Halloween is Christian not pagan

Resources for understanding why Halloween is Christian not pagan, and the true history of Halloween. Every year at Halloween we see memes and articles alleging its pagan origin in Samhain, supposedly an ancient Celtic festival. However, this simply isn’t true. Professional historians have long since debunked this claim, which was based on faulty research from the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. In fact, there is no evidence for the festival of Samhain in the pre-Christian Celtic era.

Barr, Beth Allison. “Opinion | Guess What? Halloween Is More Christian than Pagan.” Washington Post, 28 October 2016. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/10/28/guess-what-halloween-is-more-christian-than-pagan/.

Bender, Jacob L. Modern Death in Irish and Latin American Literature. Springer Nature, 2020.

Fimi, Dimitra. “Samhain or Halloween? The ‘Ancient Celtic Year’ in Contemporary Children’s Fantasy.” Dimitra Fimi, 28 October 2019. http://dimitrafimi.com/2019/10/28/samhain-or-halloween-the-ancient-celtic-year-in-contemporary-childrens-fantasy/.

George Demacopoulos. “Gregory the Great and the Pagan Shrines of Kent.” Journal of Late Antiquity 1.2 (2008): 353–69. https://doi.org/10.1353/jla.0.0018.

HKIM1. “The Pagan Origins of Halloween – The Acronym | IMSA’s Official Student Newspaper,” 25 October 2022. https://sites.imsa.edu/acronym/2020/10/22/the-pagan-origins-of-halloween/.

Hutton, Ronald. “Halloween? It’s More than Trick or Treat.” The Guardian, 28 October 2014. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/28/halloween-more-than-trick-or-treat-origins.

———. Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford: OUP Oxford, 2001.

Kiger, Patrick J. “How the Early Catholic Church Christianized Halloween.” HISTORY, 27 October 2020. https://www.history.com/news/halloween-samhain-celts-catholic-church.

Lang, Cady. “How Halloween Traditions Are Rooted in the Ancient Pagan Festival of Samhain.” Time, 30 October 2018. https://time.com/5434659/halloween-pagan-origins-in-samhain/.

Leahy, A.H. Heroic Romances of Ireland. Vol. 1. London: D. Nutt, 1905.

O’Neill, Tim. “Is Halloween Pagan?” History for Atheists, 17 October 2021. https://historyforatheists.com/2021/10/is-halloween-pagan/.

Pike, Sarah M. Earthly Bodies, Magical Selves: Contemporary Pagans and the Search for Community. University of California Press, 2001.

Rogers, Nicholas. Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Sandle, Doug. “A Personal and Cultural Account of the Manx ‘Halloween.’” Treat or Trick? Halloween in a Globalising World. Edited by Malcolm Foley and Hugh O’Donnell. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008.

Wilson, Luke J. “Is Halloween a Pagan Holiday?” That Ancient Faith, 30 October 2017. https://www.thatancientfaith.uk/home/perma/1509379860/article/should-christians-celebrate-halloween.html.

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