LJWorld.com weblogs Sharpening My Pen
Dancing Skeletons Anyone?
Why does this column focus solely on Christianity? This is no "Faith Forum" as it totally ignores any other religion. Why not be honest and call it the "Christian Forum"? Halloween is Samhain (pronounced Sow-in) and is the traditional New Years Day of Celtic and other European pagan faiths, including Wicca. However, that is misleading as the actual focus of the holy day is more like Memorial Day. On this day the dead are memorialized, remembered and their contributions to the family and community are recalled. Some Halloween traditions come down from these celebrations. Jack O' Lanterns were originally carved from gourds, not pumpkins (there were no pumpkins in the Old World) and they had a serious purpose. They were used to light the path of the dead from this world to the next. Now they are children's playthings. The Catholic "Day of the Dead" on November 1 (the source of much of Halloween, a bastradization of "All Hallows Eve") was ripped whole cloth from Samhain and was another Christian "holy day" that was invented to marginalize and incorporate pagan beliefs into the Church. In so doing they shifted the focus from a solemn and beautiful rite remembering the dead to one of focusing on the morbidity and horror of the decomposing human body, pounding home the Christian message that immortality can only be gained through Christ. As for this forum, if it were truly a "Faith Forum" the managing editor of it would have tracked down a pagan and asked them this question.