San Diego, CA — Ghosts, haunted houses and basically all things scary are practically everywhere. And while some are venturing out to haunted mazes, wearing spooky costumes or eating tons of Halloween candy, a certain group is forgotten — the people who don’t celebrate the holiday.
There are many religious people — Jehovah's Witnesses, some Jewish and Muslims — who don’t celebrate the day who still manage to have fun. The origins of Halloween is one of the reasons why these individuals decide not to celebrate the day.
According to mit.edu, Halloween originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people in Ireland would light bonfires and wear costumes to scare off ghosts. American colonists brought Halloween to the United States and the holiday was altered as the traditions began to change.
The first Halloween parties were thrown to celebrate the harvest. People dressed in costumes, read each other’s fortunes and told scary stories. Over time, it evolved to become what it is today, a day that is heavily commercialized.
The origins of Halloween are enough to steer many people away, especially those that are religious.
Romeo Kpolu, a Christian college student, said his non-denomination religious beliefs prohibit him from indulging in the celebrations.
“The Bible warns that celebrating pagan customs is detestable to God. Therefore commemorating the Day of the Dead and spirits is not God’s will and I want to be blessed, not cursed so I don’t indulge in those Holidays,” said the 24-year-old.
The idea that the Bible does not condone the celebration of pagan customs is interpreted from the verse Deuteronomy 12:31-32 "You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way. . . . Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it."
According to edsitement.neh.gov, the Day of the Dead is a day that the deceased can return and “visit” their family. It originated from the Aztec Festival of the Dead, which was a two-month celebration of the fall harvest and “figures of death” were honored.
The day is often avoided, along with Halloween, by those who are religious.
One may wonder: do they ever feel left out because they don't celebrate the holiday? The decorations, movies and Halloween-related activities that engulf October might make it difficult for those faithful to their religion to feel included in their friend group.
Although this may be the case for some people, Kpolu said that he never feels left out. Awareness and respect from his friends and family allow him to go about his days uninvolved in the festivities.
“I treat that day as a regular day, focusing on my personal activities and overcoming the thought of what others are doing on that day,” he said, adding that he does things he enjoys like heading to the gym and goes about his month in worship.
October can be a great month for those who participate in Halloween festivities and it can still be a great month for those who don’t celebrate it. Respecting and being aware of another person’s decision is essential to being considerate of others throughout the month.