It is worth noting to an interested reader or observer that the ceremony of Halloween is not a universal one. Indeed, the ceremony, as popular as it is among Europeans and Americans, it is looked down upon by certain communities around the world. The nature and background of the ceremony makes sure it is enshrouded in mystery. This mystery evokes an often misconstrued perception that it is a practice closely associated with voodoo practices or devil worship in general.
As has been mentioned, Halloween is not celebrated all over the world. However, in countries where the ceremony is celebrated, there seems to be a fairly uniform way of celebrating for all within a given geographical area. The practice of children guising and lighting bonfires during this season is fairly uniform. It is of importance to mention too that the embracing of the practice in the countries of America and Canada has had a tremendous impact on how the ceremony has evolved. These countries have not only spread the practice to other far flung countries like Australia and New Zealand, Japan and Europe.
Halloween through Christian windows
It is always interesting to observe that Halloween customs do not sit in comfortably with Christianity whether in modern terms or otherwise.
As varied as the modern denominations may be. As spread out as they are in the matters of critical importance as appertains basic moral principals of Christianity, on the matter of Halloween, Christians for once concur that the practice of Halloween is demonic in nature. Although this perception appears true and realistic at face value, there is more to it than meets the eye. Even with the concurrence about the demonic tendencies of Halloween, Various Christian churches would celebrate occasions such as All Saints ’ Day and reformation day for protestant churches. However, it is also imperative to realize that indeed some few churches simply celebrate Halloween along with secular people. Some churches have come to the conclusion that celebration of Halloween may as well be simply a fun day, especially for children. They have embraced the practice without overtly discriminating against it. This blending of practices of Halloween and Christianity however may be a more common practice in Europe and places where the festival is an embedded one. Ordinarily in locations such as Africa, the distinction is made clear and often time, that Halloween and Christianity are pitched against each other. As opposed to European cultures where children with their guardians will even dress in Halloween colors and perform in church; the practice is largely shunned by the African populations. The sheer association with evil spirits is bad enough according to the African psyche. `The bad cannot be mixed with the clean, the godly.’` Evil spirits have no place in the presence of God. `Among Pentecostal churches, the sheer mention of Halloween can easily enlist the act as a prayer item. One significant deviation from the norm though is the Catholic Church. In the Roman Catholic Church for instance, the Halloween is given a Christian link. These celebrations are thus common in catholic schools which take part without inhibitions. Yet still, a significant number of Christians view these celebrations as an endorsement of pagan worship. It is argued by those who oppose it that it is a pagan festival of that honors the dead.
So the big questing at this time is: is Halloween a pagan practice or what? Interestingly, the answer to this question can easily be yes and no. The argument that ensues then would be geared to support whatever stand one may wish to take. Some communities think of Halloween as a holy ceremony upon which veneration is due to God and spirits.