Recently there was a Halloween celebration. Much ado was made of its growth among Barbadians in the last few years. Social commentators have criticized its celebration strongly and several times there have been charges that the festival is Satanic.
The festival is not Satanic in the least. In fact the festival originated long before the Christian Church invented Satan, in the annual celebrations of the Druidic religion. This religion predates the Christian one by several hundred years.
Saman, god of the Dead, whose feast day is 1 November, is the object of Halloween festivities. The Druids believed that, on the night before his Day, the spirits of the Dead are released to roam the earth in various macabre forms. Saman is no more evil than any other Druidic deity and he certainly did not tempt living folk to evil.
Satan was the personification of evil. In Christian mythology he is “the Tempter” of the living. An angel gone bad, Satan marshalls the army of several equally misguided fellow angels to prevent Christians from living righteously. Christians do not honor him, he has no feast fay and he ignores the Dead. The Druidic mythology neither honours, no indeed recognises Satan.
Now the prodigious mental acrobatics that it took to translate Saman, god of the dead to Satan, tempter of the Living must have quite worn out whoever thought it up. There is absolutely no connection between the two, except in the minds of the misinformed.
There is much need to be concerned about many of the practices in Halloween celebrations, and possibly several hundred reasons not to introduce it to Barbados. However, its supposed association with “Satanic rites” is not one of those reasons.