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This article is about the observance. For other uses, see
“All Hallows’ Eve” redirects here. For other uses, see
All Hallows’ Eve (disambiguation).
Halloween orHallowe'en (a contraction ofAll Hallows'
Evening), also known as Allhalloween, All Hal-
lows’ 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 faith-
is widely believed that many Halloween tradi-
tions originated from Celtic harvest festivals which
may have pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic festival
Samhain, and that this festival was Christianized as
Halloween. Some academics, however,
support the view that Halloween began independently as
a solely Christian holiday.
Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the re-
lated guising), attending Halloween costume parties,
carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires,
apple bobbing, divination games, playing pranks, visit-
ing haunted attractions, telling scary stories and watching
horror films. In many parts of the world, the Christian
religious observances of All Hallows’ Eve, including at-
tending 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, potato
pancakes and soul cakes.
The word Halloween or Hallowe'en dates to about
1745 and is of Christian origin. The word “Hal-
lowe'en” means "hallowed evening” or “holy evening”.
It comes from a Scottish term for All Hallows’ Eve (the