Halloween symbolizes the de-Catholicism of the Western World. It typifies a phenomenon of the Anglo-Saxon world in which Catholic feasts, especially Christmas and Easter, became paganized. Christmas is associated with Santa Claus and Christmas trees, while Easter has its rabbits and new outfits. The departure from Christianity is most noteworthy in the time period from 1941 to the 1980's when the organized TV networks presented all Easter shows with non-Christian events or pagan symbols.
Halloween is even worse, thanks in large measure to the Protestant revolt of the 16th Century. On October 31st, 1517, the Vigil of the Feast of All Saints, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the Church door of the Castle of Wittenberg, Germany. This was the birthday of Protestantism. Protestant = to protest.
Martin Luther dropped the Feast of All Saints because he denied the right of the Church to give absolution from sin in the name of Christ. He denied the veneration of saints and called it superstition. It became a day of mockery of the saints. Both Luther and John Calvin (the genius behind Protestantism) declared, "There are no saints in heaven." Pope Leo X condemned Luther 3 years later, but by 1546, Luther's death, one third of Europe was lost to the Catholic Church.
The English language is not a vehicle for Catholicism, as we will see in the name, "Halloween," which, in a religious context, is almost a blasphemy of All Hallows E'en. "Hallows" is Old English for saints. "E'en" is an abbreviation for evening or the vigil before the feast, so "All Hallows E'en" means "All Saints Evening." It is the Vigil of All Hallows Mass, November 1st, a feast observed by Roman Catholics.
Pope Gregory III assigned this day when he consecrated a chapel in St. Peter's Basilica. His successor extended the feast to the whole Church. By the end of the Middle Ages, the celebration of All Hallows Eve was an established part of the Roman Catholic Church. After the Protestant Revolt, the Protestants rejected the Vigil of All Saints, Christmas and Easter. Where these feasts returned, it was because of the Catholic Church.
Students of folklore believe that the non-Christian customs of Halloween precede the origins of Christianity. They believe the day originated from the Harvest Festival in Rome for the goddess Pomona, and in Germany, Scotland and Ireland for duodism. Their belief was founded upon the pre-Christian pagan symbols of witches, black cats and skeletons, along with traditional nuts and apples, which were used for this feast.
With the feasts of All Saints on November 1 and All Souls on November 2, the Church celebrates the "harvest," the heavenly harvest of souls. The Church was "quite" successful in replacing the pagan with the Christian.
However, North of the Alps (that is, Germany, some parts of Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, England, Scotland, Whales, and Ireland) the missionary effort had not been as effective as in the Mediterranean or African worlds. We see that in 325 AD, the first general council of the Church, the Council of Nicea, condemned the heresies of Arius who denied Christ's divinity. A sizable minority of bishops retracted their rejection of Arius by retaining Arian teachings in their territories. These bishops were from the northern countries noted above. The most devastating heresies have come from these countries. The Irish even became militant in their heresies.
When Henry VIII suppressed Catholicism under persecution in England, hidden paganism began to arise. Spirits of the departed were said to visit their relatives to seek warmth and good cheer as winter approached. Threshing and food preparation for the winter season became the focus of attention. In England, Ireland, Scotland, Whales and the Shetland Islands bonfires on hilltops were lit on the evening of October 31st. Halloween games were played, including divination by pulling kale, throwing a shoe over the house, and placing stones and nuts in the fire. The church porch was considered a reliable place to learn future events.
The pagan practices, then, began in Great Britain, spread to Ireland and then to the United States.
Pranks and tricks centered in Britain, the once largest empire in history. Immigrants to the United States from English-dominated countries brought the pagan practices that have been in vogue since the time of Christ.
Halloween is a return of unqualified paganism to lands and cultures where Protestantism has de-Catholicized nations and removed the clearest sign of a Catholic mentality: the veneration of the saints.
All Saints Day commemorates all those who have reached heaven, not just canonized saints.
November 2 remembers all the souls who are still suffering in purgatory.
Our responsibility is to restore All Hallows Eve to its Catholic place on the Church's calendar.
Know the saints.
Read one small book on the saints.
Promote their writings.
Know what they have to say.
Publicize the lives of the saints.