by Rebecca Mejia:
Halloween and religion have strong ties together based one who celebrates Halloween and who doesn’t. Some people see it as a day to go out and celebrate or a day to lock their doors and stay away from “bad spirits”. Many religions vary on how they see Halloween and what their beliefs are.
Wicca is a religion that strongly celebrates Halloween. A fellow Kennedy student who practices these beliefs finds the assumption that they are devil worshippers a little ludicrous. This belief came from the fact that Wicca’s new year begins on Halloween, and it is also a day they believe the Thin Veil between this world and the spirit world is lifted, giving them the opportunity to communicate with their loved ones. Wicca is a religion based on a peaceful, harmonious, and balanced way of life connected with nature.
Hinduism is a religion that does and does not celebrate Halloween. Hinduism doesn’t discuss the holiday much, but they do have variations of Halloween. One celebration that they have is Diwali, meaning the festival of lights. It is normally celebrated in the fall around October and November. There are four days of celebrations to honor the triumph of good over evil. Now some Hindus do enjoy celebrating Halloween by dressing up to scare away bad spirits. Junior Ajay Sharma is on example of someone whose religion is Hinduism, but he loves Halloween and going out to scare little kids with his friends.
Those who are atheists and don’t believe in any kind of god or deity see Halloween as another holiday to hang out with family or friends. Some atheists believe that Halloween originated from candy factories to get people to start buying their candy in big hauls to increase their sales. As an atheist, junior Ricardo Flores still finds Halloween a fun event to celebrate and plans on possibly setting up a haunted house.
Halloween originated from the Celts almost two thousand years ago on October 31st and November 1st. They called this celebration Samhain and had a variety of rituals to honor the spirits who were present these days. One of those rituals involved lighting fires to guide the lost spirits into the Summerlands. This is in some ways like Jack O’ Lanterns used to scare off bad spirits.
That same celebration is now done in Mexico on November 1st and 2nd. This day is better known as El Dia de los Muertos, The Day of the Dead. The people in Mexico celebrate their loved ones who have passed on by putting colorful flowers, candles, and sometimes a variety of food on the graves of those who have passed away. This celebration merges the ideas of Roman Catholicism and old Celtic traditions.
Despite how hated or loved Halloween is by other religions, it continues to be one of America’s most celebrated days. In old times, this day was to honor gods and spirits. Now, children dress up in costumes and go door-to-door asking for candy. Religions will continue on with their beliefs of this day, but every year will bring something new.