Can Christians celebrate Halloween? Sure. Can Christians participate in Halloween and not feel guilty or condemned about it? That’s where opinions and stances differ. While Halloween is known for being about demons, ghosts, and ghouls, there is more to the night than just that.
If I’m being totally transparent, we stopped participating in Halloween many years ago because we got sucked into the legalistic take on the holiday. Last year was the first year we participated in Halloween festivities in about a decade outside of Fall festivals and a few very tame events on Military posts. I wrote all about our path to NOT participate in Halloween in the post linked. We truly believed we were right….
Why Christians Can Participate In Halloween
When I was a child, you could find me dressed as a princess knocking on neighborhood doors begging for candy on Halloween. My husband was the same, except he was dressed as a superhero and not a princess. We continued that tradition with our own children until our middle was knee-high to a grasshopper.
What changed? Well, it’s complicated. My middle son had (and still does) a sensitivity to loud noises. Then we got caught up in the legalistic approach to not only Halloween but all the holidays. My husband and I felt strongly that we shouldn’t celebrate Halloween at all.
When I left legalism behind, I was able to step out and have a fun time without feeling I condemned. However, participating in Halloween again didn’t happen overnight. In fact, we again had to hit our knees and pray about it.
If you are walking the same path we were once on, let me share how we came to the conclusion that it’s okay to dress up the kids and head out and trick or treat together, carve pumpkins, and more.
Christians Can Participate In Halloween
It is prevalent for Christians to feel they can’t participate in this holiday. However, Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival Samhain in present-day Ireland where people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints. All Saint’s Day, as it would become known, eventually incorporated the traditions from Samhain. All Hallows Eve (October 31) would later become what we currently know as Halloween – trick or treating, carving pumpkins, costumes, festive gatherings, and eating sweet treats. Some would argue Halloween was inspired by the Celtic festivals, while others would argue Halloween began as a celebration to honor the saints.
There’s no denying we live in a dark world. There is crime, hate, and more happening all around us each day. So after much prayer and the Lord convicting us of legalism, we choose to forget the dark side of Halloween and focus on the positive and fun aspects while striving to be the salt and light.
Why Do Some Christians Feel You Shouldn’t Participate in Halloween
Some Christians take carving Jack-0-lanterns, costumes, and the idea of trick or treating as wicked. They believe it is a day for anyone to worship the devil and anyone who participates means they are going against God in a sense. It is considered fortune-telling, or even demonic activity.
While there are a lot of spooky events that take place around Halloween like extremely dark scare houses and evil-looking costumes, that is not all of what Halloween has to be like.
Reasons Why It Is Okay To Celebrate Halloween As A Christian
Christians Can Be A Light
Let’s take a moment and look at how Christians are light in the darkness. The Bible teaches us over and over to be the light when the world seems dark. To bring hope, love, and peace to anyone around us.
I am not saying you have to dress up in a scary costume; I mean dress up in a fun costume that your child chooses and go out and have a good time. Knock on doors saying, “trick or treat!” Put a smile on community member’s faces as your child says thank you and walks away. Kids are meant to be kids and they want to have fun. Why should we make Halloween more than that? Get out there, have some fun, make memories, and be a light in the dark world.
Avoid Certain Situations Of Halloween
I will say that there are some events and situations as a Christian that we still avoid this holiday. Like I said earlier, those extremely dark dark Haunted houses, over the top spooky costumes, and the darker aspects of Halloween are events and situations we avoid. As a Christian family, we opt to be careful and step away from that. Nothing is wrong with dressing your daughters up as princesses, superheroes and ladybugs, and your sons as cowboys, soldiers or superheroes. You will use your best judgment on how to dress and what events to take part in and what to not.
Be Generous To The Community
Even if your kids are grown, you can still turn on your porch light and greet kids from your community with a sweet treat. Be generous and show them kindness and be the light. You can also add in a scripture attached to their candy to remind them God loves them. There is nothing wrong with opening your door to kids and handing out candy to help celebrate a fun evening no matter how they are dressed. In fact, a dear friend of mine would decorate her yard with tombstones inscribed with scripture references.
Trunk Or Treat
Many churches offer trunk or treats. This is where they line cars up and fill the trunks with candy. They decorate their cars and then kids can walk down the line to get candy. You can also see a food drive where some groups make big batches of soup or sandwiches and pass out to people in the community. This is a great learning moment for your child to learn to help give back to others on Halloween by feeding families and greeting them with a smile.
Heading out to carve pumpkins or take a hayride is a great way to spend time with loved ones. Maybe you go trick or treating with your neighbors and it is a door to fellowship with new friends and old friends. I know when we went to trick or treat last year, it was such a fun experience with my kids. They loved getting their buckets full of candy, seeing friends as they passed continued on to the next house, and my husband and I just enjoyed each other’s company.
In a sense, you are taking a bit of time to fellowship with those around you and be a part of the community for a night.
Have Fun In The Kitchen
Grab your kids and head into the kitchen for some fun this fall and Halloween season! There are so many cute and creative recipes and crafts to enjoy! I am all about making memories each and every season. So if I can find a way to do that with my kids, I am on it! Here are a few of my favorite fall and Halloween recipes:
- Air Fryer Pumpkin Mummy Hand Pies
- Air Fryer Halloween Roasted Vegetables
- Air Fryer Monster Tunnel Cake
- Skeleton Vegetable Tray with Homemade Ranch Dressing
- Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker Spooky Lemonade
Ways to Really Make Halloween A God Focused Holiday
- Pray | Take the time to pray before you head out the door to your Halloween events. Ask God to guide you and allow you to be a light in the dark. Speak His words and not yours when and if He calls you to do so. Enjoy the night centered around God.
- Have Fun | Laugh, nibble on candy and enjoy the night. We are meant to enjoy life, and if you are doing nothing wrong, you shouldn’t feel guilty for enjoying trick or treating or carving pumpkins in your yard.
- Events | Find fun events you can do that are safe and fun for kids. Maybe host a party and have fun games, prizes, snacks and more that kids and adults can enjoy. Make it a family-friendly event that everyone can have fun doing that is clean and safe.
We all have a choice as to what we choose to do with our lives. We have chosen to take a step back from our previous convictions, the salt & light, and to not cast judgment on others regardless of their decision. To celebrate or not celebrate Halloween, that conviction is between them and the Lord. Let’s love each other for who we are and make the most of our lives and stop worrying about what other people are saying and doing and live for the glory and honor of God alone.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16 NRSV