The claim is now circulating that money spent on observing Halloween is second only to that spent on celebrating Christmas.
Actually, all popular holidays are now commercialized. Money is driving this artificial popularity. Without holiday advertising, retail profits would plummet.
But as it is, lots of people spend lots of money on holidays.
For Halloween, mega-bucks are spent on candy, costumes, carnivals, decorations, booze and extravagant high-tech haunted houses.
MSN Money reports (9/15/09), "Halloween is now, behind Christmas, the second biggest retail holiday in America. Americans are expected to spend over $7 billion this year on costumes, candy, attending parties and much more. Over the past three years, the popularity of Halloween has tripled …"
Of all the holidays in the Western world, Halloween—a holiday that celebrates nothing positive or noble—is having the greatest increase in popularity!
Surge in adult partying and masquerading!
Adult partying on Halloween has been rapidly increasing since the 1980's.
Halloween is now the third biggest adult party day of the year—behind only New Year's Eve and Super Bowl Sunday. Money spent on adult costumes may now be surpassing money spent on children's costumes!
For decades, adult partying on Halloween has been popular among those who actively subscribe to in the gay lifestyle. One participant, in an online article titled "Halloween: The Great Gay Holiday" says "Halloween's appeal to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered communities … has a lot to do with … our propensity for cross-dressing and gender-bending… and our special capacity to have fun. [We] cherish it…" (posted October 27, 2008, The Bilerico Project).
The origin of Halloween
The ancient Celts regarded November 1 as the start of a new year, also as an annual holiday called Samhain.
October 31 was New Year's Eve! That night was considered the night of the dead, when spirits of the wicked dead were believed to haunt the living. People would leave offerings of food and drink at their front doors to appease the unfriendly ghosts and demons. So the origin of "trick or treat" is the pagan belief that evil spirits had the equivalent of a modern protection racket—"you give food or we break your leg!"
Church leaders adopt pagan practices
To Christianize the pagans Roman Christianity took the easy approach of relabeling pagan days and practices! They reasoned that the converts could continue observing their old ways if they used them to honor the God of the Bible. That is how many pagan days and practices acquired Christian labels!
And it is how the pagan festival Samhain came be relabeled as All Saints Day or All Hallows Day. Thus, the night before became All Hallows Even, later contracted to Hallowe'en—and is now just Halloween. Its purpose was to placate the not-so-hallowed spirits—the demonic or evil spirits. That is why a witch's costume is so popular for Halloween evening.
Does it matter to God?
To those who don't consider what God thinks, the origins of Halloween would probably seem irrelevant. What would matter most to them is, "Is it fun?"
But for those who believe in God's Word it's a different story! The Bible says specifically that God detests pagan religious customs (Galatians 4:8-10).
According to the Bible our ultimate destiny depends on pleasing God. And the only real authority on what pleases God is the Bible.
God's Holy Days rather than unholy holidays
Four of God's festivals that God originally gave Old Testament Israel and were kept by Jesus Christ, Paul and the early Church occur in the fall.
These special festivals that have been observed by God's people down through the ages—including members of the United Church of God—are the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day.
God designated these deeply meaningful days to teach important truths about His great master plan as well as for worshipping and enjoying fellowship and wholesome activities with other likeminded believers.
The Day of Atonement pictures, among other things, the momentous time when Christ will remove the worldwide influence of the real evil spirits—Satan and the demons (Revelation 12:9; 18:2; 20:1-3).
We sincerely hope that in the very near future you and your children will learn more about God's Holy Days and begin observing them rather than Halloween and other days of pagan origin that are of no value for teaching spiritual truths.
To get started in that learning process, simply request, download or read online our free, highly informative booklets: Holiday or Holy Days: Does It Matter Which Days We Observe? and Is There Really a Devil?