Jehovah’s Witnesses and their rejection of the most popular holidays and celebrations have always fascinated me. In particular, their thoughts about Halloween made me think it would be an appropriate discussion for my theology class.
Before holding the Q&A session with my students, I embarked on extensive research. I talked to the elders and church members in the local Kingdom Hall, who proved to be very resourceful.
We held an informative session and discussed the topic in depth. As extra material for my budding theologians, I prepared this article to answer the question many are curious about, “Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Celebrate Halloween?”
No, the vast majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses are opposed to celebrating Halloween. It is believed in their Church to be a pagan festival with ties to occult practices and witchcraft (Deuteronomy 18:10-12). Members who participate face chastisement or even disfellowship.
Talk a walk with me as I explore what Jehovah’s Witnesses think about Halloween if they celebrate it and any subsequent consequences.
This is an article you don’t want to miss.
Should Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrate Halloween?
Many Jehovah’s Witnesses and leaders believe it is not appropriate to celebrate Halloween if you are a member of their religious community.
With Halloween being a notable festive holiday in many countries, especially for those in North America, the Jehovah’s Witness denomination completely shuns it for allegedly being linked to evil supernatural forces.
Jehovah’s Witnesses, however, do not only have an aversion to Halloween. They also do not believe in celebrating Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, or even Christmas because they think any festive holiday not mentioned in the Bible and with pagan or occult associations is displeasing to Jehovah.
Even though Witnesses do not support the Halloween holiday, they claim to still respect others and their religious beliefs.
Why don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrate Halloween?
Because even though the Bible does not directly mention Halloween, its history and practices conflict with the Holy Book and Jehovah’s Witnesses’ beliefs.
Many Witnesses believe Halloween has pagan roots. For instance, Celts are thought to be the originators of trick-or-treating and costume-wearing from their pagan festival of Samhain.
Ancient Celts would wear costumes to mimic evil spirits and give away sweets as a token to them. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe these practices were witchcraft and that even today, Halloween is celebrated by Wiccans (who still call it Samhain) and use it as a ritual night.
Spooky Halloween figures, such as zombies, vampires, and werewolves, are also regarded as evil elements that are tied to death and darkness by the Jehovah’s Witness Church.
According to its teachings, they go against Deuteronomy 18:10-12, which says God disapproves of his followers connecting with spirits and ghosts.
They think Christians cannot associate with such kind of witchcraft and still be with Jehovah.
What happens if a Jehovah’s Witness celebrates Halloween?
Jehovah’s Witnesses may be corrected, disciplined, or disfellowshipped for serious violations. According to Jehovah’s Witness teachings, no one is above sin.
The denomination understands that nobody is perfect and one can accidentally fall into wrongdoing (1 Kings 8:46). Witnesses believe sinning to be any bad action, thought, or feeling.
Celebrating Halloween by wearing a costume, going trick or treating, engaging with Halloween-themed media, and pumpkin carving fall in their definition of sin since they are activities associated with occult traditions.
To right the sin of celebrating Halloween, members of the Jehovah’s Witness faith are encouraged to accept discipline as taught by Apostle Paul in Hebrews 12:11, as it is the best way to yield good fruit: “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
Chastisement among Jehovah’s Witnesses can come from fellow believers, meetings with elders, and even from personal study of the Bible.
Gross or repeated deviation towards Halloween-oriented practices may warrant disfellowship, which is excommunication from the community (1 Corinthians 5:1-5).
What do Jehovah’s Witnesses do on Halloween?
Since Jehovah’s Witnesses generally do not celebrate Halloween, they are believed to carry on with their regular daily schedules as usual.
According to Bible verses like 2 Corinthians 6:14-17, Jehovah’s Witness theology issues staunch warnings against idolatry and worship of pagan gods.
Halloween is believed to be a festive holiday with roots in paganism, which is why Jehovah’s Witnesses and other denominations, such as Protestants, do not accept it. Instead, Witnesses choose to stick to their routines.
Having established routines is very important to them, and they consist of work, worship, and recreation. As is quoted on the official JW.org website, “Apply the Bible’s advice (Philippians 1:10) to make sure of the most important things.
As a Christian, I have always been passionate about sharing God’s word with young people. This inspired me to pursue a Certificate in Christian Education, an Undergraduate degree in Religious Studies, and a Graduate degree in Theology. My knowledge in school and experience from dealing with the youth made me an expert at discussing Christian-related topics. I feel privileged working as the Coordinator of the Christian Youth Ministry at Christian Faith Guide. You can read more about me on the about us page.