Holiday Has-Been MAG

By David P., Franklin, MA

     Halloween does not deserve to be called a holiday. “Holiday” means “holy day,” but Halloween does not fit this definition. It has deteriorated into a candy fest and a costume-celebrating commercial event, an excuse for money-hungry marketers to sell over three billion dollars worth of merchandise every year.

Halloween began as the ancient Celtic festival Samhain, pronounced sow-en and meaning “summer’s end.” Samhain marked the Celtic new year and was celebrated on October 31. It was believed that on this day the souls of the dead wandered the earth looking for bodies to possess for the coming year. The priest would light a bonfire in the middle of the village to thank the sun god for the harvest and to repel the evil spirits. The villagers would then proceed from their homes to the bonfire, dressing as monsters and being as destructive as they could in order to ward off the spirits.

In the early 600’s, Pope Boniface IV was trying to spread Christianity to pagan people. Since he could not stop them from celebrating Samhain, he put a Christian spin on it by moving All Saints Day (a.k.a. “All Hallow’s”) from November 2 to November 1. October 31 then was referred to as “All Hallow’s Eve,” which has become our “Halloween.”

Today, Halloween makes us think of costumes and candy more than its pagan and Christian roots. The typical buyer is projected by the National Retail Federation to spend almost $50 on Halloween decorations, candy, and costumes. It has degenerated into nothing more than a commercial event: just an excuse to buy stuff in-between real holidays.



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This article has 35 comments.


on Dec. 4 2015 at 9:48 pm
ColdplayForever BRONZE, San Jose, California
1 article 0 photos 62 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Coldplay fans are the best in the world. If you like Coldplay, then you're obviously very intelligent, good-looking, and all-around brilliant."
~Chris Martin

I think you make a good point, but as times change, the way we celebrate holidays changes as well. And it is referred to as a "holiday", but no one actually gets off of school or work on Halloween, unlike, suppose, MLK Jr. day. So technically, it's not a "holiday" holiday. Very well written and researched, though, good job. :)

on Nov. 1 2013 at 6:17 pm
Good for you! I agree and our family doesn't celebrate Halloween. It's a pretty evil and creepy holiday. Keep expressing your opinion!

on Sep. 11 2013 at 6:31 pm
Equestrainlife SILVER, Killen, Alabama
5 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
Not all who wander are lost

Is it just me, or does anyone else not worship the sun god, dance destructively about a bonfire, clothed in a monsterous costume in hope that I'm not possesed by a dead mans soul? Didn't think so. Halloween is simply a 'reanaction' of a dead holiday. But I mean really, whats the point of things like valentines day? Don't we spend money there too? We're going to spend money and buisnesses are going to continue to make money regardless of what we celebrate.

on Aug. 30 2013 at 6:20 pm
another_sky PLATINUM, Dallas, Texas
31 articles 8 photos 22 comments

Favorite Quote:
“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
― Haruki Murakami

pagan five!

on Aug. 30 2013 at 6:20 pm
another_sky PLATINUM, Dallas, Texas
31 articles 8 photos 22 comments

Favorite Quote:
“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
― Haruki Murakami

Easter was Ostara 

on Aug. 30 2013 at 6:19 pm
another_sky PLATINUM, Dallas, Texas
31 articles 8 photos 22 comments

Favorite Quote:
“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
― Haruki Murakami

Having pagan roots is nothing to frown upon. Christianity got the holy trinity idea from the Celtics and their tripple goddess.

on Aug. 30 2013 at 6:17 pm
another_sky PLATINUM, Dallas, Texas
31 articles 8 photos 22 comments

Favorite Quote:
“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
― Haruki Murakami

Christmas was moved too to cover Yule. Another Pagan holiday.

on Aug. 30 2013 at 6:17 pm
another_sky PLATINUM, Dallas, Texas
31 articles 8 photos 22 comments

Favorite Quote:
“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
― Haruki Murakami

I love this!!! Its so nice to see someone who believes in know the history of the holidays like I do!

on Mar. 19 2013 at 4:06 pm
TargonTheDragon GOLD, Ofallon, Missouri
15 articles 16 photos 292 comments

Favorite Quote:
First dentistry was painless.
Then bicycles were chainless,
Carriages were horseless,
And many laws enforceless.

Next cookery was fireless,
Telegraphy was wireless,
Cigars were nicotineless,
And coffee caffeineless.

Soon oranges were seedless,
The putting green was weedless,
The college boy was hatless,
The proper diet fatless.

New motor roads are dustless,
The latest steel is rustless,
Our tennis courts are sodless,
Our new religion — godless.

i dont think its a problem to celebrate holidays, even if you play along with your communities traditions, as long as you realize and dont take for granted the purpose of the holiday.

on Dec. 31 2011 at 11:25 am
NobodyYouKnow BRONZE, Princeton, Massachusetts
3 articles 2 photos 32 comments
You are making a good point on your article. But I think that the spiritual vs. cultural components to celebrations of most holidays have changed over the years. Just the same way as the meaning of the word "holiday"has. Many modern celebratory days do not have religious components. If you ask me, language is like a limestone statue that sits out in the rain. After a few centuries, bits of it take a completely different form than they had to begin with.

ellie315 GOLD said...
on Aug. 25 2011 at 11:39 pm
ellie315 GOLD, South Pasadena, California
10 articles 0 photos 86 comments

Favorite Quote:
"And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything." -- William Shakespeare

Although I really enjoyed reading this - I do think that Halloween is a holiday. It may be manipulated, just like Christmas was manipulated from originally celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ to a day about Santa Claus and presents. The magic of Christmas is no longer the love of God and the miracle of Jesus, but about how a jolly fat man can visit every house in the world all in one night delivering presents. But it is still a holiday none the less. I agree that Halloween has much deviated from it's original meaning and celebration, but that doesn't mean it no longer has any historic or anthropologic meaning and significance. 

Katie1234 GOLD said...
on Aug. 25 2011 at 7:58 pm
Katie1234 GOLD, Velva, North Dakota
10 articles 0 photos 77 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When life becomes more than you can stand; fall to your knees"
"To be normal is to be boring."
"You cannot make men good by law."
"Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God because He said so."
"To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you."

With all due respect, this is slightly ridiculous. All holidays have some sort of past that could frowned upon. It shouldn't be about how everybody else is celebrating, but how you are. I don't really celebrate Halloween all that much. I dress up with friends if I feel like it, and give candy to the kids. I use it as a way to share the Gospel. How many others celebrate it that way? I really don't care. Holidays are mostly a personal thing.

paige14 GOLD said...
on Aug. 19 2011 at 10:54 pm
paige14 GOLD, Portsmouth, Ohio
17 articles 0 photos 50 comments

Favorite Quote:
Say what you need to say--John Mayer

What about Christmas: decorations/tree/ornaments/Santa/presents/cards/food?

What about Easter: baskets/candy/eggs/Easter Bunny/presents/food?

What about Thanksgiving: pretty much just food?

What about President's Day/Memorial Day/MLK Jr. Day/All those other holidays we get a day off school for: Sleep and homework we didn't do?

What about Labor Day and all the holidays we don't even get off school for?


on Jul. 28 2011 at 6:37 pm
andromeda13 SILVER, Barrie, Other
8 articles 0 photos 174 comments
anyway i like the article even if i don't fully agree with it ****

on Jul. 28 2011 at 6:36 pm
andromeda13 SILVER, Barrie, Other
8 articles 0 photos 174 comments
thats what i was just thinking. you could pretty much say the same for all the holidays. i don't know why everyone chooses too pick on Hollowe'en. i've seen so many articles like this. 

rockyraccoon said...
on Jun. 26 2011 at 3:52 am
rockyraccoon, Fort Wayne, Indiana
0 articles 0 photos 54 comments

Favorite Quote:
today tommorow next month next year all look remarkably gray.

you due realize the same could be said for almost all holidays i celebrate candy on halloween family on christmas and chocalte bunnys on easter and thanksgiving is not realy holy at all.

Sythan BRONZE said...
on Jun. 5 2011 at 2:12 pm
Sythan BRONZE, Livermore, California
1 article 0 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Do not fear to blister if you live a life in flame"

Christmas and Easter are both Pagan holidays as well, just so you know. It's a holiday for us Pagan people, so yeah.

Tabansi BRONZE said...
on Apr. 15 2011 at 3:59 pm
Tabansi BRONZE, JACKSON, New Jersey
2 articles 0 photos 12 comments
What about Satanists? is it not holy for them as well?

on Aug. 31 2010 at 6:45 am
Phantom_Girl GOLD, Ft. Carson, Colorado
14 articles 0 photos 279 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If it comes out of the lion's mouth...it will be on the test."
-Mr. Bala

Aside from my disagreement with your opinion, the piece is actually very well written and the research is good, but you should have gone farther with it. Then you would have found out that it is still celebrated in pagan religions.

4 out of 5 stars.


on Aug. 31 2010 at 6:40 am
Phantom_Girl GOLD, Ft. Carson, Colorado
14 articles 0 photos 279 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If it comes out of the lion's mouth...it will be on the test."
-Mr. Bala

Halloween is still Samhain for some. It's a sabbat for the Wiccan religion. That means it IS a holy day, and therefore, a holdiay.


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