History of Halloween (6)

Hope everybody had had a great Halloween.
The spookiness just won’t disappear just because Halloween is over now.
November is a foggy month, a month where you see superstition raising and crawling from every corner.
But that will be another story.

Halloween and the Church in Germany

To my knowledge both German churches – I am talking about the Catholic Church and the Protestants, because I don’t know of any other church, but would be interested in the opinion – have a strange attitude towards Halloween.

On one hand there is the tradition of celebrating “All Saint’s day”, which was settled to November 1st by Pope Gregory at the end of the first millennium, and Halloween is the evening before that day.
An d we also know that “All Saint’s day” is the follow up holiday for Samhain.

“All Saint’s day” is a holiday in 5 of 16 German federal states.
Those are the states with a more Catholic background like Bavaria.

No holiday in Berlin.

And there is October 31 as Reformation Day. The day when Luther  nailed his thesis to that church door in Wittenberg.
Reformation day is holiday also in 5 of 16 German federal states. No not the same as All Saints Day.
This day is celebrated by those with more protestant citizens, like Brandenburg.

Again no holiday in Berlin.

Depending to whom you are talking people think Halloween is fun.
Some think that it is just a new fashion from the USA.
And some think that while celebrating Halloween people are betraying their Christian traditions.

For Christian traditions: Berlin seems not to be the right place.
Most people don’t belong to a church.

„if English and American children like to dress up as witches and devils on one night of the year that is not a problem. If it is just a game, there is no harm in that.”

Father Gabriele Amorth, a Vatican-appointed exorcist in Rome

If I understand this right, there is no harm for English and American children? But German?
No idea.

When they started to commercialize Halloween in Germany by selling costumes and candy and advertise it a lot, both churches cried out loud. The Protestants have been the loudest ones. They are absolutely against Halloween. Every year there are letters claiming that Halloween betrays Christian traditions.
They even try to proof that Halloween has nothing to do with Samhain, even that Samhain has never existed as a celebration for the death.

With this they try to deny the marketing strategy of the old Popes.
They want us to believe that Church Fathers always acted altruistic, never selfish.

To me it is nothing wrong by changing a common holiday to a desired one.
That’s the strategy of picking people up where they are waiting.

But nobody should make me think that people in 500 or 900 of our time wouldn’t have acted that way to take advantage of a situation.
That is just ridiculous.

They also claim that by celebrating Halloween people are celebrating paganism.
This is also part of our heritage.
I can’t see any harm in it.

Some people might claim that it might harm the spiritual believes of children. Children might get scared of the monsters.

Not long ago the Catholic Church taught about the hell, and threatened children that they might burn in hell forever because they have not been baptized or that they might have sinned.

Children are able to differentiate …

Where the heck is the problem to celebrate Reformation Day and All Saints and Halloween.
What do you think?

Part 1  – Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5



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2 thoughts on “History of Halloween (6)

  1. Michele Taylor Coach on said:

    Interesting question: is it any different from Father Christmas or the Easter Bunny (taking a UK perspective)? Most ‘big days’ have a pagan origin and very few, even now they’ve been adopted by the Church, completely reject pagan imagery. It seems to me that those who object are being highly selective…

    • it is all about marketing
      sure they just jumped on the days people were celebrating anyway

      to my knowledge even the word easter – in german it is Ostern – comes from the germanic spring goddess Ostera.

      will do some research for christmas and for easter too 🙂
      love these subjects.

      those who select think that the status quo has been always like this
      which is not true
      or at least the presumed status quo has deeper roots.
      and we are part of it 🙂

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