5 Halloween Myths That Cost Everyone Money
Myth 4: Halloween is linked to the devil
Halloween spending would be a lot greater if large swaths of the population didn't think the holiday was pure evil.
Eternal damnation is a strong spending deterrent, but linking Halloween to Satan or any other supreme evil being in any form other than costume is a fundamental misunderstanding of the holiday's origins -- not to mention a vast overestimate of the spiritual power of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and plastic Jack 'O' Lantern buckets.Halloween traces its roots back to the harvest celebration of Samhain first celebrated in Celtic countries. Samhain marked the end of the summer, the reaping of that year's crop and a remembrance of the dead. By the Ninth Century, however, Pope Gregory IV saw fit to plant Christianity's All Hallows' Eve, All Hallows' Day (All Saints Day) and All Souls Day around the Nov. 1 date once occupied solely by Samhain. As yet another step in the uneasy marriage of Celtic and Christian tradition, modern Ireland, Scotland, Mann and Wales celebrated Samhain with "mumming and guising" as early as the 16th century. That tradition involved people going house-to-house in disguise reciting poems and song in exchange for food. In England, meanwhile, the practice of "souling" began in the 15th Century and involved baking "soul cakes" and sharing them with the poor who went door to door collecting them. To this day in countries including Italy, France, Mexico and Spain, the days surrounding what is known here as Halloween are still dedicated primarily to remembering the dead and are marked with the visiting and decoration of relatives' graves. Even in the U.S., Dia De Los Muertos celebrations are focused on remembering those who have died. In fact, the only folks who really had a problem with Halloween, until recently, were the Puritans. The influx of Irish and Scottish immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries brought Halloween into mainstream consciousness and began the celebration that we know today. There are still outliers who consider it "Satan's Birthday" -- though Satan isn't mortal and predated our current calendar by a long stretch -- and spread rumors such as those published on Alex Jones' conspiracy website InfoWars, which claims that Satanic groups in the U.S. breed children to sacrifice on Halloween. That the Church of Satan felt compelled to dispel that claim only further suggests that those boycotting Halloween and its sweet rewards as an affront to Christianity remain blissfully ignorant of the holiday's Christian past and present.
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