Halloween as a Religious Holiday? You Better Believe It, ...
Posted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:39 am
Read more here: http://bigthink.com/ideas/24563Halloween as a Religious Holiday? You Better Believe It, Soldier
For most of us, Halloween is a kids’ celebration. Or perhaps it’s a chance for adults to play dress-up and to trot out the interminable sexy-maid or Elvis costumes.
But for a growing population of Americans, the holiday is returning to its Celtic and pre-Christian roots. That isn’t happening just within the New Age bastions of San Francisco and Los Angeles. If you want to watch the night of goblins and ghosties morph into a serious and historically grounded religious observance, look no further than the U.S. military.
Before Christianity became ascendant in the West, Halloween—more traditionally called by its Celtic name, Samhain (pronounced swain)—marked a seasonal change and a time to honor the spirits of departed relatives. Thanks to the growing numbers of modern U.S. soldiers who practice Wicca, Neopaganism, and other nature-based traditions, Halloween is recognized as a religious festival in the military, and is probably in line to become the nation’s next major faith-based holiday.