Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The History Behind Halloween

Growing up, I had several friends who did not celebrate Halloween.  Their parents saw it as an anti-Christian holiday, and so would have nothing to do with it.  My brother and I did go trick-or-treating, but we never were interested in the scarier Halloween things like ghosts and skeletons and witches.  We did carve a pumpkin every year, but we generally carved a cross in it, not a scary jack-o-lantern face.  I've carried on that tradition, and here's our pumpkin this year:

But anyway, I just read a very fascinating article about the history of various Halloween traditions.  It's called "Hallowe'en:  A Short History," and is written by Rev. Joseph Abrahamson, who I had as a professor when I was in college.  This article is aimed at refuting the idea that Halloween was originally a pagan holiday that Christians somehow co-opted and tried to make Christian, and I think it makes some pretty convincing arguments.  This article is first in a series about the true history of various holidays, and I'm interested to see what the next will be.  I actually found this article via a friend's link on Facebook, and I'm so glad I did, because it's part of a website dedicated to confessional Lutheranism, and I can't wait to explore it more as I have time.

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