October 20, 2009
Halloween is approaching, and with it comes assertions that it, and the following All Saints’ Day, are satanic holidays. One belief commonly held is that covens of witches invite the devil into their midst on this night, among others. I’ve seen this and other allegations made by people opposed to celebrating any feasts other than the Jewish feasts of the Old Testament. What do you think about these allegations of Halloween being satanic?
1. A lot of Christians don’t “celebrate” Halloween. All Saints’ has standing as a separate commemoration altogether, since Nov. 1 wasn’t even the original celebration date. No Christian church actually recognizes Halloween as a holiday.
2. Most modern practicioners of witchcraft have no belief in a devil. Whatever one may think of their practices, any information should be accurate.
3. It’s always seemed to me that expecting Christians to reject most holidays, but still observe the feasts designated for the Jewish people alone is very legalistic, not to mention inconsistant.
There are additional points to be made, but this is for starters.
December 24, 2008
The Scots have many customs surrounding the celebration of Hogmanay. The redding, or getting ready for the New Year is done by cleaning the entire house and making it spotless. It’s considered bad luck to welcome in the New Year in a home that’s not clean and tidy. Customs for good luck include placing pieces of a Rowan tree above a door, putting mistletoe in the house to prevent sickness, holly kept out annoying little fairies out to cause mischief, and yew and hazel were believed to protect everyone who lived in the house. Finally, juniper is burned. then the doors are opened to get fresh air into the house. It’s then ready for the New Year.
New Year’s Bells signify the beginning of the New Year, when people gather together and sing Auld Lang Syne. In Scotland, they go visiting friends and family, and always bring a bottle of “cheer” to toast the New Year. In Aberdeen, the boats in the harbor and on the North Sea sound their horns, and can be heard far and wide.
If company arrives before the bells chime at midnight, they must leave until the chimes have finished to prevent bad luck. At the last stroke of midnight, the back door of the house is opened to let out any bad luck, and the front door is opened to bring in good luck. The custom of making New Year’s Resolutions came from the Scots, and may have started in Victorian times. Although some resolutions are frivolous, something like a resolution to find ways to help others is a meaningful way to start off the New Year.