Religious groups view holiday in different ways

Halloween is associated with many customs, some innocuous and light-hearted, and some dark and mysterious. The religious organizations on campus recognize Oct 31 in many different ways.”Its origin is a Pagan holiday and if you trace the roots of it, it’s not good stuff,” said Chi Alpha intern Jason Bell. “I wonder what we’re teaching our kids. It’s one day we promote gory stuff and evil is not taken seriously.”Satan is definitely more active on Halloween. To people who worship Satan and perform satanic practices, it’s their biggest day of the year,” he said. “It’s not something I participate in because it promotes giving glory to things I don’t give glory to, like demons and goblins,” said Josh Metteauer, worship leader at Chi Alpha.Jeff Kennon, director at the Baptist Student Ministry, describes a common misconception on Halloween. “People think it’s a time when evil reigns or it’s a time to do evil things,” Kennon said. “It’s a chance to show that light will overcome darkness.”Halloween is not a defeatist day and is not a day people should fear, he said. Organizations such as the BSM are using Halloween to minister to people. Some students are helping with the University Heights Baptist Church Fall Festival tonight. The BSM is also doing reverse trick-or-treating, bringing candy to dorm rooms of students who have stopped by and filled out information.Chi Alpha invites students to go to Corner Pocket, which will be featuring bands such as Red Sky, Short Sleeve and Decoy Octopus.Since ancient times in Ireland, Scotland and England, Oct. 31 has been celebrated as a feast for the dead, and also the day that marks the new year. Mexico observes a Day of the Dead, as do other cultures. In Scotland, the Gaelic word Samhain means literally “summer’s end.””Halloween is an important symbol of honoring the dead, your ancestors,” said Rachel Brock, Student Pagan Association president. “It’s a big day of celebration, mostly just big parties.”During the time when witches were considered bad, people started equating black cats and pumpkins and bats with a bad connotation,” she said. “It’s gotten a bad rap, basically.”Most Halloween traditions are traced back to Samhain traditions. Carving pumpkins came from the Druids, Brock said, when they would bless houses. “Some were mean and would terrorize the houses, like painting the doors,” she said. By putting out pumpkins with a candle inside, it signified you were friendly and the Druids would bless your house.”Trick or treat, as it is practiced in the United States, is a complex custom believed to derive from several Samhain traditions, as well as being unique to this country. The old tradition of going door-to-door asking for donations of money or food for the New Year’s feast was carried to the United States from the British Isles. The wearing of costumes is an ancient practice where villagers would dress as ghosts, to escort the spirits of the dead to the outskirts of the town, at the end of the night’s celebration.

Leave a Reply