This weekend is the Halloween or All Hallow’s Eve, All Saints Day, and Dia de los Muertos celebrations. Friday saw the celebration begin at school with the spooky sounds of a haunted house sound track playing on the intercom at the beginning of the day and students arriving in costumes that varied from a boy dressed as a girl, to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, to a pumpkin headed scarecrow. During the day, I shared about the Mexican celebration of Dia de los Muertos. Tonight, I saw all kinds of costumes on adults and even babies. So, what is this celebration?
Halloween comes fro m All Hallow’s Evening. It is a Catholic celebration that has been blended with many other beliefs. In Mexico it blended with the Aztec belief that the dead would come back and roam the streets for a month on end. It wasn’t a scary morbid time because they believed that death was the reality and life was just a dream. In some ways they may have been correct. We tend to focus on life and fight for it and forget that there is an eternal value that really is more valuable than the temporary. In America, the traditions were those from the Celtic traditions of all the evil spirits would roam the night before All Saints Day. So, the turnips were carved, tricks were done and treats left out to appease the spirits.
Today, many people have no clue to the past history of Halloween. They dress up and have fun. They get candy, and give candy. They carve pumpkins and have fun and dances. They decorate their houses for the month with spiders and orange and black lights. It is almost as if the holiday starts in September. We are heading back toward the month long celebration of those who had gone on before.
What should our reaction to this be? Should we worry about death? Should we be fascinated with it? Should we fear it? No. Life is a precious gift, but death is a part of life. It is a moving from one side to another. The fear should come from not knowing where you are passing to. There are two places to spend life after death. Will you know where you are going? It is possible to know. You don’t have to wonder. If you want to know how, feel free to fill out the form at the side of the page and I’ll share more with you privately.
So whether you dress up, honor the dead, or don’t celebrate, the important thing is to know that there is life after death and you can know where you are going.