Halloween

Halloween

Overview
Hallowe'en also known as Halloween or All Hallows' Eve, is a yearly holiday
Holiday
A Holiday is a day designated as having special significance for which individuals, a government, or a religious group have deemed that observance is warranted. It is generally an official or unofficial observance of religious, national, or cultural significance, often accompanied by celebrations...

 observed around the world
Halloween around the world
Halloween is a celebration observed on October 31, primarily in regions of the Western world; the traditions and importance of the celebration vary significantly between geographical areas.-Ireland:...

 on October 31, the night before All Saints' Day
All Saints
All Saints' Day , often shortened to All Saints, is a solemnity celebrated on 1 November by parts of Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity, in honour of all the saints, known and unknown...

. Much like Day of the Dead
Day of the Dead
Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in many cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it attains the quality...

 celebrations, the Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 feast of All Hallows' Eve, according to some scholars, incorporates traditions from pagan
Paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....

 harvest festivals and festivals honouring the dead
Festival of the Dead
Festival of the Dead is held by many cultures throughout the world in honor or recognition of deceased members of the community, generally occurring after the harvest in August, September, October, or November. In Japanese Buddhist custom the festival honoring the departed spirits of one's...

, particularly the Celtic Samhain
Samhain
Samhain is a Gaelic harvest festival held on October 31–November 1. It was linked to festivals held around the same time in other Celtic cultures, and was popularised as the "Celtic New Year" from the late 19th century, following Sir John Rhys and Sir James Frazer...

; other scholars maintain that the feast originated entirely independently of Samhain. Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating
Trick-or-treating
Trick-or-treating or "Guising", is a customary practice for children on Halloween in many countries. Children in costumes travel from house to house in order to ask for treats such as candy with the question "Trick or treat?"...

 (also known as "guising"), attending costume
Halloween costume
Halloween costumes are costumes worn on or around Halloween, a festival which falls on October 31. The Halloween costume has a fairly short history. Wearing costumes has long been associated with other holidays around the time of Halloween, even Christmas...

 parties
Costume party
A fancy dress party or a costume party , mainly in contemporary Western culture, is a type of party where guests dress up in a costume.-Fancy dress parties in Britain:...

, carving jack-o'-lantern
Jack-o'-lantern
A jack-o'-lantern is typically a carved pumpkin. It is associated chiefly with the holiday of Halloween and was named after the phenomenon of strange light flickering over peat bogs, called ignis fatuus or jack-o'-lantern...

s, lighting bonfire
Bonfire
A bonfire is a controlled outdoor fire used for informal disposal of burnable waste material or as part of a celebration. Celebratory bonfires are typically designed to burn quickly and may be very large...

s, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attraction
Haunted attraction
A haunted attraction is a form of entertainment that simulates the experience of entering a haunted location that might be inhabited by ghosts, monsters, criminals, humorous characters, and other such creatures...

s, playing pranks, telling scary stories, watching horror films, as well as the religious observances
Christian worship
In Christianity, worship is adoration and contemplation of God.-Overview:Throughout most of Christianity's history, corporate Christian worship has been primarily liturgical, characterized by prayers and hymns, with texts rooted in, or closely related to, the Scripture, particularly the Psalter;...

 of praying
Prayer in Christianity
Prayer has been an essential part of Christianity since its earliest days. Prayer is an integral element of the Christian faith and permeates all forms of Christian worship...

, fasting
Fasting
Fasting is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period, usually a single day , or several days. Other fasts may be only partially restrictive,...

 and attending vigil
Vigil
A vigil is a period of purposeful sleeplessness, an occasion for devotional watching, or an observance...

s or church service
Church service
In Christianity, a church service is a term used to describe a formalized period of communal worship, often but not exclusively occurring on Sunday, or Saturday in the case of those churches practicing seventh-day Sabbatarianism. The church service is the gathering together of Christians to be...

s.

The word Halloween is first attested in the 16th century and represents a Scottish
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 variant of the fuller All-Hallows'-Even ("evening"), that is, the night before All Hallows' Day
All Saints
All Saints' Day , often shortened to All Saints, is a solemnity celebrated on 1 November by parts of Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity, in honour of all the saints, known and unknown...

.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Halloween'
Start a new discussion about 'Halloween'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Recent Discussions
Encyclopedia
Hallowe'en also known as Halloween or All Hallows' Eve, is a yearly holiday
Holiday
A Holiday is a day designated as having special significance for which individuals, a government, or a religious group have deemed that observance is warranted. It is generally an official or unofficial observance of religious, national, or cultural significance, often accompanied by celebrations...

 observed around the world
Halloween around the world
Halloween is a celebration observed on October 31, primarily in regions of the Western world; the traditions and importance of the celebration vary significantly between geographical areas.-Ireland:...

 on October 31, the night before All Saints' Day
All Saints
All Saints' Day , often shortened to All Saints, is a solemnity celebrated on 1 November by parts of Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity, in honour of all the saints, known and unknown...

. Much like Day of the Dead
Day of the Dead
Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in many cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it attains the quality...

 celebrations, the Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 feast of All Hallows' Eve, according to some scholars, incorporates traditions from pagan
Paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....

 harvest festivals and festivals honouring the dead
Festival of the Dead
Festival of the Dead is held by many cultures throughout the world in honor or recognition of deceased members of the community, generally occurring after the harvest in August, September, October, or November. In Japanese Buddhist custom the festival honoring the departed spirits of one's...

, particularly the Celtic Samhain
Samhain
Samhain is a Gaelic harvest festival held on October 31–November 1. It was linked to festivals held around the same time in other Celtic cultures, and was popularised as the "Celtic New Year" from the late 19th century, following Sir John Rhys and Sir James Frazer...

; other scholars maintain that the feast originated entirely independently of Samhain. Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating
Trick-or-treating
Trick-or-treating or "Guising", is a customary practice for children on Halloween in many countries. Children in costumes travel from house to house in order to ask for treats such as candy with the question "Trick or treat?"...

 (also known as "guising"), attending costume
Halloween costume
Halloween costumes are costumes worn on or around Halloween, a festival which falls on October 31. The Halloween costume has a fairly short history. Wearing costumes has long been associated with other holidays around the time of Halloween, even Christmas...

 parties
Costume party
A fancy dress party or a costume party , mainly in contemporary Western culture, is a type of party where guests dress up in a costume.-Fancy dress parties in Britain:...

, carving jack-o'-lantern
Jack-o'-lantern
A jack-o'-lantern is typically a carved pumpkin. It is associated chiefly with the holiday of Halloween and was named after the phenomenon of strange light flickering over peat bogs, called ignis fatuus or jack-o'-lantern...

s, lighting bonfire
Bonfire
A bonfire is a controlled outdoor fire used for informal disposal of burnable waste material or as part of a celebration. Celebratory bonfires are typically designed to burn quickly and may be very large...

s, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attraction
Haunted attraction
A haunted attraction is a form of entertainment that simulates the experience of entering a haunted location that might be inhabited by ghosts, monsters, criminals, humorous characters, and other such creatures...

s, playing pranks, telling scary stories, watching horror films, as well as the religious observances
Christian worship
In Christianity, worship is adoration and contemplation of God.-Overview:Throughout most of Christianity's history, corporate Christian worship has been primarily liturgical, characterized by prayers and hymns, with texts rooted in, or closely related to, the Scripture, particularly the Psalter;...

 of praying
Prayer in Christianity
Prayer has been an essential part of Christianity since its earliest days. Prayer is an integral element of the Christian faith and permeates all forms of Christian worship...

, fasting
Fasting
Fasting is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period, usually a single day , or several days. Other fasts may be only partially restrictive,...

 and attending vigil
Vigil
A vigil is a period of purposeful sleeplessness, an occasion for devotional watching, or an observance...

s or church service
Church service
In Christianity, a church service is a term used to describe a formalized period of communal worship, often but not exclusively occurring on Sunday, or Saturday in the case of those churches practicing seventh-day Sabbatarianism. The church service is the gathering together of Christians to be...

s.

Etymology


The word Halloween is first attested in the 16th century and represents a Scottish
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 variant of the fuller All-Hallows'-Even ("evening"), that is, the night before All Hallows' Day
All Saints
All Saints' Day , often shortened to All Saints, is a solemnity celebrated on 1 November by parts of Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity, in honour of all the saints, known and unknown...

. Although the phrase All Hallows is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mæssedæg, mass-day of all saints), All-Hallows-Even is itself not attested until 1556.

Pre-Christian influences


Halloween is commonly thought to have pagan roots, even though it's etymology is Christian. Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona
Pomona
Pomona was a goddess of fruitful abundance in ancient Roman religion and myth. Her name comes from the Latin word pomum, "fruit," specifically orchard fruit. She was said to be a wood nymph and a part of the Numia, guardian spirits who watch over people, places, or homes...

, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead
Festival of the Dead
Festival of the Dead is held by many cultures throughout the world in honor or recognition of deceased members of the community, generally occurring after the harvest in August, September, October, or November. In Japanese Buddhist custom the festival honoring the departed spirits of one's...

 called Parentalia
Parentalia
In ancient Rome, the Parentalia or dies parentales was a nine-day festival held in honor of family ancestors, beginning February 13....

, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain
Samhain
Samhain is a Gaelic harvest festival held on October 31–November 1. It was linked to festivals held around the same time in other Celtic cultures, and was popularised as the "Celtic New Year" from the late 19th century, following Sir John Rhys and Sir James Frazer...

 ", derived from the Old Irish Samuin meaning "summer's end". Samhain was the first and by far the most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

 and Scottish
Scottish people
The Scottish people , or Scots, are a nation and ethnic group native to Scotland. Historically they emerged from an amalgamation of the Picts and Gaels, incorporating neighbouring Britons to the south as well as invading Germanic peoples such as the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse.In modern use,...

 calendar and, falling on the last day of autumn, it was a time for stock-taking and preparation for the cold winter months ahead. There was also a sense that this was the time of year when the physical and supernatural worlds were closest and magical things could happen. To ward off these spirits, the Gaels
Gaels
The Gaels or Goidels are speakers of one of the Goidelic Celtic languages: Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and Manx. Goidelic speech originated in Ireland and subsequently spread to western and northern Scotland and the Isle of Man....

 built huge, symbolically regenerative bonfire
Bonfire
A bonfire is a controlled outdoor fire used for informal disposal of burnable waste material or as part of a celebration. Celebratory bonfires are typically designed to burn quickly and may be very large...

s and invoked the help of the gods through animal and perhaps even human sacrifice. In the Western Isles of Scotland the Sluagh
Sluagh
In Irish and Scottish folklore, the Sluagh were the spirits of the restless dead. Sometimes they were seen as sinners, or generally evil people who were welcome in neither heaven nor hell, nor in the Otherworld, who had also been rejected by the Celtic deities and by the earth itself. Whichever...

, or fairy host was regarded as composed of the souls of the dead flying through the air, and the feast of the dead at Hallowe'en was likewise the festival of the fairies.

Christian influences



Halloween is also thought to have been heavily influenced by the Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 holy days of All Saints' Day (also known as Hallowmas, All Hallows, and Hallowtide) and All Souls' Day. Falling on November 1 and 2 respectively, collectively they were a time for honoring the saint
Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

s and praying for the recently departed who had yet to reach heaven. By the end of the 12th century they had become days of holy obligation across Europe and involved such traditions as ringing bells for the souls in purgatory
Purgatory
Purgatory is the condition or process of purification or temporary punishment in which, it is believed, the souls of those who die in a state of grace are made ready for Heaven...

 and "souling", the custom of baking bread or soul cakes for "all crysten [ christened
Baptism
In Christianity, baptism is for the majority the rite of admission , almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also membership of a particular church tradition...

 ] souls". It was traditionally believed that the souls of the departed wandered the earth until All Saints' Day, and All Hallows' Eve provided one last chance for the dead to gain vengeance on their enemies before moving onto the next world
Christian eschatology
Christian eschatology is a major branch of study within Christian theology. Eschatology, from two Greek words meaning last and study , is the study of the end of things, whether the end of an individual life, the end of the age, or the end of the world...

. To avoid being recognised by a soul, Christians would wear masks and costumes to disguise themselves, following the lighted candles set by others to guide their travel for worship
Church service
In Christianity, a church service is a term used to describe a formalized period of communal worship, often but not exclusively occurring on Sunday, or Saturday in the case of those churches practicing seventh-day Sabbatarianism. The church service is the gathering together of Christians to be...

 the next day. Today, this practice has been perpetuated through children guising (trick or treating).

In Britain the rituals of Hallowtide and Halloween came under attack during the Reformation
English Reformation
The English Reformation was the series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church....

 as Protestants denounced purgatory as a "popish" doctrine incompatible with the notion of predestination
Predestination
Predestination, in theology is the doctrine that all events have been willed by God. John Calvin interpreted biblical predestination to mean that God willed eternal damnation for some people and salvation for others...

. In addition the increasing popularity of Guy Fawkes Night
Guy Fawkes Night
Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night and Firework Night, is an annual commemoration observed on 5 November, primarily in England. Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding...

 (5th November) from 1605 on saw Halloween become eclipsed in Britain with the notable exception of Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

. There and in Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, they had been celebrating Samhain and Halloween since the early Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, and the kirk
Kirk
Kirk can mean "church" in general or the Church of Scotland in particular. Many place names and personal names are also derived from it.-Basic meaning and etymology:...

 took a more pragmatic approach towards Halloween, viewing it as important to the life cycle and rites of passage
Rites of Passage
Rites of Passage is an African American History program sponsored by the Stamford, Connecticut US public schools. The program consists of an extra day of schooling on Saturday for 12 weeks, service projects, and a culminating educational trip to Gambia and Senegal. Gambia and Senegal are the...

 of local communities and thus ensuring its survival in the country. North American almanacs of the late 18th and early 19th century give no indication that Halloween was recognized as a holiday. The Puritans of New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

, for example, maintained strong opposition to the holiday and it was not until the mass Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

 and Scottish immigration during the 19th century that the holiday was introduced to the continent in earnest. Initially confined to the immigrant communities during the mid-19th century, it was gradually assimilated into mainstream society and by the first decade of the 20th century it was being celebrated coast to coast by people of all social, racial and religious backgrounds.

Symbols



Development of artifacts and symbol
Symbol
A symbol is something which represents an idea, a physical entity or a process but is distinct from it. The purpose of a symbol is to communicate meaning. For example, a red octagon may be a symbol for "STOP". On a map, a picture of a tent might represent a campsite. Numerals are symbols for...

s associated with Halloween formed over time. For instance, the carving of jack-o'-lanterns springs from the Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 souling custom of carving turnips
Rutabaga
The rutabaga, swede , turnip or yellow turnip is a root vegetable that originated as a cross between the cabbage and the turnip; see Triangle of U...

 into lanterns as a way of remembering the souls held in purgatory
Purgatory
Purgatory is the condition or process of purification or temporary punishment in which, it is believed, the souls of those who die in a state of grace are made ready for Heaven...

. The turnip
Turnip
The turnip or white turnip is a root vegetable commonly grown in temperate climates worldwide for its white, bulbous taproot. Small, tender varieties are grown for human consumption, while larger varieties are grown as feed for livestock...

 has traditionally been used in Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 and Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 at Halloween, but immigrants to North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 used the native pumpkin
Pumpkin
A pumpkin is a gourd-like squash of the genus Cucurbita and the family Cucurbitaceae . It commonly refers to cultivars of any one of the species Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita mixta, Cucurbita maxima, and Cucurbita moschata, and is native to North America...

, which is both much softer and much larger – making it easier to carve than a turnip. Subsequently, the mass marketing of various size pumpkins in autumn, in both the corporate and local markets, has made pumpkins universally available for this purpose. The American tradition of carving pumpkins is recorded in 1837 and was originally associated with harvest time in general, not becoming specifically associated with Halloween until the mid-to-late 19th century.

The image
Image
An image is an artifact, for example a two-dimensional picture, that has a similar appearance to some subject—usually a physical object or a person.-Characteristics:...

ry of Halloween is derived from many sources, including national customs, works of Gothic
Gothic fiction
Gothic fiction, sometimes referred to as Gothic horror, is a genre or mode of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance. Gothicism's origin is attributed to English author Horace Walpole, with his 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto, subtitled "A Gothic Story"...

 and horror
Horror fiction
Horror fiction also Horror fantasy is a philosophy of literature, which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten its readers, inducing feelings of horror and terror. It creates an eerie atmosphere. Horror can be either supernatural or non-supernatural...

 literature (such as the novels Frankenstein
Frankenstein
Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel about a failed experiment that produced a monster, written by Mary Shelley, with inserts of poems by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelley started writing the story when she was eighteen, and the novel was published when she was twenty-one. The first...

and Dracula
Dracula
Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker.Famous for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to relocate from Transylvania to England, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor...

), and classic horror films (such as Frankenstein
Frankenstein (1931 film)
Frankenstein is a 1931 Pre-Code Horror Monster film from Universal Pictures directed by James Whale and adapted from the play by Peggy Webling which in turn is based on the novel of the same name by Mary Shelley. The film stars Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, John Boles and Boris Karloff, and features...

and The Mummy
The Mummy (1932 film)
The Mummy is a 1932 horror film from Universal Studios directed by Karl Freund and starring Boris Karloff as a revived ancient Egyptian priest. The movie also features Zita Johann, David Manners and Edward Van Sloan...

). Among the earliest works on the subject of Halloween is from Scottish poet John Mayne
John Mayne
John Mayne , was a Scottish poet born in Dumfries, South West Scotland. In 1780, his poem The Siller Gun appeared in its original form in Ruddiman's Magazine, published by Walter Ruddiman in Edinburgh. It is a humorous poem descriptive of an ancient custom in Dumfries of shooting for the "Siller...

 in 1780, who made note of pranks at Halloween; "What fearfu' pranks ensue!", as well as the supernatural associated with the night, "Bogies" (ghosts), influencing Robert Burns
Robert Burns
Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide...

' Halloween
Halloween (poem)
"Halloween" is a poem written by the Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1785. First published in 1786, the poem is included in the Kilmarnock volume...

1785. Elements of the autumn season, such as pumpkins, corn husk
Husk
Husk in botany is the outer shell or coating of a seed. It often refers to the leafy outer covering of an ear of maize as it grows on the plant. Literally, a husk or hull includes the protective outer covering of a seed, fruit or vegetable...

s, and scarecrow
Scarecrow
A scarecrow is, essentially, a decoy, though traditionally, a human figure dressed in old clothes and placed in fields by farmers to discourage birds such as crows or sparrows from disturbing and feeding on recently cast seed and growing crops.-History:In Kojiki, the oldest surviving book in Japan...

s, are also prevalent. Homes are often decorated with these types of symbols around Halloween.

Halloween imagery includes themes of death
Death
Death is the permanent termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism. Phenomena which commonly bring about death include old age, predation, malnutrition, disease, and accidents or trauma resulting in terminal injury....

, evil
Evil
Evil is the violation of, or intent to violate, some moral code. Evil is usually seen as the dualistic opposite of good. Definitions of evil vary along with analysis of its root motive causes, however general actions commonly considered evil include: conscious and deliberate wrongdoing,...

, the occult
Occult
The word occult comes from the Latin word occultus , referring to "knowledge of the hidden". In the medical sense it is used to refer to a structure or process that is hidden, e.g...

 or mythical monster
Monster
A monster is any fictional creature, usually found in legends or horror fiction, that is somewhat hideous and may produce physical harm or mental fear by either its appearance or its actions...

s. Black and orange are the holiday's traditional colors.

Trick-or-treating and guising


Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. Children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy or sometimes money, with the question, "Trick or treat?" The word "trick" refers to a (mostly idle) "threat" to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. In some parts of Scotland children still go guising. In this custom the child performs some sort of trick, i.e. sings a song or tells a ghost story, to earn their treats.

The practice of dressing up in costumes and begging door to door for treats on holidays dates back to the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 and includes Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 wassailing
Wassailing
The tradition of Wassailing falls into two distinct categories: The House-Visiting wassail and the Orchard-Visiting wassail. House-Visiting wassail, very much similar to caroling, is the practice of people going door-to-door singing Christmas carols...

. Trick-or-treating resembles the late medieval practice of souling, when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas
All Saints
All Saints' Day , often shortened to All Saints, is a solemnity celebrated on 1 November by parts of Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity, in honour of all the saints, known and unknown...

 (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls' Day (November 2). It originated in Ireland and Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

, although similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy. Shakespeare mentions the practice in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
The Two Gentlemen of Verona is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1590 or 1591. It is considered by some to be Shakespeare's first play, and is often seen as his first tentative steps in laying out some of the themes and tropes with which he would later deal in more...

(1593), when Speed accuses his master of "puling [whimpering or whining] like a beggar at Hallowmas."

In Scotland and Ireland, Guising – children disguised in costume going from door to door for food or coins  – is a traditional Halloween custom, and is recorded in Scotland at Halloween in 1895 where masqueraders in disguise carrying lanterns made out of scooped out turnips, visit homes to be rewarded with cakes, fruit and money. The practice of Guising at Halloween in North America is first recorded in 1911, where a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario
Kingston, Ontario
Kingston, Ontario is a Canadian city located in Eastern Ontario where the St. Lawrence River flows out of Lake Ontario. Originally a First Nations settlement called "Katarowki," , growing European exploration in the 17th Century made it an important trading post...

 reported children going "guising" around the neighborhood.

American historian and author Ruth Edna Kelley
Ruth Edna Kelley
Ruth Edna Kelley was an American librarian and author. She is chiefly remembered for The Book of Hallowe'en , the first book-length history of the holiday....

 of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 wrote the first book length history of the holiday in the U.S; The Book of Hallowe'en (1919), and references souling in the chapter "Hallowe'en in America";

The taste in Hallowe'en festivities now is to study old traditions, and hold a Scotch party, using Burn's
Robert Burns
Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide...

 poem Hallowe'en as a guide; or to go a-souling as the English used. In short, no custom that was once honored at Hallowe'en is out of fashion now.

In her book, Kelley touches on customs that arrived from across the Atlantic; "Americans have fostered them, and are making this an occasion something like what it must have been in its best days overseas. All Halloween customs in the United States are borrowed directly or adapted from those of other countries".

While the first reference to "guising" in North America occurs in 1911, another reference to ritual begging on Halloween appears, place unknown, in 1915, with a third reference in Chicago in 1920.
The earliest known use in print of the term "trick or treat" appears in 1927, from Blackie, Alberta
Blackie, Alberta
Blackie is a hamlet in Alberta, Canada within the Municipal District of Foothills No. 31. It is located approximately southeast of Calgary on Highway 799.- History :...

, Canada:
Hallowe'en provided an opportunity for real strenuous fun. No real damage was done except to the temper of some who had to hunt for wagon wheels, gates, wagons, barrels, etc., much of which decorated the front street. The youthful tormentors were at back door and front demanding edible plunder by the word “trick or treat” to which the inmates gladly responded and sent the robbers away rejoicing.


The thousands of Halloween postcards produced between the turn of the 20th century and the 1920s commonly show children but do not depict trick-or-treating. The editor of a collection of over 3,000 vintage Halloween postcards writes, "There are cards which mention the custom [of trick-or-treating] or show children in costumes at the doors, but as far as we can tell they were printed later than the 1920s and more than likely even the 1930s. Tricksters of various sorts are shown on the early postcards, but not the means of appeasing them". Trick-or-treating does not seem to have become a widespread practice until the 1930s, with the first U.S. appearances of the term in 1934, and the first use in a national publication occurring in 1939.

Costumes


Halloween costumes are traditionally modeled after supernatural figures such as monsters, ghosts, skeletons, witches, and devils. Over time, the costume selection extended to include popular characters from fiction, celebrities, and generic archetypes such as ninjas and princesses.

Dressing up in costumes and going "guising" was prevalent in Scotland at Halloween by the late 19th century. Costuming became popular for Halloween parties in the US in the early 20th century, as often for adults as for children. The first mass-produced Halloween costumes appeared in stores in the 1930s when trick-or-treating
Trick-or-treating
Trick-or-treating or "Guising", is a customary practice for children on Halloween in many countries. Children in costumes travel from house to house in order to ask for treats such as candy with the question "Trick or treat?"...

 was becoming popular in the United States.

Halloween costume parties
Costume party
A fancy dress party or a costume party , mainly in contemporary Western culture, is a type of party where guests dress up in a costume.-Fancy dress parties in Britain:...

 generally fall on, or around, 31 October, often falling on the Friday or Saturday prior to Halloween.

UNICEF



"Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF
United Nations Children's Fund
United Nations Children's Fund was created by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 1946, to provide emergency food and healthcare to children in countries that had been devastated by World War II...

" has become a common sight during Halloween in North America. Started as a local event in a Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood in 1950 and expanded nationally in 1952, the program involves the distribution of small boxes by schools (or in modern times, corporate sponsors like Hallmark
Hallmark Cards
Hallmark Cards is a privately owned American company based in Kansas City, Missouri. Founded in 1910 by Joyce C. Hall, Hallmark is the largest manufacturer of greeting cards in the United States. In 1985, the company was awarded the National Medal of Arts....

, at their licensed stores) to trick-or-treaters, in which they can solicit small-change donations from the houses they visit. It is estimated that children have collected more than $118 million for UNICEF since its inception. In Canada, in 2006, UNICEF decided to discontinue their Halloween collection boxes, citing safety and administrative concerns; after consultation with schools, they instead redesigned the program.

Games and other activities


There are several games traditionally associated with Halloween parties. One common game is dunking or apple bobbing, which may be called "dooking" in Scotland in which apples float in a tub or a large basin of water and the participants must use their teeth to remove an apple from the basin. A variant of dunking involves kneeling on a chair, holding a fork between the teeth and trying to drop the fork into an apple. Another common game involves hanging up treacle or syrup-coated scones by strings; these must be eaten without using hands while they remain attached to the string, an activity that inevitably leads to a very sticky face.

Some games traditionally played at Halloween are forms of divination. A traditional Scottish form of divining one's future spouse is to carve an apple in one long strip, then toss the peel over one's shoulder. The peel is believed to land in the shape of the first letter of the future spouse's name. Unmarried women were told that if they sat in a darkened room and gazed into a mirror on Halloween night, the face of their future husband would appear in the mirror. However, if they were destined to die before marriage, a skull
Symbols of death
Symbols of death are the symbolic, often allegorical, portrayal of death in various cultures. For allegorical figures that portray death, see Death .- Images that represent death :...

 would appear. The custom was widespread enough to be commemorated on greeting cards from the late 19th century and early 20th century.

Another game/superstition that was enjoyed in the early 1900s involved walnut shells. People would write fortunes in milk on white paper. After drying, the paper was folded and placed in walnut shells. When the shell was warmed, milk would turn brown therefore the writing would appear on what looked like blank paper. Folks would also play fortune teller. In order to play this game, symbols were cut out of paper and placed on a platter. Someone would enter a dark room and was ordered to put her hand on a piece of ice then lay it on a platter. Her "fortune" would stick to the hand. Paper symbols included: dollar sign-wealth, button-bachelorhood, thimble-spinsterhood, clothespin- poverty, rice-wedding, umbrella- journey, caldron-trouble, 4-leaf clover- good luck, penny-fortune, ring-early marriage, and key-fame.

The telling of ghost stories and viewing of horror films are common fixtures of Halloween parties. Episodes of television series and Halloween-themed specials (with the specials usually aimed at children) are commonly aired on or before the holiday, while new horror films are often released theatrically before the holiday to take advantage of the atmosphere.

Haunted attractions


Haunted attractions are entertainment venues designed to thrill and scare patrons. Most attractions are seasonal Halloween businesses. Origins of these paid scare venues are difficult to pinpoint, but it is generally accepted that they were first commonly used by the Junior Chamber International
Junior Chamber International
Junior Chamber International is the only worldwide non-political and non-sectarian youth service organization. It is an international community of citizens between the ages of to with the aim and purpose of creating positive changes in the world...

 (Jaycees) for fundraising. They include haunted houses, corn maze
Corn maze
A corn maze or maize maze is a maze cut out of a corn field. They have become popular tourist attractions in North America, and a way for farms to create tourist income. Many are based on artistic designs such as characters from movies. Corn mazes appear in many different designs. Some mazes are...

s, and hayride
Hayride
A hayride, also known as a hayrack ride, is a pleasure ride in an open truck, wagon or sleigh which has been decorated with hay or straw and similar farmlife paraphernalia...

s, and the level of sophistication of the effects has risen as the industry has grown. Haunted attractions in the United States bring in an estimate $300–500 million each year, and draw some 400,000 customers, although press sources writing in 2005 speculated that the industry had reached its peak at that time. This maturing and growth within the industry has led to more technically-advanced special effects and costuming, comparable with that of Hollywood films.

Foods



Because the holiday comes in the wake of the annual apple harvest, candy apple
Candy apple
Candy apples, also known as toffee apples outside of North America, are whole apples covered in a hard sugar candy coating. While the topping varies from place to place, they are almost always served with a stick of sorts in the middle making them easier to eat...

s (known as toffee apples outside North America), caramel or taffy apples
Caramel apple
Caramel apples or taffy apples are created by dipping or rolling apples-on-a-stick in hot caramel, sometimes then rolling them in nuts or other small savories or confections, and allowing them to cool...

 are common Halloween treats made by rolling whole apples in a sticky sugar syrup, sometimes followed by rolling them in nuts.

At one time, candy apples were commonly given to children, but the practice rapidly waned in the wake of widespread rumors that some individuals were embedding items like pins and razor blades in the apples
Poisoned candy scare
The poisoned candy myths are a moral panic in the United States during the 1970s and 1980s regarding the threat that children could be in danger of ingesting razor blades, needles, drugs, or poison introduced to candy by tampering, especially during traditional Halloween trick-or-treating...

. While there is evidence of such incidents, they are quite rare and have never resulted in serious injury. Nonetheless, many parents assumed that such heinous practices were rampant because of the mass media. At the peak of the hysteria, some hospitals offered free X-rays of children's Halloween hauls in order to find evidence of tampering. Virtually all of the few known candy poisoning incidents involved parents who poisoned their own children's candy.

One custom that persists in modern-day Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 is the baking (or more often nowadays, the purchase) of a barmbrack
Barmbrack
Barmbrack is a yeasted bread with added sultanas and raisins.Usually sold in flattened rounds, it is often served toasted with butter along with a cup of tea in the afternoon. The dough is sweeter than sandwich bread, but not as rich as cake, and the sultanas and raisins add flavour and texture to...

 , which is a light fruitcake, into which a plain ring, a coin and other charms are placed before baking. It is said that those who get a ring will find their true love in the ensuing year. This is similar to the tradition of king cake
King cake
A king cake is a type of cake associated with the festival of Epiphany in the Christmas season in a number of countries, and in other places with the pre-Lenten celebrations of Mardi Gras / Carnival...

 at the festival of Epiphany.

List of foods associated with the holiday:
  • Barmbrack
    Barmbrack
    Barmbrack is a yeasted bread with added sultanas and raisins.Usually sold in flattened rounds, it is often served toasted with butter along with a cup of tea in the afternoon. The dough is sweeter than sandwich bread, but not as rich as cake, and the sultanas and raisins add flavour and texture to...

     (Ireland
    Ireland
    Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

    )
  • Bonfire toffee
    Bonfire toffee
    Bonfire toffee is a hard, brittle toffee associated with Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night in the United Kingdom."Toffee is also the name given to a confection of sugar and butter boiled to hard crack, associated with both Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night." Mason,...

     (Great Britain
    Great Britain
    Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

    )
  • Candy apple
    Candy apple
    Candy apples, also known as toffee apples outside of North America, are whole apples covered in a hard sugar candy coating. While the topping varies from place to place, they are almost always served with a stick of sorts in the middle making them easier to eat...

    s/toffee apples (Great Britain & Ireland)
  • Candy corn
    Candy corn
    Candy corn is a confection in the United States and Canada, popular primarily in autumn around Halloween . Candy corn was created in the 1880s by George Renninger of the Wunderle Candy Company; the three colors of the candy mimic the appearance of kernels of corn...

    , candy pumpkins (North America)
  • Caramel apple
    Caramel apple
    Caramel apples or taffy apples are created by dipping or rolling apples-on-a-stick in hot caramel, sometimes then rolling them in nuts or other small savories or confections, and allowing them to cool...

    s
  • Caramel corn
    Caramel corn
    Caramel corn is a confection made of popcorn coated with a sugar or molasses based caramel candy shell. Typically a sugar solution or syrup is made and heated until it browns and becomes thick, producing a caramelized candy syrup. This hot candy is then mixed with popped popcorn, and allowed to cool...

  • Colcannon
    Colcannon
    Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish mainly consisting of mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage. It is also the name of a song about the dish.-Dish:...

     (Ireland)
  • Novelty candy shaped like skulls, pumpkins
    Candy pumpkin
    A candy pumpkin is a small, pumpkin-shaped, mellowcreme confection primarily made from corn syrup, honey, and sugar. Traditionally colored with an orange base and topped with a green stem to make candy pumpkins largely identifiable with Halloween, a candy pumpkin is considered a mellow creme by...

    , bats, worms, etc.
  • Pumpkin, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds
  • Roasted sweet corn
  • Soul cake
    Soul cake
    A Soul cake is a small round cake which is traditionally made for All Saints Day or All Souls' Day to celebrate the dead. The cakes, often simply referred to as souls, were given out to soulers who would go from door to door on Halloween singing and saying prayers for the dead. Each cake eaten...

    s

Around the world



Halloween is not celebrated in all countries and regions of the world, and among those that do the traditions and importance of the celebration vary significantly. In Scotland and Ireland, traditional Halloween customs include children dressing up in costume going "guising", holding parties, while other practices in Ireland include lighting bonfires, and having firework displays. Mass transatlantic immigration in the 19th century popularized Halloween in North America, and celebration in the United States and Canada has had a significant impact on how the event is observed in other nations. This larger North American influence, particularly in iconic and commercial elements, has extended to places such as South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, continental Europe, Japan, and other parts of East Asia.

Christianity


Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 attitudes towards Halloween are diverse. In the Anglican Church
Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion is an international association of national and regional Anglican churches in full communion with the Church of England and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury...

, some diocese
Diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

s have chosen to emphasize the Christian traditions associated with All Hallow's Eve. Some of these practises
Christian worship
In Christianity, worship is adoration and contemplation of God.-Overview:Throughout most of Christianity's history, corporate Christian worship has been primarily liturgical, characterized by prayers and hymns, with texts rooted in, or closely related to, the Scripture, particularly the Psalter;...

 include praying
Christian prayer
Prayer is an important activity in Christianity, and there are several different forms of Christian prayer.Christian prayers are diverse: they can be completely spontaneous, or read entirely from a text, like the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. The most common prayer among Christians is the Lord's...

, fasting
Fasting
Fasting is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period, usually a single day , or several days. Other fasts may be only partially restrictive,...

 and attending worship services
Service of worship
In the Protestant denominations of Christianity, a service of worship is a meeting whose primary purpose is the worship of God. The phrase is normally shortened to service. It is also commonly called a worship service...

.

Other Protestant Christians also celebrate the holiday as Reformation Day
Reformation Day
Reformation Day is a religious holiday celebrated on October 31 in remembrance of the Reformation, particularly by Lutheran and some Reformed church communities...

, a day to remember the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

, alongside All Hallow's Eve or independently from it. Oftentimes, "Harvest Festivals" or "Reformation Festivals" are held, in which children dress up as Bible characters or Reformers
Protestant Reformers
Protestant Reformers were those theologians, churchmen, and statesmen whose careers, works, and actions brought about the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century...

.

Father Gabriele Amorth
Gabriele Amorth
Gabriele Amorth is an Italian Roman Catholic priest and an exorcist of the Diocese of Rome who claims to have cleansed tens of thousands of people of evil spirits. Controversially, he believes that practising yoga is satanic and leads to evil just like reading JK Rowling’s Harry Potter...

, a Vatican
Roman Curia
The Roman Curia is the administrative apparatus of the Holy See and the central governing body of the entire Catholic Church, together with the Pope...

-appointed exorcist
Exorcist
In some religions an exorcist is a person who is believed to be able to cast out the devil or other demons. A priest, a nun, a monk, a healer, a shaman or other specially prepared or instructed person can be an exorcist...

 in Rome, has said, "if English and American children like to dress up as witches and devils on one night of the year that is not a problem. If it is just a game, there is no harm in that." In more recent years, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston is an ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the New England region of the United States. It comprises several counties of the state of Massachusetts...

 has organized a "Saint Fest" on the holiday. Similarly, many contemporary Protestant churches view Halloween as a fun event for children, holding events in their churches where children and their parents can dress up, play games, and get candy for free. Many Christians ascribe no negative significance to Halloween, treating it as a purely cultural holiday devoted to celebrating "imaginary spooks" and handing out candy. To these Christians, Halloween holds no threat to the spiritual lives of children: being taught about death and mortality, and the ways of the Celtic ancestors actually being a valuable life lesson and a part of many of their parishioners' heritage. In the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

, Halloween's Christian connection is sometimes cited, and Halloween celebrations are common in Catholic parochial schools
Catholic school
Catholic schools are maintained parochial schools or education ministries of the Catholic Church. the Church operates the world's largest non-governmental school system...

 throughout North America and in Ireland. Nevertheless, the Vatican has strongly condemned the traditions popularly associated with Halloween as being "pagan" and "anti-Christian".

Some Christians feel concerned about the modern celebration of Halloween, and reject the holiday because they feel it trivializes – or celebrates – paganism
Paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....

, the occult
Occult
The word occult comes from the Latin word occultus , referring to "knowledge of the hidden". In the medical sense it is used to refer to a structure or process that is hidden, e.g...

, or other practices and cultural phenomena deemed incompatible with their beliefs. A response among some fundamentalist
Fundamentalist Christianity
Christian fundamentalism, also known as Fundamentalist Christianity, or Fundamentalism, arose out of British and American Protestantism in the late 19th century and early 20th century among evangelical Christians...

 and conservative evangelical churches in recent years has been the use of "Hell house
Hell house
Hell houses are haunted attractions typically run by American, fundamentalist Christian churches or parachurch groups. These depict sin, the torments of the damned in Hell, and usually conclude with a depiction of heaven...

s", themed pamphlets, or comic-style tracts
Chick tract
Chick tracts are short evangelical-themed tracts created by American publisher Jack Chick. Chick tracts use a comic book format. They are often controversial for their enthusiastic endorsement of fundamentalist Christianity and condemnation of ecumenical, liberal, and prosperity Christians, the...

 such as those created by Jack T. Chick in order to make use of Halloween's popularity as an opportunity for evangelism. Some consider Halloween to be completely incompatible with the Christian faith, believing it to have originated as a pagan "Festival of the Dead
Festival of the Dead
Festival of the Dead is held by many cultures throughout the world in honor or recognition of deceased members of the community, generally occurring after the harvest in August, September, October, or November. In Japanese Buddhist custom the festival honoring the departed spirits of one's...

".

Paganism


Celtic Neopagans
Celtic Neopaganism
Celtic Neopaganism refers to Neopagan movements based on Celtic polytheism.-Types of Celtic Neopaganism:*Neo-druidism, grew out of the Celtic revival in 18th century Romanticism....

 consider the season a holy time of year. Celtic Reconstructionists
Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism
Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism is a polytheistic, animistic, religious and cultural movement...

, and others who maintain ancestral customs, make offerings to the gods and the ancestors.

See also



  • Calan Gaeaf
    Calan Gaeaf
    Calan Gaeaf is the name of the first day of winter in Wales, observed on 1 November. The night before is Nos Galan Gaeaf , an Ysbrydnos when spirits are abroad...

  • Day of the Dead
    Day of the Dead
    Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in many cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it attains the quality...

  • Devil's Night
    Devil's Night
    Devil's Night or Hell Night ' is a name associated with October 30th, the night before Halloween. It is related to the "Mischief night" practiced in other parts of the United States and the world, but is chiefly associated with the serious vandalism and arson seen in Detroit, Michigan from the...

  • Ghost Festival
    Ghost Festival
    The Ghost Festival, also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival, is a traditional Chinese festival and holiday celebrated by Chinese in many countries...

  • List of fiction works about Halloween
  • List of films set around Halloween
  • List of Halloween television specials
  • Martinisingen
    Martinisingen
    Martinisingen is an old Protestant custom which is found especially in East Friesland, but also on the Lüneburg Heath and in other parts of North and East Germany. It also goes under the names of Martini or Martinssingen and the Low German names of Sünnematten or Mattenherrn...

  • Mischief night
    Mischief night
    Mischief Night is an annual tradition in parts of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, and the United States when people take a degree of license to play...



Further reading


  • Diane C. Arkins, Halloween: Romantic Art and Customs of Yesteryear, Pelican Publishing Company
    Pelican Publishing Company
    Pelican Publishing Company is a book publisher based in Gretna, a suburb of New Orleans. It was formed in 1926 and in its time has produced 1500 titles, most of which relate to Louisiana and Southern culture, cuisine, and history...

     (2000). 96 pages. ISBN 1-56554-712-8
  • Diane C. Arkins, Halloween Merrymaking: An Illustrated Celebration Of Fun, Food, And Frolics From Halloweens Past, Pelican Publishing Company (2004). 112 pages. ISBN 1-58980-113-X
  • Lesley Bannatyne, Halloween: An American Holiday, An American History, Facts on File (1990, Pelican Publishing Company, 1998). 180 pages. ISBN 1-56554-346-7
  • Lesley Bannatyne, A Halloween Reader. Stories, Poems and Plays from Halloweens Past, Pelican Publishing Company (2004). 272 pages. ISBN 1-58980-176-8
  • Phyllis Galembo, Dressed for Thrills: 100 Years of Halloween Costumes and Masquerade, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (2002). 128 pages. ISBN 0-81093-291-1
  • Editha Hörandner (ed.), Halloween in der Steiermark und anderswo, Volkskunde (Münster in Westfalen), LIT Verlag Münster (2005). 308 pages. ISBN 3-8258-8889-4
  • Lisa Morton, The Halloween Encyclopedia, McFarland & Company
    McFarland & Company
    McFarland & Company, Inc. is a book publisher of primarily academic and adult nonfiction based in Jefferson, North Carolina. Its president and editor-in-chief is Robert Franklin, who began the enterprise in 1979...

     (2003). 240 pages. ISBN 0-78641-524-X
  • Nicholas Rogers, Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night, Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...

    , USA (2002). ISBN 0-19514-691-3
  • Jack Santino (ed.), Halloween and Other Festivals of Death and Life, University of Tennessee Press
    University of Tennessee Press
    The University of Tennessee Press is a university press associated with the University of Tennessee.UT Press was established in 1940 by the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees.The University of Tennessee Press issues about 35 books each year...

     (1994). 280 pages. ISBN 0-87049-813-4


External links