By Chris Karenbauer
Halloween is the one time of year when kids and adults dress up in fun costumes and wander their neighborhoods asking strangers for free candy, and society will not judge them too harshly for it.
Halloween is mostly harmless, except for the small percent of teenagers who find it funny to toilet paper their neighbor’s house. But despite its appearance to target children in marketing, Halloween has dark origins that explore macabre and witchcraft.
Despite its dark origins, should Christians celebrate Halloween?
My belief is yes, if they want to.
These days, Halloween is harmless. Most of the time people dress up as their favorite sports player, movie character, superhero, etc. Occasionally, we will see a bedsheet ghost or a witch dressed in a black bathrobe, a pointy hat and a broomstick in their hand. But those costumes are so generalized and “kid-proof” that they don’t look too scary or anti-Christian.
As freshman Nursing major Ben Prokes said, “Halloween is a fun way to get free candy, and as long as you are not doing anything satanic, it’s really just one big costume party.”
For most Americans, Halloween is all about dressing up in fun costumes and acquiring sweet treats. We do not think too much about the macabre. Well, except for those unique individuals who think going to a haunted house is fun. Who would want to pay $15 for a stranger with a fake chainsaw and Jason mask to jump out of a bush and scare you? Not me, but if that is what you enjoy, then go for it.
“I like the community aspect, in that you can look goofy and have fun with friends or neighbors,” said junior Music Education major Ashley Armstrong.
Personally, I have not celebrated Halloween in years. Sometimes, I would go to a Halloween party, but I do not do horror movies. When someone turns on a horror movie, I immediately make up an excuse to leave.
In regards to trick-or-treating, I believe that anyone over the age of 12 shouldn’t go. First of all, it is most likely a school night and they need to go to bed. Secondly, I think it is creepy when a bunch of high school and college students ring some old lady’s doorbell and ask her for candy. Thirdly, Halloween is the last day of October, and fall is slowly turning into winter. It is freezing outside, and most people are not wearing enough clothing to not freeze. I would rather stay inside and watch old Disney Channel Halloween specials than spend two hours shivering in the cold while I ask strangers for candy I will most likely not eat.
While trick-or-treating isn’t my thing, I do enjoy other Halloween traditions. Pumpkin carving is fun, and I especially like digging out all the seeds and baking and then eating them. Dressing up as a bedsheet ghost and going to a Halloween party is fun, though normally I would only go for the food and to pet the dog.
What we celebrate today is the Americanized version of Halloween. Other countries celebrate a different version of Halloween around this time, most famously El Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead in Latin America countries. For Day of the Dead, Latin Americans celebrate their ancestors and those who passed away. It’s a day of remembrance. So not necessarily a macabre thing, like how we would think of it.
So, is Halloween a bad holiday? No.
Should Christians celebrate it? In my opinion, yes.
Halloween itself isn’t a bad holiday. It’s mostly about random people asking strangers for candy. Is that weird? Probably. But it isn’t sinful. Except for those people dressed as Jason with the fake chainsaws. They are the only things I would consider “no bueno.”
Chris Karenbauer is a senior Journalism major and the Editor-in-Chief for Cedars. She enjoys reading and writing, hanging out with friends and listening to music.