The Church stepped into this milieu with a message of hope: the God who had created all, and was therefore the source of all good things, had come into the world and defeated death! The darkness no longer need be feared for Christ’s light had conquered it!
All Hallows Eve–the night of preparation for the celebration of Christ’s victory for all the saints–became a time to engage the pagan celebrations by dressing up as the things which had been feared; no longer to appease them, but to mock them and death for their impotence before Christ’s victory.
While I think more work is needed to build a convincing argument of a link between Noah’s sacrifice after the flood in Genesis 8:18-9:1 and the pagan festivals (seen in this argument as a source for the festivals which then corrupted the purposes of the sacrifices that were initially intended as worship for the true God), it is an intriguing idea. I’m not convinced that the mere fact of Noah’s offering sacrifices is a sufficient basis of suggesting that the autumn pagan sacrifices have that event as their source–but the reminder that all worship is both a quest to fulfill the nature God has placed in his image-bearers as beings made to worship Him, as well as a means of repressing the truth that longing reveals, is well-taken.
The article, and the video she links from 10ofthose.com, are excellent insights Christians should consider as they work to engage the longings of our culture.