Hallowe'en or All-Hallows-Eve takes place on the night of 31 October. Hallow is the old English word for saint On All Hallows Day the Catholic Church remembers Christian martyrs.
All Saints/Hallows Day has been celebrated on 1 November since the Middle Ages.
All Souls Day follows on 2 November. On All Souls Day Catholics pray for the 'souls of the departed'.
Is Halloween Christian or Pagan?
Both. Like Christmas, Halloween combines pagan & Christian customs.
- The lighting of bonfires symbolizes the plight of souls lost in purgatory (Catholic) while frightening away witches and ghouls (Pagan).
- souling - going door-to-door offering prayers for the dead in exchange for "soul cakes" and other treats.
- mumming (or "guising") was acustom originally associated with Christmas. It consisted of parading in costume, chanting rhymes, and play-acting. Source
But isn't the Catholic Church against Halloween?
Not exactly. It just does not recognise it as a religious holiday (again like Christmas Eve). Nor does it approve of modern attempts to connect Halloween with devil-worship, witchcraft etc.
Today the religious elements of Halloween eclipse the pagan ones. Sadly there are no Jack O Lanterns in the Bible!
Another example of the devil having all the best tunes ...
Halloween often features in Victorian ghost stories.
E. Nesbit's 'Man-Made-in-Marble' is a good example - read and/or listen to a retelling here.Halloween Traditions
Halloween Ghost Story
Classic Ghost Stories