A LifeWay Research study has found that a large number of Americans choose to not celebrate Halloween due to its pagan elements.
Charisma News reports that 21 percent of Americans say they try to avoid the holiday completely, while another 14 percent say they avoid the pagan elements of the holiday.
The numbers are even more pronounced when it comes to Christians. Eighteen percent of Christians say they try to avoid Halloween, while 23 percent say they try to avoid its pagan elements.
The study also found that, among Christians, Catholics were more favorably disposed toward the holiday than Protestants. Seventy-one percent of Catholics said the holiday was “all in good fun,” while only 49 percent of Protestants said the same thing.
Evangelicals are the most likely to avoid Halloween altogether (28 percent), or to avoid the pagan elements (23 percent).
Halloween traditions such as carving pumpkins and putting candles inside to illuminate them began in Europe where people put lighted candles in hollowed-out turnips (they didn’t have pumpkins) to ward off evil spirits. The tradition was carried over to America by Irish immigrants in the 1840’s who realized pumpkins made better candle-holders.
By the 1950’s, Halloween in America was well-established and largely focused on children, dressing up, and candy.
Charisma News reports that Halloween’s popularity has exploded in the past few years, becoming a national industry with an estimated $6.9 billion to be spent on the holiday this year.
Photo courtesy: flickr.com
Publication date: October 29, 2015