Halloween is celebrated on the evening of October 31st and the name Halloween descends form the old name Hallows Eve.  Hallows Eve means the night of the dead.  This is why children and adults dress up as spooky characters such as ghosts, goblins, vampires, monsters, witches, werewolves and anything that goes bump in the night.

Celtic practices, Catholic and roman religious rituals and European folk traditions that blended over time created the Halloween that we celebrate today.  Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition.  It has long been thought of as a day when the dead can return to the earth.  It is said that Halloween night is dedicated to the dead and that there are more spiritual energies on this night making it easier for the living to contact the dead and for the dead to contact the living.

The ancient Celts would light bonfires and wear costumes to scare off the roaming ghosts.  Halloween began to lose its religious connotation in the 19th century.  Halloween became a more community-based children’s holiday.  The old Halloween meaning has been lost and replaced and today is seen more of a festive holiday of fun and spookiness.  Halloween straddles the line between fall and winter– when the days grow shorter and the nights get colder.

Traditional activities include trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting haunted houses, parades, hayrides, visits to pumpkin patches, and carving jack-o-lanterns.

Trick-or-treating is an activity for children where they go from house to house dressed in costumes asking for treats on or around Halloween.  They ask for treats by saying Trick-or Treat.  The trick part of trick-or-treat is a threat to play a trick on the person that answered the door if no treat is given.  Trick-or-treating is the main tradition of Halloween.  If one lives in a neighborhood with children it is expected that one should purchase treats in preparation for trick-or-treaters.

Even though some cults may have adopted Halloween as their favorite “holiday,” the day itself did not grow out of evil practices.  It grew out of the rituals of Celts celebrating a new year, and out of Medieval prayer rituals of Europeans.  Many churches even have Halloween parties or pumpkin carving events for the kids. So it could be said that Halloween is only as evil as one cares to make it!