Halloween, All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve, is an annual celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31st, and the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day, on November 1. Traditionally it was acknowledged for being the time in the liturgical calendar dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers. Within “All-Hallowtide“, the traditional focus of All Hallows’ Eve revolves around the theme of using “humor and ridicule to confront the power of death.” It is purported to be a Christianized feast influenced by Celtic harvest festivals, stemming from pagan roots, such as the Samhain, celebrated by the early pre-Christian Scottish.
Examples of the typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related “guising”), attending costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, playing pranks, telling scary stories and watching horror films. Halloween costumes are traditionally modeled after supernatural figures such as vampires, monsters, ghosts, skeletons, witches, and devils.
Dressing up in costumes and going “guising” was prevalent in Ireland and Scotland at Halloween by the late 19th century. Costuming became popular for Halloween parties in the US in the early 20th century, as often for adults as for children. The first mass- produced Halloween costumes appeared in stores in the 1930s when trick-or-treating was becoming popular in the United States.
Because many Western Christian denominations encourage, although most no longer require, abstinence from meat on All Hallows’ Eve, the tradition of eating certain vegetarian foods for this vigil day developed, including the consumption of apples, colcannon, cider, potato pancakes, and soul cakes
As part of the Halloween celebration, I use this opportunity to launch my Dark Art page which captures cemetery art, Druidic influences in art, sorcery, horror stories and he macabre, and angels who celebrate the dearly departed – Hallowed be thy name.