Pumpkin Carving for Fun

October 2023
Loran Tang, recruiter and training coordinator of Children Ministry 

Celebrate Halloween? Or not?

October, to me, is another highly anticipated month in a year. Foliage color. Turkey. Pumpkin patches. Thanksgiving. And to some families, Halloween as well.

In almost every year I heard of families asking or arguing why we do not celebrate Halloween, which literally means All Saints’ Eve (the Eve of All Saints Day). With the long history of evolution and the mixing of All Saints’ Day, Halloween is certainly confusing to many of us. So, let me explain a bit the origins of Halloween and All Saints’ so that parents can make an informed decision regarding celebration of Halloween.

Halloween has a history as long as 2,000 years and was rooted from a Celtic harvest festival known as Samhain. The ancient Celts believed that on Samhain the dead could walk among and even haunt the living. Because of this, people used costumes made from animal skins and heads to hide their real identities. In the festival, the Celts also danced around a bonfire . It’s believed that such dance was a representation of the circle of life and death while others think it was to appease evil spirits.

All Saints’ Day, a day consecrated by Catholic Church to remember and honor all saints, especially the Church’s martyrs, began on May 13 in 609 AC. Christians would come together on this day to ask for God’s protection from evil and many dressed up in costumes of evil spirits or saints in order to depict the battle between good and evil. Pope Gregory III, however, changed All Saints’ Day to November 1 during his reign from 731 to 741 AD. Some believe such a change was to Christianize or to combat Halloween.

While we cannot be sure about the intention of moving All Saints’ Day to Nov 1, we certainly see that Halloween has shadowed All Saints’ Day and is never about honoring saints either.

Just like many other festivals such as Easter and Christmas, Halloween has become very commercialized and is commonly seen as a fun day only. However, I still strongly recommend Christian families not to celebrate or participate into Halloween because:

  1. Halloween is largely inherited from its root, Samhain. Even though disguised in fun ways, it celebrates ghosts, evil spirits and the dark world.
  2. As Christians, we should distant ourselves from any Satan related or superstitious based activities
  3. It’s not just about dos and don’ts but to teach our kids that we’re God’s holy vessels and meant to be set apart. At a time like this, we should make it a perfect opportunity to show them we don’t necessarily follow the culture but take a stand for God

I understand most parents don’t want their kids to miss out the fun. However, you can create loads of funs to replace costumes, trick or treats or scary movies.

I here provide you with some fun ideas to replace Halloween celebrations:

  1. Connect with other families and dine together on Halloween night. You can exchange candies rather than doing trick or treat outside;
  2. Carving pumpkins with kids. Instead of carving spooky pumpkins, you can carve God-honoring messages such as “God is love”, angels, animals, etc (we will teach parents and families to carve pumpkins at Popcorn Club on Oct 28th!!);v
  3. Reflect on saints in a circle time, with candies and snacks of course;
  4. Movie night. Host a Christian movie night and make it more fun by inviting other families to join you.

Remember parents, if you don’t choose God in all things, your kids won’t choose God either in their decisions. Don’t underestimate the power of your role modeling in choosing God in every area every day!!

An article for your reference: https://www.christianity.com/wiki/holidays/does-halloween-really-celebrate-evil-and-darkness.html

Connect to Cheryl: Cheryl.li@bacfamily.org
Connect to Loran: loran.tang@bacfamily.org


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