The Christian Origins of Halloween

bottom half of parent and child in snow white costume walking

By: Justin Rouillon

It’s that time of year when the shops have been decorated with skulls, gravestones and all things spooky, but what should a Christian response to Halloween be?

The secular version of Halloween as we know it was heavily commercialised in the early and mid 20th century, with much of the celebration having its roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced Soh-nn).

Samhain celebrated the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter, the dark time of the year that was often associated with death.  The Celts believed that at this time of year the gap between the spiritual world and the physical world would draw closer – a thin place where humans walked in two worlds, and where the ghosts of those departed would be more likely to return to.

This is where much of the modern, secular versions of Halloween come from.  But for centuries before its commercialisation, Christians observed the holy days of All Hallows (Saints) and All Souls Day on November 1 and 2.  All Hallows Eve (October 31) was reserved for the remembrance of family members who had passed away, along with prayers and fasting ahead of the feast days.

Headshot of Paul Blom, male with glasses and beard smiling
Paul Blom – Catholic Educator

Paul Blom is a Catholic educator and says that for his family, it’s a time of year for remembering the traditional Christian observances.

“November is the month set aside to remember the dead, and in a special way we are invited to remember our family and friends who have died, especially those who have passed away in the previous year.  We can also extend those thoughts in a wider sense, by remembering and thanking those that have positively influenced us in our lives.”

Paul also said that there are a number of ways that Christians can use the secular version of Halloween to remind them of the religious and spiritual meaning of the original celebrations.

“Perhaps you can remember the sacrifice of Jesus, and more importantly, his resurrection that brings heaven closer to our reality.

“Take time to pray and remember those who have played an important part in your life’s journey, and who have formed you into the person you are today.

“Find a quiet place of solitude, where you can gather treasured memories and remember those who have shown us wisdom, those who stood by us, believed in you or encouraged your faith.”

Article supplied with thanks to 96five.

Photo by: Haley Phelps on Unsplash

Digital Leadership Summit – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane this July

cars driving over a pedestrian crossing that has the word IMMINENT on it

by Kim Wilkinson

Take a courageous step towards the future with Imminent Leadership Summit – a one day learning experience on innovation, digital, brand, and engagement.

Join peers and leading practitioners for IMMINENT – a collective learning environment with robust discussions, case studies and practical next steps through the lenses of church, media, social justice, not-for-profits and education.

The focus is both the immediate and future actions needed in the spaces of digital, brand, engagement and innovation.

This one day summit will be held in the following cities:

Brisbane – Monday 11th July – 10am to 4pm

Melbourne – Tuesday 12th July – 10am to 4pm

Sydney – Thursday 14th July – 10am to 4pm

IMMINENT  will provide you and your team with a roadmap to be pro-active and innovative, presenting solid answers to these (and more) questions:

  • How can I lead and cultivate innovation in my context?
  • What do I need to consider so as to engage with technology wisely?
  • Who is my brand? (and why does it matter)
  • Post-lockdowns… what is the future intersection for virtual and face-to-face?
  • What is Web 3.0? And do I need to engage with NFTs, Blockchain andCrypto?
  • What are the ethical implications and moral choices likely to arise in aWeb3 world?
  • What does research tell us about the future for engagement, community development and donor retention?
  • How have the rules of engagement changed – and how do I play?…. And more.

Find out more and register online now – Imminent Leadership Summit

Headshot of all the speakers at Imminent Summit


Guest speakers and conversation hosts include:

Nils Smith
Chief Strategist Social Media + Innovation

Richenda Vermeulen
Founder and CEO, ntegrity (Panel – Melbourne only)

Dave Adamson – aka Aussie Dave
Digital Strategist, Author and Speaker

Sam Valich
Senior Director of Global Brand at Compassion

Stuart Cranney
Director of Innovation, CV Global

Joshua Crowther
Executive Director, Dunham+Company Australia

So, bring yourself and your team members as together we’ll seek to provide answers you can start using tomorrow.

Article thanks to Christian Media and Arts Australia