In Ireland and Scotland Halloween is far more traditional an event than in North America, with more cultural and historical significance, as opposed to the commercialized importance on the other side of the Atlantic.
Therefore, even amongst most conservative Christians,
it is a far more accepted holiday with hardly any moral objections, in
particular amongst Roman Catholics.
However some people do find
and, to some extent resent, an Americanization occurring towards
Halloween, which in turn could affect some traditions, notably the
Samhain origins of the festival.
It should also be noted that Guy Fawkes night is not celebrated in the Republic of Ireland at all.
Halloween replaces the celebrations that are experienced in the UK on
November 5, whereas in Britain Guy Fawkes Night is culturally more
In North America, Christian attitudes towards
Halloween are quite diverse. The fact that Al Saints Day and Halloween
occur on two consecutive days has left some Christians uncertain of how
they should treat this holiday.
In the Anglican Church, some
dioceses have chosen to emphasize the Christian traditions of All Saints
Day, while some Protestants celebrate the holiday as Reformation Day, a
day of remembrance and prayers for unity.
Celtic Christians may
have Samhain services that focus on the cultural aspects of the holiday,
in the belief that many ancient Celtic customs are "compatible with the
new Christian religion. Christianity embraced the Celtic notions of
family, community, the bond among all people, and respect for the dead.
the centuries, pagan and Christian beliefs intertwine in a gallimaufry
(hodgepodge) of celebrations from October 31 through November 5, all of
which appear both to challenge the ascendancy of the dark and to revel
in its mystery."
Some Christian churches commonly offer a fall or harvest festival-themed alternative to Halloween.
Christians ascribe no negative significance to Halloween, treating it
as a purely secular holiday devoted to celebrating “imaginary spooks”
and handing out candy.
Halloween celebrations are common among Roman Catholic parochial schools throughout North America and in Ireland.
In fact, the Roman Catholic Church sees Halloween as having a Christian connection.
Gabriele Amorth, a Vatican-appointed exorcist in Rome, has said, "[I]f
English and American children like to dress up as witches and devils on
one night of the year that is not a problem. If it is just a game, there
is no harm in that."
Most Christians hold the view that the
tradition is far from being "satanic" in origin or practice and that it
holds no threat to the spiritual lives of children: being taught about
death and mortality, and the ways of the Celtic ancestors actually being
a valuable life lesson and a part of many of their parishioners'
A response among some fundamentalists in recent years
has been the use of Hell houses or themed pamphlets which attempt to
make use of Halloween as an opportunity for evangelism.
consider Halloween to be completely incompatible with the Christian
faith due to its origin as a Pagan "festival of the dead."
In more recent years, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has organised a "Saint Fest" on the holiday.
of diverse religions (or no religion at all) may naturally be concerned
about the vandalism that can occur on the holiday.
Wiccans feel that the tradition is offensive to "real witches" for
promoting stereotypical caricatures of "wicked witches".
other Neopagans, perhaps most of them, see it as a harmless holiday in
which some of the old traditions are celebrated by the mainstream
culture, albeit in a different manner.