|Observed by||Western Christians and many non-Christians around the world|
|Significance||First day of Allhallowtide|
|Celebrations||Trick-or-treating, costume parties, making jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, divination, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions.|
|Observances||Church services, prayer, fasting, and vigil|
|Related to||Totensonntag, Blue Christmas, Thursday of the Dead, Samhain, Hop-tu-Naa, Calan Gaeaf, Allantide, Day of the Dead, Reformation Day, All Saints' Day, Mischief Night (cf. vigil)|
Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of "All Hallows' evening"), also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve, is a celebration observed in many countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day. It begins the observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.
One theory holds that many Halloween traditions may have been influenced by ancient Celtic harvest festivals, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain, which may have had pagan roots; some scholars hold that Samhain may have been Christianized as All Hallow's Day, along with its eve, by the early Church. Other academics believe, however, that Halloween began solely as a Christian holiday, being the vigil of All Hallow's Day.
Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related guising and souling), attending Halloween costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories, as well as watching horror films. In many parts of the world, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows' Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular, although elsewhere it is a more commercial and secular celebration. Some Christians historically abstained from meat on All Hallows' Eve, a tradition reflected in the eating of certain vegetarian foods on this vigil day, including apples, potato pancakes, and soul cakes.
Fastingwas invoked but never defined (see the help page).
This service may be used on the evening of October 31, known as All Hallows' Eve. Suitable festivities and entertainments may take place before or after this service, and a visit may be made to a cemetery or burial place.
All Hallow's Eve, which later became known as Halloween, is celebrated on the night before All Saints' Day, November 1. Use this simple prayer service in conjunction with Halloween festivities to mark the Christian roots of this festival.
Rather than compete, liturgy planners would do well to consider ways of including children in the celebration of these vigil Masses. For example, children might be encouraged to wear Halloween costumes representing their patron saint or their favorite saint, clearly adding a new level of meaning to the Halloween celebrations and the celebration of All Saints' Day.
Of the stated rustic festivals peculiar to Scotland the most important was Hallowe'en, a contraction for All-hallow Evening, or the evening of All-Saints Day, the annual return of which was a season for joy and festivity.
Halloween (All Hallows Eve). The name given to October 31, the eve of the Christian festival of All Saints Day (November 1).
Originally celebrated as the night before All Saints' Day, Christians chose November first to honor their many saints. The night before was called All Saints' Eve or hallowed eve meaning holy evening.Cite journal requires
Hallowtide covers the three days – 31 October (All-Hallows Eve or Hallowe'en), 1 November (All Saints) and 2 November (All Souls).
Halloween or Hallowe'en, is the yearly celebration on October 31st that signifies the first day of Allhallowtide, being the time to remember the dead, including martyrs, saints and all faithful departed Christians.
The pre-Christian observance obviously influenced the Christian celebration of All Hallows' Eve, just as the Taoist festival affected the newer Buddhist Ullambana festival. Although the Christian version of All Saints' and All Souls' Days came to emphasize prayers for the dead, visits to graves, and the role of the living assuring the safe passage to heaven of their departed loved ones, older notions never disappeared.
Halloween and the Day of the Dead share a common origin in the Christian commemoration of the dead on All Saints' and All Souls' Day. But both are thought to embody strong pre-Christian beliefs. In the case of Halloween, the Celtic celebration of Samhain is critical to its pagan legacy, a claim that has been foregrounded in recent years by both new-age enthusiasts and the evangelical Right.
The feasts of Hallowe'en, or All Hallows Eve and the devotions to the dead on All Saints' and All Souls' Day are both mixtures of old Celtic, Druid and other pagan customs intertwined with Christian practice.
Halloween, also called All Hallows' Eve, holy or hallowed evening observed on October 31, the eve of All Saints' Day. The Irish pre-Christian observances influenced the Christian festival of All Hallows' Eve, celebrated on the same date.
Time out of time', when the barriers between this world and the next were down, the dead returned from the grave, and gods and strangers from the underworld walked abroad was a twice- yearly reality, on dates Christianised as All Hallows' Eve and All Hallows' Day.
Hutton (1996, 363) identifies Rhys as a key figure who, along with another Oxbridge academic, James Frazer, romanticised the notion of Samhain and exaggerated its influence on Halloween. Hutton argues that Rhys had no substantiated documentary evidence for claiming that Halloween was the Celtic new year, but inferred it from contemporary folklore in Wales and Ireland. Moreover, he argues that Rhys: "thought that [he] was vindicated when he paid a subsequent visit to the Isle of Man and found its people sometimes called 31 October New Year's Night (Hog-unnaa) and practised customs which were usually associated with 31 December. In fact the flimsy nature of all this evidence ought to have been apparent from the start. The divinatory and purificatory rituals on 31 October could be explained by a connection to the most eerie of Christian feasts (All Saints) or by the fact that they ushered in the most dreaded of seasons. The many "Hog-unnaa" customs were also widely practised on the conventional New Year's Eve, and Rhys was uncomfortably aware that they might simply have been transferred, in recent years, from then Hallowe'en, to increase merriment and fundraising on the latter. He got round this problem by asserting that in his opinion (based upon no evidence at all) the transfer had been the other way round." ... Hutton points out that Rhy's unsubstantiated notions were further popularised by Frazer who used them to support an idea of his own, that Samhain, as well as being the origin of Halloween, had also been a pagan Celtic feast of the dead—a notion used to account for the element of ghosts, witches and other unworldly spirits commonly featured within Halloween. ... Halloween's preoccupation with the netherworld and with the supernatural owes more to the Christian festival of All Saints or All Souls, rather than vice versa.
It is the medieval Christian festivals of All Saints’ and All Souls’ that provide our firmest foundation for Halloween. From emphasizing dead souls (both good and evil), to decorating skeletons, lighting candles for processions, building bonfires to ward off evil spirits, organizing community feasts, and even encouraging carnival practices like costumes, the medieval and early modern traditions of “Hallowtide” fit well with our modern holiday. So what does this all mean? It means that when we celebrate Halloween, we are definitely participating in a tradition with deep historical roots. But, while those roots are firmly situated in the medieval Christian past, their historical connection to “paganism” is rather more tenuous.
Die Kelten haben gar nichts mit Halloween zu tun", entkräftet Stefan Moser, Direktor des Keltenmuseums Hallein, einen weit verbreiteten Mythos. Moser sieht die Ursprünge von Halloween insgesamt in einem christlichen Brauch, nicht in einem keltischen.
Die lückenhaften religionsgeschichtlichen Überlieferungen, die auf die Neuzeit begrenzte historische Dimension der Halloween-Kultausprägung, vor allem auch die Halloween-Metaphorik legen nahe, daß wir umdenken müssen: Halloween geht nicht auf das heidnische Samhain zurück, sondern steht in Bezug zum christlichen Totengedenkfest Allerheiligen/ Allerseelen.
Der Wunsch nach einer Tradition, deren Anfänge sich in grauer Vorzeit verlieren, ist bei Dachleuten wie laien gleichmäßig verbreitet. ... Abgesehen von Irrtümern wie die Herleitung des Fests in ungebrochener Tradition ("seit 2000 Jahren") ist eine mangelnde vertrautheit mit der heimischen Folklore festzustellen. Allerheiligen war lange vor der Halloween invasion ein wichtiger Brauchtermin und ist das ncoh heute. ... So wie viele heimische Bräuche generell als fruchtbarkeitsbringend und dämonenaustreibend interpretiert werden, was trottz aller Aufklärungsarbeit nicht auszurotten ist, begegnet uns Halloween als ...heidnisches Fest. Aber es wird nicht als solches inszeniert.
Dr. Alois Döring ist wissenschaftlicher Referent für Volkskunde beim LVR-Institut für Landeskunde und Regionalgeschichte Bonn. Er schrieb zahlreiche Bücher über Bräuche im Rheinland, darunter das Nachschlagewerk "Rheinische Bräuche durch das Jahr". Darin widerspricht Döring der These, Halloween sei ursprünglich ein keltisch-heidnisches Totenfest. Vielmehr stamme Halloween von den britischen Inseln, der Begriff leite sich ab von "All Hallows eve", Abend vor Allerheiligen. Irische Einwanderer hätten das Fest nach Amerika gebracht, so Döring, von wo aus es als "amerikanischer" Brauch nach Europa zurückkehrte.
However, there are supporters of the view that Hallowe'en, as the eve of All Saints' Day, originated entirely independently of Samhain and some question the existence of a specific pan-Celtic religious festival which took place on 31st October/1st November.
Most funerals are Lutheran, and nearly 98 percent of all funerals take place in a church. It is customary to take pictures of funerals or even videotape them. To Finns, death is a part of the cycle of life, and a funeral is another special occasion worth remembering. In fact, during All Hallow's Eve and Christmas Eve, cemeteries are known as valomeri, or seas of light. Finns visit cemeteries and light candles in remembrance of the deceased.
About All Hallows Eve: Tonight is the eve of All Saints Day, the festival in the Church that recalls the faith and witness of the men and women who have come before us. The service celebrates our continuing communion with them, and memorializes the recently deceased. The early church followed the Jewish custom that a new day began at sundown; thus, feasts and festivals in the church were observed beginning the night before.
Among the European nations the beautiful custom of lighting candles for the dead was always a part of the "All Hallow's Eve" festival.
In most of Europe, Halloween is strictly a religious event. Sometimes in North America the church's traditions are lost or confused.
By the early 20th century, Halloween, like Christmas, was commercialized. Pre-made costumes, decorations and special candy all became available. The Christian origins of the holiday were downplayed.
Halloween, a holiday with religious origins but increasingly secularized as celebrated in America, came to assume major proportions as a children's festivity.
The vigil of the feast is Halloween, the night when charms and incantations were powerful, when people looked into the future, and when feasting and merriment were ordained. Up to recent time this was a day of abstinence, when according to church ruling no flesh meat was allowed. Colcannon, apple cake and barm brack, as well as apples and nuts were part of the festive fare.
In Ireland, dishes based on potatoes and other vegetables were associated with Halloween, as meat was forbidden during the Catholic vigil and fast leading up to All Saint's Day.