Vatican: Halloween’s roots in Catholic tradition


Vatican: Halloween's roots in Catholic tradition
A man in a Halloween costume resembling the Joker. Photo\Reuters

Halloween has for years been a popular holiday particularly in the Western world.

Spooky costumes are the order of the night as the children go from door to door in a tradition known as trick or treat.

However, what many do not know is the origin of Halloween and why it is commemorated every year.

”While some people have connected Halloween to earlier pagan celebrations of the new year, Halloween actually has significant Catholic roots,” Vatican news said on Friday.

According to Dr. Marcel Brown of the Alcuin Institute for Catholic Culture in Tulsa,  the word its self is derived from ‘hallows’ meaning holy and ‘een’ meaning evening.

For the Catholic faithful, it is known as All Hallow’s Eve, a celebration to remember those who died.

It precedes another celebration on November 2 that commemorates those who died but are still in purgatory (a place where Catholics believe the dead go to suffer for their sins before they are allowed into heaven).

The ghostliness associated with the holiday also has its roots in the church.

”(They) are supposed to be reminders of death and of the last days,” Dr Brown added.

He further averred that the celebration should be an opportunity to reflect on the realities of death and judgement.

The researcher notes that the idea of Halloween is chose to live our lives today knowing that choices made now have a serious impact on how our death and judgement will be.

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Story By Duncan Mutwiri
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