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The Pagan History of Halloween

Why would a kid not be allowed to trick-or-treat?

For most families, Halloween is a holiday all about sugary treats, costumes and fun.

Other parents feel compelled to hold their kids back from trick-or-treating.

The religious affiliation of many of these families conflict with Halloween, which in its inception, was a pagan holiday.

Halloween, known in ancient times as Samhain, was originally a Celtic harvest festival that may date back as far as 2,000 years. The people of rural Ireland would light bonfires to ward off evil spirits, according to History.com.

The tradition of creating Jack-o-lanterns, for instance, came about because of the Irish legend of Stingy Jack, who made a deal with the devil so he could buy a drink.

Wanting to tap into the holiday to attract worshipers of his own, Pope Gregory III in the Eighth Century established All Saints’ Day to be observed the day after Samhain. It incorporated many of the same traditions.

The influx of Irish immigrants during the potato famine of the mid-19th century began the popularization of the holiday in the U.S.

The History Channel says the holiday evolved into secular celebration, but for many it is still a pagan holiday.

Bed-Stuy Patch did a poll of their readers in which 19 percent said Americans should not celebrate it because “it has occult origins and morbid overtones.”

What do you think? Tell us in the comments section.

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