Q:

What are some words that describe Halloween?

A:

Quick Answer

Halloween is a holiday that is described as spooky, haunting, supernatural, eerie, scary, fun, creepy and ghostly. The holiday was originally called All Hallows' Eve, and it marked the beginning of a three-day feast to honor dead Christian saints, also known as hallows.

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What are some words that describe Halloween?
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Full Answer

The ancient Celts celebrated a similar holiday called Samhain, which took place at harvest time and may also have had pagan origins. The Celts and pagans respected nature since their lives were dependent on a good harvest. The Celts also believed the change of seasons paralleled the transition from the living world into death and the afterlife. Both cultures thought that, during late autumn and early winter, spirits were more likely to cross back into the human world to seek revenge on those people who had wronged them. Food offerings were made to appease angry spirits. People began dressing up in costumes to imitate ghosts, sprites and evil spirits. They hoped to blend in with or conceal themselves from restless and vengeful ghosts.

Trick or treating symbolizes the act of appeasing angry ghosts with food in order to avoid their mischievous pranks. Jack o' lanterns were created to ward off ghosts. Although Christians have tried to redirect the focus of the holiday from ancient pagan rituals to honoring the saints, some have still kept some of the traditions, such as placing candles on the graves of the dead.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the day after Halloween called?

    A:

    The day after Halloween is called All Saints Day. Celebrated on Nov. 1 each year, it is a Christian day of solemnity that is also referred to as Solemnity of All Saints, All Hallows or Hallowmas.

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  • Q:

    How was Halloween invented?

    A:

    Halloween, or All Hallows' Eve, comes from the ancient Celtic festival called Samhain and was invented because the Pagans felt that October 31 was the one day out of the year that the boundary between the living and the dead overlapped. They believed the dead would come back to earth and cause illness or damaged crops. At that time, people participating in the Samhain festival would wear costumes and masks in an attempt to mimic evil spirits.

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  • Q:

    How did Halloween originate?

    A:

    The word "Halloween" is a corruption of "All Hallows' Eve," the day before All Saints' Day, and it was initially a Catholic high feast day as well as a minor Celtic feast day. Medieval Catholics believed this was the night spirits were free to roam the earth.

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  • Q:

    What is the night before Halloween called?

    A:

    The night before Halloween is commonly called Mischief Night, particularly in the state of New Jersey. In some areas of New York State, the night is referred to as Goosey Night or Hell Night, while other areas in the New England area use the name Cabbage Night or Gate Night. In the Detroit region, people call it Devil's Night, while in the North and South Dakota states, the night is called Mat Night.

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