It’s hard to believe that it’s Halloween again already. I guess that’s one of the joys of getting older – time seems to fly when you’re having fun! Yes, getting older is fun! You get to sit around a lot and reflect on all kinds of crazy things. No pressure, no stress. I really enjoy being retired and being older. As the old saying goes, wisdom seems to come with age and I seem to have gained some wisdom finally.
Halloween is one of my most favorite holidays, not because of the celebration that we use on Halloween. Rather, it’s the contradiction between what Halloween really is and what it has become due to its “Christianization.” Halloween is the Christian rasterization of the ancient druidic holiday that celebrated the dead. As my son Michael just reminded me, it was also the celebration of the harvest. In traditional agrarian cultures, late fall was time to celebrate the end of the harvest and the preparations for winter. Days are getting shorter and shorter as we approach the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, the dying of the light.
The dying of the light is what Christianity took over from the old druidic holiday of fall. The Light of Christianity is Jesus. To me, it is surprising that Christianity does not celebrate Easter in the fall, but rather in the spring. This is one of the few Christian holidays that still holds true to the old Judaic traditions that Jesus came to fulfill. According to Scripture, Jesus was crucified just before Passover. Passover occurs in the spring. Passover involves the slaughter of a lamb paint the blood on the door frame. Jesus is the Lamb of God. Jesus is the fulfillment of the old testament Covenant. Jesus never intended to start a new religion. The quotes about Peter being the Rock on which Jesus would build his church is a bunch of bull crap. That is a later redaction of what Jesus probably really sad.
I intend to talk about the whole idea of Christianity adopting pagan customs in order to make Christianity more palatable to the pagans, for the lack of a better word, in my Christian Heresiology blog. I just wanted to touch on it a bit here in terms of Halloween. By the way, the technical term for this adoption of older customs in a newer cultural system is called syncretism, a term I learned in my cultural anthropology studies and one that is quite appropriate when doing a history of Christian theology, which is my main source of reflection these days.