Happy Halloween

Halloween, or Hallowe’en a contraction of All  Hallows’ Evening), also known as Allhalloween,  All Hallows’ Eve,  or All Saints’ Eve, is a celebration  observed in a number of countries  on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It begins the  three-day observance  of  Allhallowtide, the time in the  liturgical year  dedicated to remembering the dead, including  saints  (hallows),  martyrs, and all the faithful departed.

According BBC Online, it is “widely believed” that many Halloween traditions originated from the ancient  Celtic  harvest festival  Samhain, and that this Gaelic  observance was  Christianized  by the  early Church. Samhain and other such festivals may have also had pagan roots. Some, however, support the view that Halloween began independently of Samhain and has Christian roots.

Halloween activities include trick-or-treating  (or the related guising), attending  Halloween costume  parties, decorating, carving  pumpkins  into  jack-o’-lanterns, lighting  bonfiresapple bobbing  and  divination games, playing  pranks, visiting  haunted attractions, 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,  although elsewhere it is a more commercial and secular celebration.  Some Christians historically abstained from meat on All Hallows’ Eve, a tradition reflected in the eating of certain foods on this  vigil  day, including apples,  colcannonpotato pancakes  and  soul cakes.