The dramatic shift from a day of paganism and occult to a day of holiness and Christianity is not a coincidence on the liturgical calendar, but was planned by the Church. In fact, All Saints Day was purposely switched from May to November 1st to show the victory of Christ and Christianity over Satan and paganism.
Samhein, the ancient Druid feast. Celebrated the changing of the seasons from Fall to Winter. In it, a celebration was given to the ancient gods for a good harvest and a safe winter. During this period, it was thought that the portals between the temporal plane and supernatural plane overlapped, allowing the communication with the dead.
This led to many occultic rituals and the celebration of many pagan traditions. Many of these traditions dealt with warding off evil spirits, communicating with the dead, and offering sacrifice to the old gods. To combat this, the Church looked to show the people the victory of Christ over Satan and Christianized the day to All Hallows Eve to be followed by All Saints Day
To this day though, the neo pagan movement and occult celebrates Halloween with all of its rituals and sacred pagan beliefs. While secular society may trick or treat and dress up, the day has a sinister history and deep meaning to those in the occult. Many innocent traditions, such as bobbing for apples, or carving a pumpkin all have ancient meanings that predate Christianity and the faith.
Christians can still partake in Halloween from a secular view, but they need to avoid any of the divinizations, or practices of spiritualism that can dominate the feast, even if in jest or fun. It is important to avoid Ouija boards, as well as tarot cards and to remain vigilant to one’s faith.
In fact, the remembrance of the saints can still be portrayed on Halloween during trick or treat with various Christian themed costumes that remember, God, Mary, and the saints.
The following day, or All Saints Day, portrays the ultimate victory of God and his saints over Satan and paganism. It celebrates the holiness of the saints and how we are all called to that holiness to emulate them and imitate them in their lives.
In doing, so the Western Church has made November 1st a holy day of obligation for Western Catholics to jointly affirm the victory of Christ over Satan and the celebration of holiness found in his saints.
If you would like to learn more about All Saints Day, please take the time to study the deep and rich history of the day. Also, please review the Christian Spiritual Counseling Program offered at AIHCP and see if it matches your academic and professional needs.