday itself. "It's a kids holiday" I hear that a lot. Why all the witches and dead bodies put outside of front doors? Abstain from any form of evil, the Bible is clear on that. I also hear "when in Rome, do what Romans do" implying to the fact that I am an alien in this country. Well, the first churches in Rome definitely refused to do what Roma did, and we all know what happened to them, so....
A word of advice, think of Peter when he walked on water. For as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, he was stable but what happened as soon as he looked around? Brothers and sisters, keep your focus on our Lord Jesus and his Word and you will be on the right path. Once you get distracted by other teachings, you will start to drown. Do not let that happen! May the Lord give you wisdom!


Reason Able Says: on Thursday, November 03, 2016 8:14:08 AM

Halloween is fun. Nothing devilish about it. Christians seem the ones most afraid of death because they seem to have a hard time accepting that death is the end so they cling to some hope that there is some kind of life that goes on after death. Only time that becomes a problem is when a person focuses so hard on what they hope will happen after this life that they forget how special and precious this one is. Don't spend so much time preparing for the next life and forget to live the only one you know for sure you get.

Kateri Blackwing Says: on Thursday, November 02, 2017 1:54:06 PM

I celebrate Halloween because it is fun to dress up I want to clear up one witches do not worship Satan

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