Saturday, 29 October 2016

Halloween

This article is about the observance. For other uses, see Halloween (disambiguation).
"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
Also calledHallowe'en
Allhallowe'en
All Hallows' Eve
All Saints' Eve
Observed byWestern Christians and many non-Christians around the world[1]
SignificanceFirst day of Allhallowtide
CelebrationsTrick-or-treatingcostumeparties, making jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfiresdivination,apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions
ObservancesChurch services,[2] prayer,[3]fasting,[1] and vigil[4]
Date31 October
Related toTotensonntagBlue Christmas,Thursday of the Dead,SamhainHop-tu-NaaCalan GaeafAllantideDay of the DeadReformation DayAll Saints' DayMischief Night(cfvigils)
Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of All HallowsEvening),[5] also known as Allhalloween,[6] All Hallows' Eve,[7] or All Saints' Eve,[8] 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,[9] the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.[10][11]
It is widely believed that many Halloween traditions originated from Celtic harvest festivals which may have pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain, and that this festival was Christianized as Halloween.[1][7][12][13][14][15] Some academics, however, support the view that Halloween began independently as a solely Christian holiday.[1][16][17][18][19]
Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related guising), attending Halloween costume parties, decorating, carvingpumpkins 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,[20][21][22] although elsewhere it is a more commercial and secular celebration.[23][24][25] Some Christians historically abstained from meat on All Hallows' Eve,[26][27] a tradition reflected in the eating of certain foods on this vigil day, including applespotato pancakes and soul cakes.[27][28][29]-wiki link

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