Holiday: “A day of festivity or recreation when no work is done.”
Break it down further. Holiday is derived from the term “holy day.” Look at it. It even looks like a compound word. However, Halloween is even derived from a compound word: “Hallowe’en” or “All Hallow’s Eve.” It marks the evening leading into All Saint’s Day (“All Hallows Day”). It originally started out about saints and mass related to those who are held in purgatory. Originally, All Hallows Day was preceded by All Hallows Even.
Or was it really?
The expansion of Christianity throughout the world was primarily done through the missionary work of the Roman Catholic Church through exploration and colonization. Part of how the church spread to indigenous people of colonized lands was to utilize existing celebrations and convert the celebrations into Christian holy days. Halloween was originally a celtic festival of Samhain, called a “festival of the dead.” Combined with mythology and folklore, this special time of the year dates as far back as Roman mythology and the goddess of fruits and seeds.
Let me give you an “old farm boy” interpretation like my Grandpa Harvey would say it. What it has to do with is the belief that the fertile soil would be at the discretion of the gods, so the people paid homage to the gods and the dead so that the winter season would not leave the ground unfertile when it came time to plant. Folks believed that the gods gave the dead dominion over the land in the coming of winter and took every precaution to stay in good standing per se with the dead spirits that might haunt the land or even take the innocent children. Thus, costumes were introduced to disguise the children in order that the evil spirits would not take them away. The “treats” were about sacrifices that would please and satisfy the evil spirits.
So fast forward to today. It’s not a religious holiday at all. However, churches throughout the nation, even the world, have adapted the holiday in similar fashion to Christmas pageants and Easter celebrations. It is used for evangelism, outreach and children’s programming. The modern church has put a positive spin on the occasion. Use “Tracts for Treats” as a way that you can evangelize within your community during this time and on that day. Offer input and comments here at this blog so that we can update and upgrade the evangelism guide that has been a timely reminder for us reaching the world through the Word.
Download: Tracts for Treats
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