Halloween! What Does It Mean?

Halloween! What Does It Mean?

Halloween a fun, scary, mystical, religious time of the year. Halloween has changed drastically since I was a kid in the 70’s.

From what I can recall from memory and pictures during those years. It seemed as if everyone decorated and participated during this time.

We had the standard cardboard cut outs of the ghost, witches, pumpkins, black, orange and yellow streamers and black cats. My mom had them hung up in the big plate glass window of our home.

We would carve out the pumpkin, dig out the seeds. She would then place them on a cookie sheet and bake them in the oven.

Then we would take that hollowed out pumpkin and put on the porch with a candle in him. We would leave him burning until the last trick or treater would come by.

One of my parents would take me, my older brother and baby sister around the block so we too could gather candy to put in our buckets.

All the above of course is the fun part of Halloween. The scary part of Halloween still to this day is cruel people who put needles, razor blades or drugs in children’s candy.

Not saying that the costume weren’t scary. They were even back then, they were.

Halloween has also become mystical with the magic of witches, warlocks, ghouls and goblins, vampires and other strange creatures with mystical powers to over take a human.

Now the real meaning of Halloween is not all this trick or treating. Halloween has several different meaning for different people, religions cultures and countries.

“The word Halloween literally means the evening before All Hallows Day or All Saint’s Day, celebrated on November 1. Halloween is also the shortened name of Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Evening and All Saint’s Eve which is celebrated on October 31. The origin and meaning of Halloween is derived from ancient Celtic harvest festivals, but more recently we think of Halloween as a night filled with candy, trick-or-treating, pumpkins, ghosts and death.” 

Halloween began over 1900 years ago in Ireland, England and parts of Northern France. Mainly a Celtic celebration of the coming year called “Samhain.”

“Samhain” was popular till Saint Patrick and other churches arrived in the area. As these church began to convert the people the holiday began to loose its popularity.

Instead of ending the pagan practices of “Samhain” the church used the holiday with a Christian twist to bring paganism and Christianity together, making it easier for the local people to convert to the “state religion.”

Now there are some who question on whether or not that we should still be celebrating or participating in Halloween. I think that everyone should examine why they are celebrating Halloween for themselves.

What does Halloween mean to me these days. Well to me it is just a day for children to dress up (preferably not in a scary costume) and fill up their buckets or bags with candy.

No we don’t decorate our house with traditional Halloween decorations. We don’t pass out candy at our door ever year.

Yeah! sometimes we go to festivals or parties to get some candy. But mainly we just stay at home at watch television.

(I hope that you enjoy these vintage pictures. These are from my childhood. My sister is the little witch, my older brother is in the “Mighty Mouse” costume. And I am in the blue costume and I don’t remember who that character is.)

Once you determine your motives and convictions for celebrating Halloween. Then you can choose to participate with the masses or stay home and watch a television show or movie.

Nowadays, churches, schools, neighborhoods, and other organizations use this time of the year to promote their messages, products or views to society.

It is of my opinion that if people from Christian Churches come together and celebrate. That we should pass out some candy and sing some praises to the Lord.

So remember when celebrating Halloween. The main goal of the whole night is to stay safe and collect lots of candy.

Happy “All Saint’s Day!” (this is my favorite way of saying Halloween)




10 Replies to “Halloween! What Does It Mean?”

  1. Oooooohhhhh!! This post made me think of my childhood Halloween trick or treating. Your costumes and pictures look just like mine do! I totally try to recreate that Halloween for my kid. We have parties (we’re planning one now!), we dress up, scary or not, it’s up to my daughter, and we trick or treat. Then I let my kid have a couple handfuls of candy and I bring the rest to work. That way, Halloween candy stays in the one day we celebrate and doesn’t become a reason for a cavity. We definitely decorate the whole house and front patio. This might have something to do with my love of fall. We have pumpkins and apple everything all month! This piece totally inspired me to write my own on piece on Halloween, so thanks!

    1. Thanks Shanna for commenting on my post. I hope that you are having a great day. Yes those were good times back in the 70’s, at least for me, life seemed so innocent and happy. Not that I am not happy now, just seems like we are overwhelmed with population and nothing is scared anymore.

  2. Mark,
    I also was a 1970’s kid (at least for 4 years) and I remember what it was like Trick or Treating in the Good Old Days. It was very different from now for sure. You painted the perfect picture of what it was like. Now things are different though but it isn’t completely bad. There are of course the scares of tampered with candy, but most is now prepackaged for safety, and the scary costumes. In my town, our church’s actually have started to embrace Halloween and have Trunk or Treat. That is where everyone decorates their trucks in a fun theme all together so the kids can come and get some candy in a safe environment. It’s a blast to be a part of.

  3. We don’t have Halloween in Europe (where I am from) although as almost any holiday that can be used as an excuse for a party, Halloween is recently being imported and celebrated as well. We do have the “All Saints’ Day”, on which people buy wreaths and candles and decorate the graves of our families, and on Halloween evening we go and light a candle there, and remember our dearly departed.

    1. Thanks for replying to my post. Memorial day is the day that is designated that we remember those who died who were in the military and our loved ones. All countries are very different when it comes to celebrating traditions and holidays. I hope that you are having a great day.

  4. I *love* your photos! Brings back so many childhood memories! We have lots of fun opportunities for kids on Halloween in my small town, it reminds me of what it used to be like.

    1. Thanks for commenting on my post. As I look back on those years they were some of the best (at least to me). Hope you are having a great day!

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