I think everyone puts thier spin on it. It should be personal choice. You don't have to dress as a demonic thing,(this is how one of my cousins' puts it) you can do as my cousin does dress the kids in bible stories people.
IT is a time to remember family and friends, as well as other religious meaning it has for others.
In the fall, countless numbers of Monarch butterflies return to Mexico and the shelter of its oyamel fir trees. The beliefs of the Aztecs live on in many contemporary Mexicans who believe that the butterflies bear the spirits of their dead ancestors. It is these spirits that the people honor during "Los Dias de los Muertos" (The Days of the Dead).
It is a joyous, happy holiday - a time of remembering past friends and family who have died. It is celebrated, during Halloween, All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, OCT-31 to NOV-2. Altars in the homes are decorated with bread, candy, fruit, and flowers. Candles are lit in memory of their ancestors. The people dress up as ghouls, ghosts, mummies and skeletons. They parade a live person in a coffin through the streets. Vendors toss fruit, flowers and candies into the coffin. Families visit the cemetery carrying tools to spruce up the graves and decorate them. They stay over-night.
American Halloween customs are gradually taking over this celebration. Customs integrate at times and new traditions begin.
The Celts coalesced as a society circa 800 BCE.
They were located in what is now the much of and an isolated enclave in what is now . They held a major celebration near the end of our month of October, which they called "Samhain", a festival to recognize the end of summer.
The Celts believed that the veil between this world and the next was thinnest at this time of year. Friends and relatives who had died would often return, with their souls inhabiting an animal - often a black cat. Black cats have remained a symbol of Halloween down to the present time.
In All Souls' Day, European Christians had a tradition of going from home to home, asking for soul cakes, or currant buns. In return, they would pray for the souls of the homeowner's relatives.
All Saints' Day was created by Pope Boniface IV in the 7th century CE. There were so many saints by this time that there were not enough days in the year to accommodate them. So, All Saints' Day was to recognize the saints who were without their own day, and to celebrate saints that the Church had failed to recognize. It originally was held on May 13, but was moved by Pope Gregory in 835 CE to November 1. This may have been done in order to distract Christians from celebrating Samhain.
Halloween was originally called All Hallows' Eve which means the evening before All Saints' Day. "Hallow" is an Old English word for "saint". This was shortened to Hallowe'en and finally to Halloween.
All Souls' Day
was created for NOV-2 to honor faithful Christians who had died but were not saints. The three days from OCT-31 to NOV-2 was given the name Hallow Tide.
Some Evangelical Christian churches offer alternative methods of celebrating Halloween: Some urge their members to distribute Bible tracts along with or instead of candy treats.
Light the Night is an Evangelical Christian outreach in which trick-or-treaters are invited into a home where they watch a puppet show. The theme is the Gospel, interpreted from a conservative Christian perspective. The sponsors note that Halloween night is "an excellent opportunity to take back ground in which the enemy has controlled for too long." (clarified that the "enemy" here is Satan)
They say that by "...allowing our 'light' to shine on a very dark night, it is a very simple way to combat that darkness with the love of Christ." As of mid-2002-OCT, the program has sold "Light the Night" kits to people in 146 cities in 25 states.
Others have "Trunk or Treat" parties in which members park their cars in the church parking lot, distribute treats from the trunks of their cars and invite the children into the church hall for a Christian party.
Verbal attacks by conservative Christians appear to reach a peak at this time of year. They are often directed against followers of two very different religious traditions: Neo-paganism and Satanism. This form of religious hatred is often based on beliefs that can be traced back to religious propaganda during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, when the Church actively burned Witches, Pagans and other heretics at the stake.
A growing Halloween tradition among Evangelical Christians is to provide a type of horror tableau which promotes public awareness of conservative Christian concerns. A
built a haunted house for Halloween 1997. It includes simulations of: a bloody abortion in progress, a ritual human sacrifice by a satanic cult, a teen committing suicide, the funeral of a homosexual AIDS victim, and a live action scene of a date rape.
I personally do not agree with this type of thing. Religion is a choice, not forced or strictured. It is wise to be tolerant; I don?t see how traumatizing people will bring them closer to God. If you are uncomfortable with Halloween b/c of the religious aspect then, make your own tradition. After all it is about free choice. It is about being self-
contented in the choices you have.
Rather than limiting yourself, with a small array of choice, because you "have to" lest you be judged. No judgement here. Baby stepping too the door.. out of the KH and into freedom of mindset, choice and thinking.
Best regards and have fun. That is what the holidays are all about, fun, family, love, etc.
Edited: due to formatting. Grrr...