I am writing in response to the Nov. 7 letter by Wayne Moore, Halloween improper for Christians to celebrate.
Halloween is indeed a pagan holiday. Contrary to his letter, it is still called Samhain (pronounced Sah-Win).
In ancient times Samhain was, and still is, believed to be the time of the year when the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead is at its thinnest and anything is possible. Our ancestors could return to visit and to give help and advice. Samhain celebrates the final harvest of the year. It is also the celebration of the Celtic new year.
In our home, we ready the family altar with pictures of loved ones who have passed on from this life. We gather around telling stories that celebrate the lives our ancestors led. Also contained on the altar are seasonal grains, flowers, and fruits as reminders of the blessings granted to us by the Goddess.
There is absolutely nothing about Samhain that is evil, except the lies and misconceptions perpetrated by the church. The church, during its attempt to spread Christianity throughout the world, initiated these misconceptions by demonizing both the holiday and all pagan beliefs.
True, the Catholic Church did attempt to Christianize Samhain by establishing Nov. 1 as All Saints Day. However, this was not the only pagan holiday that was altered. Christmas and Easter contain at least some if not most pagan rituals and symbolism. For example, Christmas is the Christianized Yule celebration, or mid-winter solstice. The colors of the holiday are green and red. The Yule log, holly trees and berries, and mistletoe are among the aspects of the holiday that are contained within the Christian holiday.
Eostar is the celebration of the spring equinox. Rabbits and dyed and decorated eggs are symbols used for the Christian holiday Easter. These symbols have always been a part of the pagan celebration of rebirth.
I hope this information has helped to shed light on the celebrations of pagan holidays, Samhain in particular. In the name of the Goddess, blessed be.
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