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This article is about the holiday. For the film, see Halloween (film). For the 2007 film, see Halloween (2007 film).
For other uses, see Halloween (disambiguation).
A Jack-o'-lantern |
Also called | All Hallows’ Eve
All Saints’ Eve |
Observed by | Around the world |
Date | October 31 |Celebrations | Parades, Festivals |
Observances | Costume parties, trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, ghost tours, haunted attractions, bonfires, divination, apple bobbing, fireworks displays |
Related to | Samhain, All Saints’ Day (cf. vigils) |
Halloween (or Hallowe'en) is an annual holiday observed on October 31, which commonly includes activities such as trick-or-treating, attendingcostume parties, carving jack-o'-lanterns, bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.
Contents[hide] * 1 History * 1.1 Origin of name * 2 Symbols * 3 Trick-or-treating and guising * 3.1 Costumes * 3.2 UNICEF * 4 Games and other activities * 5 Haunted attractions * 6 Foods * 7 Around the world* 8 Religious perspectives * 8.1 Christianity * 8.2 Paganism * 9 See also * 10 References * 11 Further reading * 12 External links * 13 Related information |
Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival ofthe dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, whose original spelling was Samuin (pronounced sow-an or sow-in)". The name of the festival historically kept by the Gaels and celts in the British Isles which is derived from Old Irish and means roughly "summer's end".
Snap-Apple Night (1832) by Daniel Maclise.
Depicts apple bobbing anddivination games at a Halloween party in Blarney, Ireland.
Origin of name
The word Halloween is first attested in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even ("evening"), that is, the night before All Hallows Day. Although the phrase All Hallows is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mæssedæg, mass-day of all saints), All-Hallows-Even is itself notattested until 1556.
Jack-o'-lanterns in Kobe, Japan
Development of artifacts and symbols associated with Halloween formed over time. For instance, the carving of jack-o'-lanterns springs from the souling custom of carving turnips into lanterns as a way of remembering the souls held in purgatory. The turnip has traditionally been used in Ireland and Scotland at Halloween, butimmigrants to North America used the native pumpkin, which are both readily available and much larger – making them easier to carve than turnips. The American tradition of carving pumpkins is recorded in 1837 and was originally associated with harvest time in general, not becoming specifically associated with Halloween until the mid-to-late 19th century.
The imagery of Halloween isderived from many sources, including national customs, works of Gothic and horror literature (such as the novels Frankenstein and Dracula), and classic horror films (such as Frankenstein and The Mummy). Among the earliest works on the subject of Halloween is from Scottish poet John Mayne in 1780, who made note of pranks at Halloween; "What fearfu' pranks ensue!", as well as the supernaturalassociated with the night, "Bogies" (ghosts), influencing Robert Burns' Halloween 1785. Elements of the autumn season, such as pumpkins, corn husks, and scarecrows, are also prevalent. Homes are often decorated with these types of symbols around Halloween.
Halloween imagery includes themes of death, evil, the occult, or mythical monsters. Black and orange are the holiday's traditional colors....