Protestant vs. CatholicHalloween is big in america because america is big on spending and celebrating any of it's holidays! New york has a St. Patricks days parade for crying in the rain. Valentines sells tons of flowers and chocolate, and Easter is all about the bunny and eggs and toys! Thanksgiving is as much food ad you can hold and the more the merrier! each holiday you can decorate the house, the patio, the mailbox, the door, the table, the kitchen, and even the car!
Basics of halloween. Pagan cultures in Europe held high holy days and half holy days when catholics were still just growing as leaders of the leftover roman empire. Romans exchanged holy days for thier own Gods and then Singular "God" & assigned corresponding St's to seperate holy days that were important to the agricultural tribes they were assimliating. So a few sun holy days were according to agricultural calendar, and a few moon holy days. Moon for Female, therefore considered the follower, or the dark or the deep mystery holy days and the Sun Male, holy days for the leader, the shiny, the openly understood. Both were considered equal so the catholic church worked hard to assimlate these agricultural tribes and give them common language and beliefs etc. Where they matched St's or holy people with the holy day they were successful and where the celebration centered around God and his followers and the faithful they were successful. Where the St's were badly matched (not corresponding with the same element of the holy day) then they had ...problems and therefore shunned the holy day entirely. May day and Halloween represent bad matching. Mayday was seriously crushed five hundred years ago for a long time. So we don't follow it anymore. It was a wild adult holy day meant for marriages, multiple huge numbers of people were allowed a "one day" "one day and year" "one eternity" type of marriages and they were informal and carefree in europe and practiced fairly commonly. Bonfires, jumping thr broom, handfasting, binding of the rope around the couple to keep them tied in soul, etc., were all considered evil and wrong and the church had mercenaries crush this holyday in multple ways and the guilt was added of course.
Halloween was the day of the dead. The veil of the real world and the next is thinnest, the wronged do mischief, the evil play bad tricks, and the good find rest. So dressing up in costumes, the horror films, the make up, the candy the jack o lanterns are relics of times when; you could take on another shape to play you were someone else, leave pumkins with lights in your house to scare away bad spirits and pranks, and leave goodies on the doorstep for the evil to be sated beore they entered the house. Obviously, a saint for this holy day was badly matched, and the holy day was not easily subverted because this handled peoples angry for a whole year in one night, breaking houses, taking food, playing pranks, being a scary somthing else appealed to people and has for thousends of years.
Now to the real reason it's ...debated in american churches. Americans are formed from the beginning of mostly protestants who had tired of the roman catholic abuses and inability to uphold every virtue they were claiming, they protested the church and were attacked as vicisiouly and cruelly as the pagans who didn't like being told when to hold weddings. So, they feld countries and founded amaerica and then they did the same thing to the indians as happened tot them in europe and assimliated thanksgiving and so on. Protestant churches here dislike the old holy day because it's pagan in origin and therefore must be bad and wrong. The effect of fearing bad spirits and appeaseing them is ...supersitious and not healthy in the eyes of most protestant churches (going against gods will and possibly not giving him full power by idol worship if you beief in evil spirits etc.,) and worse, the concept of giving candy to little "devils" dressed up for mischeif and needing appeasment to keep from harming a home is considered a really big deal. The fact that it is a very tame commercialed holy pagan day only makes the formal church people very irriated and sad at society. Protestant faiths cannot reconcile God allowing this holy day tradition and encouraging it. Frankly, I'd get into a very very very serious discussion with any pastor who is against it and end up making them feel ashamed of thier faith history because it's as faulty and spotted as any pagans, and because easter is no longer focused on the christ risen, and valentines is allowed and thats a pagan tradition of freedom from dark months of hardship...(winter leaving) and St. patricks day? One island tradition.., and christmas? the tree is pagan (germanic based old tribes threw animal guts on the tree to represent offering god the best of thier meal to welcome him to thier table to please him to give backl the sun ! Not very shiny happy baby birth!...that needed work. Besides, by the time the church came into the picture the tribes had turned agricultural and were useing pretty greenery with food atttached for birds to feed on and no more with the evergreen covered in blood...so that tradition was about big food anyway and easy to convert.) the weaths, the colors, the time on the calendar!
There are rants galore about it but mainly, day of the dead holy days are all over the world and this is ours. Churches who are not reconciled and willing to teach it fully if they are oppased are simply not dealing with it's spiritual impact on humans. Costumes and candy and playing with being someone else is an outlet for stress and hardships we face, we need it as much as the purity of christmas and both are the struggle we face as human.