The anniversary of Antinous's death (October 30, 130 AD) seems remarkable in its proximity to Halloween, and I don't think it is too much of a stretch to say that even today we are still dealing with the fallout from a war between sex and religion started long, long ago.
Part Three: the Fall and rise — of sex
Sex and prayer.....
At first blush, these two things would not seem to have much in common. But in the identity politics-driven world of modern America, sex and prayer have a very important thing in common.
They are political.
Halloween is being similarly politicized, and the way things are going, I would not be surprised to see all official references to it eliminated.
This whole late October/early November season is ridden with pagan as well as Christian overtones:
October 31 - Goddess month of Samhain begins
- Samhain or Halloween or All Hallows Eve - commemorates the onset of a darker, introspective time of year when the veil between the otherworlds is thin and access to these other worlds is easier
November 1 - Cross-quarter day, the first day of winter in the natural year
- Festival of the Dead - Samhaim, light fires in memory of the dead and to commune with the underworld, building hope for the future
- All saints Day, a day to honor dead saints
2- All Souls Day, a day to honor all departed spirits
3- Day of St. Malachy - an Irish prophet of medieval times
- In the Celtic tradition, start new enterprises this day for success. Day to bring cattle down from the highlands for winter
5- Guy Fawkes Night, burn effigies of evil spirits and bad memories to allow the new year to unfold into happier days
By any standard, there are enough religious references present above to offend most fundamentalist Christians, most Muslims, many atheists, and even pagans. In fact, some pagans are upset about certain forms of Halloween celebration deemed degrading to Wiccans.
How did Halloween, originating as it did with the pagan celebration of Samhain, ever become standard fare in Christian countries? The general consensus is that Pope Gregory instructed his missionaries to coopt local customs and holidays by folding them into the Catholic Church.