The Significance of Holidays in HP: Halloween, Christmas and Easter
Throughout the Harry Potter series, Halloween and Christmas are prominent holidays celebrated at Hogwarts, and Easter is mentioned as part of their regular calendar. This presentation focuses on and considers the significant events that take place on Halloween and Christmas throughout the Harry Potter series and illuminates the spiritual meaning that can be gathered from Christian symbolism employed in the books during the significant holidays of Halloween and Christmas.
The HP books don’t emphasize the celebration of Easter at Hogwarts – as J.K. Rowling stated, “Hogwarts is a multi-faith school” – however, the conclusion of Book 7 reveals a significant similarity between the wrapping up of Harry’s story and the meaning of Easter revealed in the Bible. The spiritual parallels between Harry’s final show-down with Voldemort and the biblical meaning of Easter will be explored by the author of The Gospel according to Harry Potter.
Connie Neal has a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Pepperdine University, and a Master's in education (Instructional Design for Online Learning) from Capella University. She is an adjunct professor of writing, William Jessup University (Fall 2010)
Connie Neal was the first Christian author to publicly challenge negative attacks against Harry Potter by some in the Christian community, defending Harry in the media and enduring the resultant backlash. She is author of What’s a Christian to do with Harry Potter? (2000); The Gospel according to Harry Potter: The Spiritual Journey of the World’s Greatest Seeker (2002, 2008); Wizards, Wardrobes, and Wookiees: Navigating Good and Evil in Harry Potter, Narnia, & Star Wars (2007) along with many other books and Bible projects. Neal’s books, in many languages, are widely cited in other books, doctoral dissertations, scholarly journals, magazines (including Newsweek & Christianity Today), and news outlets worldwide. Her books are used in university courses from Pepperdine to Yale. As a former researcher for the Committee on Media Accountability, Neal analyzes coverage of Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling; reporting for Christianity Today, she attended Rowling’s 2007 Open Book Tour press conference (& includes these video clips in one of her presentations). She raised her three children on Bible stories and Harry Potter and hosted a Harry Potter Book Club & Bible Study. She also conducted a week-long Harry Potter family camp for the Anglican Church in Canada, spent 12 years as a youth pastor, and is a seasoned public speaker. Her collection of articles related to Harry Potter / Christianity is available at http://www.connieneal.com/special-harry-potter-section.htm.