Every October 31st, the Western Christian world celebrates Halloween, sometimes known as "Hallow Eve" In the United States, Halloween is the country's second-largest celebration after Christmas.
So you ask, do the Amish celebrate Halloween?
No. The Amish don't celebrate Halloween as Halloween goes against Amish religious beliefs.
Halloween History Timeline
Halloween is observed as a secular day around the world, but most notably in the west. The custom started mainly in Europe, more precisely in Ireland.
During the Celtic Pagan celebration of Samhain, locals observed centuries-old practices such as lighting bonfires and donning strange clothes in order to trick outside world beings, notably ghosts, as winter approached.
Natural human migration patterns, such as those prompted by the discovery of new lands in the Americas, brought with them a corresponding wave of societal consciousness and shared values, which in turn fueled a wave of cultural diffusion.
With their religion and lives centered on the seasons, the Druids conducted an annual celebration to their gods, complete with blazing bonfires, in the hope that the sun would reappear to warm the soil the next year and usher in a new season.
People would dance by the fire to ward off evil spirits since they believed that the dead came to life on this particular night and wandered the earth.
It was common for these spirits to prank and fool humans as they roamed the world. Others speculated that these ghosts were hunting for a new home where they might reside once more.
To frustrate these spirits, individuals dressed up in eerie costumes, convincing the roaming spirits that they, too, were looking for a home and so would avoid possessing them.
It was a good night to meet the deceased and cast charms. Occasionally, crops were destroyed, animals were killed, and some believe human sacrifices were undertaken as well.
Americans' fondness for the notion of the melting pot can be tied to the Irish. And their deep ties to Celtic religious practices and rituals have been deeply established not just in the United States culture but have had a global impact thanks to the impact of Christianity on them.
Most people in the modern world associate the traditional American and European holiday traditions of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and other similar celebrations with modern-day America.
Traditionally, the festival is observed as a night during which children walk door to door singing 'trick or treat.' In any case, you are more likely to be pranked if you give them something to look forward to, like candy or some other little gift.
Is it a tradition in the Amish community, as well as in the United States, Britain, and other countries?
Do the Amish do Halloween?
Amish people do not celebrate Halloween, despite reports that several Amish children have been spotted trick-or-treating in various villages.
Some may decorate their homes with pumpkins for Halloween, but the Amish have no tradition of making Jack-o-Lanterns.
Their opposition to this particular celebration stems directly from the Bible. It is clear to the Amish people that this night originates in paganism and satanic background; thus, they refuse to participate.
Anything connected with witchcraft, especially if disguised as 'fun,' should be avoided. It is an abomination in the eyes of God, and the Amish cannot describe it any differently.
Consequently, there are no alternative celebrations for the Amish on October 31st. They believe that Halloween is the closest most people will come to practicing witchcraft without truly engaging in the dark powers.
They think that since they are forbidden to touch anything filthy, how can they play on the edges of witchcraft, which God has deemed unclean? Briefly summarized, when someone engages in a tiny bit of fire-playing for the sake of 'fun,' they are still likely to be burnt.
By being clean and unblemished in the eyes of the world, the Amishman keeps clear of spiritual peril.
Why are Halloween Celebrations Frowned upon by Some Religious groups?
National Retail Federation (NRF) reported that about 42% of Americans did not have plans for Halloween in 2021; however, not everyone was foregoing the festival during the pandemic for religious reasons.
Given the origins of Halloween and the way the modern-day event is observed, some religions forbid their followers from participating in it.
Although most non-Orthodox American Jews participate in Halloween's non-religious celebrations, halacha forbids Jewish observance in the festival.
Owing to Halloween's Christian and pagan roots, it is regarded as a gentile feast, and celebrating it would be against the Jewish Torah.
Likewise, "From an Islamic perspective, Halloween is a heinous festival owing to its history and development." It is Haraam (prohibited by law) to engage in such conduct, even if it has some ostensibly positive or innocuous elements.
While the Christian foundations of Halloween are a source of contention for Muslims and Jews, Christian believers have other justifications to foregoing the holiday.
Instead of celebrating Halloween, most church districts hold fall or harvest festivals. These religious groups, particularly those with growing numbers of young families, are divided on whether or not to observe Halloween.
Those who want to observe Halloween in any of these contexts do so for a variety of personal, cultural, and political reasons.
Most of the time, these religious individuals find some kind of middle ground. A good Halloween celebration is possible, and whether or not you choose to do so is mostly a question of personal choice.
Just for fun?
Many parents will defend letting their children participate in Halloween festivities by pointing out that the holiday serves as an occasion to throw a party and have a little fun with their kids.
They would argue that they do not have a problem with wearing costumes for a holiday as long as their children are having fun. What is the big deal about 'trick or treat?'
They see nothing inappropriate with dressing up and having fun while at it. However, the foundations of this specific 'just for fun are based on witchcraft and the occult.
Children often wear horrific costumes that portray imagery of the devil, the dead, and ghosts. In reality, this is little more than a guise of 'fun' for witchcraft. Do parents truly wish for their children to be part of such activities?
Jack o' Lanterns/Pumpkin Lanterns
The folklore surrounding the history of the lantern made from a pumpkin (initially) has something to do with both the 'ghouls' and the devil.
According to the folk tale, an Irishman named Jack was believed to be a cruel and disagreeable character who resided in the country.
Despite his fondness for pranks, one day, he succeeded in duping the devil into accepting that he would not be taken to hell in the event of his death.
After his death, St. Peter denied him admittance to paradise because he was too cruel when he was still living. His vow to the devil was honored, and he was taken to hell and turned away.
As a result, Jack was sentenced to traverse the planet in perpetual darkness. While mourning his misfortune, the devil tossed him a hot hell fire spark, which fell on a pumpkin Jack had.
That turnip Jack served as a beacon for him as he roamed the planet till the end of eternity. Since then, youngsters have cut rudimentary face designs into pumpkins and illuminated them with candlelight.
The spirits of the departed were traditionally represented by a Jack o' lantern carried by Catholic children on October 31st.
Halloween Celebration in the Modern World
The history of Halloween, from its ancient roots to its more recent neo-pagan incarnations, is being reimagined and disseminated in the internet age.
Following the industrial and economic revolutions, cultural traditions became commodities and morphed into pop culture. Changing paradigms founded on narratives have affected American mythology.
The notion of our country is the melting pot and the land of opportunity because people are being misled and deceived by a few pioneers and squandering their hourly paychecks without knowing the goals of the capitalistic system, which they have established through media frenzy.
One may be forgiven for believing that Halloween has lost its macabre or diabolical associations in modern times.
However, others believe this is an especially good time to pursue the black arts. It is still common for covens to gather under cover of night, for livestock sacrifices to be performed, and for fortune reading to be performed.
Furthermore, in certain areas of the world, like the United Kingdom, Halloween is still referred to as "witching night."
Some of the older customs have persisted into the modern day as well. There are still people who wear costumes depicting the devils and spirits of mortality; they still prank others because the spirits were thought to have been in the old times; they still light lanterns.
The Church's Position on Halloween Celebration
Some churches have a strict policy of not celebrating Halloween at all.
Others are okay with it, even though they do not participate in the celebration.
Yet others will plan and host 'alternative Halloween' functions to divert their children's attention away from the potentially dangerous Halloween activities in their neighborhood.