Watch out for the ghouls tonight!


The Citizen (KZN) - - NEWS - – ofentsem@cit­i­

Trick or treat is a phrase com­monly heard on TV, but now South Africa seems to have joined the haunted train and is in­creas­ingly cel­e­brat­ing Hal­loween. Tonight, sub­urbs will be in­fested with zom­bies, princesses, gob­lins and lit­tle devils knock­ing at your door.

Ac­cord­ing to Wikipedia, Hal­loween mostly comes from Celtic pa­gan­ism in the Bri­tish Isles, and their feast of Samhai, which is the New Year. Pa­gans be­lieved it was the time when ghosts and spir­its came out to haunt, and the Celts would ap­pease the spir­its by giv­ing them treats. The feast was cel­e­brated in Ire­land, Scot­land, Wales, and parts of Eng­land.

Hal­loween, cel­e­brated an­nu­ally on Oc­to­ber 31, has roots in age-old Euro­pean tra­di­tions. It orig­i­nated with the an­cient Celtic fes­ti­val of Samhain, when peo­ple would light bon­fires and wear cos­tumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth cen­tury, Pope Gre­gory III des­ig­nated Novem­ber 1 as a time to honor all saints; and soon All Saints’ Day in­cor­po­rated some of the tra­di­tions of Samhain. The evening be­fore was known as All Hal­lows Eve, and later Hal­loween.

There are peo­ple who won’t cel­e­brate Hal­loween be­cause of its pa­gan ori­gins and the idea that it is said to be as­so­ci­ated with witch­craft. There are cer­tain groups in Chris­tian­ity, how­ever, that have started cel­e­brat­ing the hol­i­day re­gard­less of its ori­gins.

Slowly, but surely, South African Chris­tians have also moved into cel­e­brat­ing this hol­i­day with many show­ing great ex­cite­ment to be part of this event. Chris­tians across the coun­try have ex­pressed how much they are look­ing for­ward to go­ing trick or treat­ing.

How­ever, Pas­tor Andy Balaram, pas­tor of the Shiloh min­istry at the Univer­sity of Jo­han­nes­burg and a mem­ber of the Christ Min­istry church, told The Cit­i­zen that Hal­loween is a hol­i­day that he be­lieves Chris­tians should not be cel­e­brat­ing, “be­cause it does not praise God in any way”.

“Peo­ple dress up in funny out­fits that have noth­ing to do with God. I don’t think they are true Chris­tians if they cel­e­brate Hal­loween. But there are a lot of dif­fer­ent Chris­tians, so you never know,” he said.

Pic­ture: Reuters

TRICK OR TREAT. A boy dressed as Pen­ny­wise the Danc­ing Clown from the movie Hal­loween party in Ci­u­dad Juarez yes­ter­day. poses for a photo dur­ing a

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