Halloween is a celebration on the night of October 31st. It is most practised in the United States and Canada. Children wear costumes and go to people's homes saying "Trick or treat!" to ask for candy (sweets in the UK) and people give it to them. The suggestion is: "Give me a treat or I will play a trick on you." People mainly dress up as ghosts, witches, or other scary things for Halloween. It is often referred to as ‘the scariest time of the year’.
For Christians it is the eve of All Saints' Day, which begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide. This covers the three days – October 31 (All-Hallows Eve or Hallowe'en), November 1 (All Saints) and November 2 (All Souls). All Hallows' is a Christianized holiday and originated in Ireland, it also has pagan roots.
Halloween originated from Ireland. The pagan holiday Samhain, which the All Saints holy day replaced, was also known as the Day of the Dead. Many wiccans and modern pagans celebrate the Day of the Dead. This is a happy holiday (even though it celebrates death). It is the day that some believed the souls of dead people come back to Earth. Pope Gregory III originally designated Halloween on November 1 as a time to honor all saints. Soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain.
During Halloween some people wear a costume. People have worn costumes at Halloween for centuries. Wearing a costume may come from Celtic festivals of Samhain and Calan Gaeaf. It could also be from the Christian Allhallowtide.
Early costumes were usually scary. They were often supernatural beings or from folklore. In the 1930s costumes of characters from literature, radio, or movies became popular. Scary costumes are still popular.
- Rogers, Nicholas (2003). Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night. Oxford University Press. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-19-516896-9.
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