I actually wrote this post on January 23 and set it to post today. Chances are good that I've forgotten about it. It was written in response to this post and this post, both claiming Halloween is an evil Pagan holiday. I encourage you to read, or at least skim, them before continuing here.
It annoys the everloving hell out of me to see time and again people claiming that Halloween is evil, that it's a night of spells and witches flying around on broomsticks and trying to do magic with black cats. It involves none of these things, and in fact, Halloween as we currently know it...was started by a Christian society in very modern times, and even today it marks a holiday dearly held by Mexican Catholics, and the original Pagan holiday was nothing like it's been made out to be.
It annoys me how those claiming this is an evil holiday clearly have never bothered to look into the history of Halloween, why it came about, nor about the real Pagan holiday that's supposedly so evil, and these same people ignore that the celebrations of Christmas and Easter were both dated to fall over other Pagan holidays in an attempt to usurp them. The decorated tree at Christmas is a direct reappropration of the Yule tree. The halo, held so sacred, is a rip-off of the sun over the head of the sun god Helios.
Anyway here is the comment I posted, though I highly doubt it will be approved (when I see this post again when it posts, I'll go check).
Christmas trees are also Pagan in roots, part of the winter celebration of Yule, which is observed on the solstice. Jesus wasn't born in winter (there are no lambs in winter in the northern hemisphere, only in late spring and early summer), yet his birth is celebrated to overlap Yule? The time and the tradition of decorating trees were both taken from Pagans. But yet you celebrate his birth in the winter with a tree, correct?
The Pagan autumn holiday is Samhain, which has nothing to do with witches and sorcery. It's simply a day celebrating the dead as animals were traditionally slaughtered for meat through the winter. It is also a day for reflection and accepting that there are things over which we have no control, such as death. There are no black cats or people flying on broomsticks. That is purely an invention only going back to the Victorian times.
Those godly Victorians were obsessed with death for a while (notice how death-lockets and rings were immensely popular and that dark, gothic architecture was on the rise?). Samhain, or Hallow's Eve, or Day of the Dead (which is widely celebrated by Mexican Catholics as a day to remember the dead) were never macabre holidays with ghosts and goblins. Thank CHRISTIAN Victorians for this idea, and it wasn't meant to be demonic among them.
Even though death isn't supposed to be seen as a bad thing (getting to go to the heavenly father and be in his arms, right?), somehow a celebration of the lives of those who have gone is seen as wrong. What kind of a message is this? That death (and subsequently going to god) is something that should be avoided?
Even Easter overlaps Ostara, which is celebrated as the beginning of spring. It is the celebration of the return of color to the world. According to history, including the bible, Jesus died in what is now called June. So why is his death celebrated in spring if not to usurp a Pagan holiday? The holiday in June, Litha, isn't celebrated among all sects, nor even most, so nothing to usurp there. The nearest holiday otherwise, Beltane, in May, is widely avoided by Christians due to its strong free-love nature. Yes, the May Pole is indeed intended to be phallic, and the streamers and dancers represent fertility. Somehow this has never stopped the great Kings and Queens of England, defenders of the faith, from celebrating spring with a May Day complete with May Pole.
If you're going to disrespect the Pagans, please do it in a way that uses facts about their holidays and correct history rather than myths. If you want to avoid any holidays connected in any way with Paganism, then you should petition for Christmas to be moved to spring (and no more decorated trees either!) and Easter to June. Otherwise there is no way around these holidays being connected with Pagan holidays. Since the connection with Paganism seems to be your biggest gripe with Halloween (while ignoring the religious aspect of the day and celebration by Mexican Catholics), I don't see how you don't find fault with Christmas and Easter.