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Halloween

Tuesday, October 31, 2017
"All Hallows' Eve" redirects here. For other uses, see All Hallows' Eve (disambiguation).
Halloween
Jack-o'-Lantern 2003-10-31.jpg
jack-o'-lantern, one of the symbols of Halloween representing the souls of the dead[1]
Also called Hallowe'en
Allhallowe'en
All Hallows' Eve
All Saints' Eve
Observed by Western Christians and many non-Christians around the world[2]
Significance First day of Allhallowtide
Celebrations Trick-or-treatingcostumeparties, making jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfiresdivination,apple bobbing, visiting haunted house attractions
Observances Church services,[3] prayer,[4]fasting,[2] and vigils[5]
Date 31 October
Next time 31 October 2015
Frequency Annual
Related to TotensonntagBlue Christmas,Thursday of the Dead,SamhainHop-tu-NaaCalan GaeafAllantideDay of the DeadReformation DayAll Saints' DayMischief Night(cfvigils)

Halloween or Hallowe'en (/ˌhæləˈwn, -ˈn, ˌhɑːl-/; a contraction of "All HallowsEvening"),[6] also known asAllhalloween,[7] All Hallows' Eve,[8] or All Saints' Eve,[9] is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day. It initiates the triduum of Allhallowtide,[10] the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers.[11] Within Allhallowtide, the traditional focus of All Hallows' Eve revolves around the theme of using "humor and ridicule to confront the power of death."[12]

According to many scholars, All Hallows' Eve is a Christianized feast initially influenced by Celtic harvest festivals,[13][14]with possible pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic Samhain.[8][15][16] Other scholars maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and has solely Christian roots.[17][18]

Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related "guising"), attending costume parties,decorating, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfiresapple bobbing, visiting haunted house attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories and watching horror films. In many parts of the world, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows' Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular,[19][20][21] although in other locations, these solemn customs are less pronounced in favor of a more commercialized and secularized celebration.[22][23][24] Because many Western Christian denominations encourage, although most no longer require, abstinence from meat on All Hallows' Eve,[25][26] the tradition of eating certainvegetarian foods for this vigil day developed, including the consumption of applescolcannonciderpotato pancakes, and soul cakes.[26][27][28]

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