Halloween (or Hallowe'en) is an annual holiday observed on October 31, which commonly includes activities such as trick-or-treating,attending costume parties, carving jack-o'-lanterns, bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horrorfilms.
Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast ofPomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, whoseoriginal spelling was Samuin (pronounced sow-an or sow-in)". The name is derived from Old Irish and means roughly "summer's end".
Snap-Apple Night(1832) by Daniel Maclise.
Depicts apple bobbing and divination games at a Halloween party in Blarney, Ireland.
The name 'Halloween' and many of its present-daytraditions derive from the Old English era.
 Origin of name
This subsection may need to be rewritten entirely to comply with Wikipedia's qualitystandards, as it contains inappropriate/misinterpreted citations. You can help. The discussion page may contain suggestions. (November 2010)
The word Halloween isfirst 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 not attested until 1556.