Halloween, also referred to as All Hallows’ Eve, takes place every year on 31st October in the United States and a number of other countries around the world. It is the initiation of Hallowmas, the time of the year that is dedicated to remembering the deceased including martyrs, saints and all the departed faithful believers.
Many scholars say that Halloween is a festival that was influenced by Celtic harvest festivals and has Pagan roots, especially the Gaelic Samhain, but was later Christianized. Halloween features a number of traditional festive activities including trick or treating, decorating, lighting bonfires, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories, watching horror movies, attending costume parties, apple bobbing, playing pranks, and carving pumpkins into the shape of a jack-o’-lantern.
Many of the customs we have come to associate with Halloween are believed to have been influenced by the beliefs and folk customs from Celtic-speaking countries, many of which have pagan roots, as well as by Christian dogma and some of the practices that are derived from it. There is no indication that Halloween was celebrated in North America in the late 18th century and it appears that it was the 19th century mass immigration from Ireland and Scotland that brought it to the country in earnest.
Common fixtures of modern Halloween parties include the viewing of horror movies and the telling of ghost stories. Television series often include Halloween specials, and many horror films are released around Halloween in order to capitalize on the atmosphere.
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