The last day of this month (Oct. 31) is set aside to honor several pagan gods and goddesses, including Feralia, Roman “god of the dead,” and Pomona, who was the Roman divinity of Fruit Trees. She was also known as the “Apple-Mother” – the dispenser of the “apples of eternal life.” Every Roman banquet ended with apples, as an invocation of Pomona’s good will. Traces of the worship of this pagan goddess can be found today rooted in the practice of “bobbing for apples” on Halloween.
As with the holidays of Christmas and Easter, we can trace the roots of Halloween far back into the pagan past. The Encyclopedia of Religion says, “Halloween, or All hallows Eve, is a festival celebrated on 31 October, the evening prior to the Christian Feast of All Saints Day (Nov. 1, and All Souls Day (Nov. 2). Halloween is the name for the eve of Samhain (Summer’s End), a celebration marking the beginning of winter as well as the first day of the Celtic New Year among the peoples of the British Isles (Britons, Irish, Scots and Welsh). It was also known as the Celtic Festival of the Dead.” (1987, p. 176, “Halloween”)
On this holiday, the souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes. and hence it was said that ghosts, witches, goblins, black cats, bats, fairies, and demons of all kinds roamed about seeking whom they could control. As a result, these people put on grotesque masks and animal skins and offered sacrifices in the bonfires to ward off the evil. They also carved eerie images out of pumpkins and placed lighted candles inside to scare them. “It was the only day on which the help of the devil was invoked for such purposes.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th ed. Micropaedia, Vol. IV. P. 862, “Halloween”). Church leaders adopted this ancient celebration to serve their own purposes. “The Samhain remained a popular festival among the Celtic people throughout the “christianization” of Great Britain.” (The Encyclopedia of Religion, p. 177, “Halloween.”) Still today, its festival is alive and well here in America! If you don’t believe me, then ask yourself why do people dress up in grotesque images, make “Jack-O-Lanterns,” and decorate their homes and churches with symbols of the dead such as skeletons, ghosts, witches and black cats on the evening of October 31? How many times have you yelled “Trick or Treat,” gone bobbing for apples, or went on hay rides to a place where huge bonfires were built? This night is said to be one of Lucifer’s great “High Days” . So — if you want to continue celebrating Halloween — do so at the risk of your own eternal life in the Lake of Fire!