Halloween is both a secular and religious holiday. It is celebrated on October 31. Although countries all over the world celebrate Halloween or a form of it, Christian churches may celebrate All Hallows Day or All Saints Day. The materialistic celebration is marked by dressing up in costumes and trick-or-treating and carnival-style events characterized by spooky elements such as ghosts.
The source of Halloween is believed to be of pagan tradition, although many believe the Christian celebrations came first. These festivals often honoured gods of fruits, such as the Roman Pomona. Others, like the festival of Parentalia, may have accepted the deceased.
The Celtic festival of Samhain is of significant influence, which marked the end of summer and the autumn. Campfires were lit, often to provide light for those bringing in livestock from the fields or mountains to be killed for winter. On this day, the Celts believe that the door to the underworld was opened, letting in spirits. They would hold a feast, setting a place for any deceased relatives, as they were believed to visit home on this day. Mean spirits entered the earthly realm as well. People would dress in costume to confuse these spirits. This evolved into the custom of visiting houses to collect food for the meal while in dress, an ancestor to trick-or-treating.
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