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When the fire died down, a ring of stones would be laid in the ashes, one for each person. In the morning, if any stone was mislaid it was said that the person it represented would not live out the year. Telling ghost stories and watching horror films are common fixtures of Halloween parties. Episodes of television series and Halloween-themed specials with the specials usually aimed at children are commonly aired on or before Halloween, while new horror films are often released before Halloween to take advantage of the holiday.

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Haunted attractions are entertainment venues designed to thrill and scare patrons. Most attractions are seasonal Halloween businesses that may include haunted houses , corn mazes , and hayrides , [] and the level of sophistication of the effects has risen as the industry has grown. The first recorded purpose-built haunted attraction was the Orton and Spooner Ghost House, which opened in in Liphook , England. This attraction actually most closely resembles a carnival fun house, powered by steam.

It was during the s, about the same time as trick-or-treating , that Halloween-themed haunted houses first began to appear in America. It was in the late s that haunted houses as a major attraction began to appear, focusing first on California. Home haunts began appearing across the country during and The haunted house as an American cultural icon can be attributed to the opening of the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland on 12 August The first Halloween haunted house run by a nonprofit organization was produced in by the Sycamore-Deer Park Jaycees in Clifton, Ohio.

It was last produced in The March of Dimes copyrighted a "Mini haunted house for the March of Dimes" in and began fundraising through their local chapters by conducting haunted houses soon after. Although they apparently quit supporting this type of event nationally sometime in the s, some March of Dimes haunted houses have persisted until today. As a result of the fire, eight teenagers perished. The smaller venues, especially the nonprofit attractions, were unable to compete financially, and the better funded commercial enterprises filled the vacuum.

In the late s and early s, theme parks entered the business seriously. Knott's Scary Farm experienced a surge in attendance in the s as a result of America's obsession with Halloween as a cultural event. Theme parks have played a major role in globalizing the holiday. On All Hallows' Eve, many Western Christian denominations encourage abstinence from meat , giving rise to a variety of vegetarian foods associated with this day.

Because in the Northern Hemisphere Halloween comes in the wake of the yearly apple harvest, candy apples known as toffee apples outside North America , caramel apples or taffy apples are common Halloween treats made by rolling whole apples in a sticky sugar syrup, sometimes followed by rolling them in nuts.

At one time, candy apples were commonly given to trick-or-treating children, but the practice rapidly waned in the wake of widespread rumors that some individuals were embedding items like pins and razor blades in the apples in the United States. Nonetheless, many parents assumed that such heinous practices were rampant because of the mass media. At the peak of the hysteria, some hospitals offered free X-rays of children's Halloween hauls in order to find evidence of tampering. Virtually all of the few known candy poisoning incidents involved parents who poisoned their own children's candy.

One custom that persists in modern-day Ireland is the baking or more often nowadays, the purchase of a barmbrack Irish: This is similar to the tradition of king cake at the festival of Epiphany. On Hallowe'en All Hallows' Eve , in Poland , believers were once taught to pray out loud as they walk through the forests in order that the souls of the dead might find comfort; in Spain, Christian priests in tiny villages toll their church bells in order to remind their congregants to remember the dead on All Hallows' Eve.

The Christian Church traditionally observed Hallowe'en through a vigil.

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Worshippers prepared themselves for feasting on the following All Saints' Day with prayers and fasting. Today, Christian attitudes towards Halloween are diverse. In the Anglican Church , some dioceses have chosen to emphasize the Christian traditions associated with All Hallow's Eve. One organization, the American Tract Society , stated that around 3 million gospel tracts are ordered from them alone for Hallowe'en celebrations.

If it is just a game, there is no harm in that. To these Christians, Halloween holds no threat to the spiritual lives of children: In the Roman Catholic Church , Halloween's Christian connection is acknowledged, and Halloween celebrations are common in many Catholic parochial schools. The Eastern Orthodox Church recommends the observance of Vespers or a Paraklesis on the Western observance of All Hallows' Eve, out of the pastoral need to provide an alternative to popular celebrations. According to Alfred J. Many Jews observe Yizkor communally four times a year, which is vaguely similar to the observance of Allhallowtide in Christianity, in the sense that prayers are said for both "martyrs and for one's own family".

Sheikh Idris Palmer , author of A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam , has argued that Muslims should not participate in Halloween, stating that "participation in Halloween is worse than participation in Christmas, Easter, Hindus remember the dead during the festival of Pitru Paksha , during which Hindus pay homage to and perform a ceremony "to keep the souls of their ancestors at rest".

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It is celebrated in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada , usually in mid-September. There is no consistent rule or view on Halloween amongst those who describe themselves as Neopagans or Wiccans. Some Neopagans do not observe Halloween, but instead observe Samhain on 1 November, [] some neopagans do enjoy Halloween festivities, stating that one can observe both "the solemnity of Samhain in addition to the fun of Halloween".

Some neopagans are opposed to the celebration of Hallowe'en, stating that it "trivializes Samhain", [] and "avoid Halloween, because of the interruptions from trick or treaters". Starting at sundown, Wiccans celebrate a holiday known as Samhain. Samhain actually comes from old Celtic traditions and is not exclusive to Neopagan religions like Wicca.

While the traditions of this holiday originate in Celtic countries, modern day Wiccans don't try to historically replicate Samhain celebrations. Some traditional Samhain rituals are still practised, but at its core, the period is treated as a time to celebrate darkness and the dead — a possible reason why Samhain can be confused with Halloween celebrations.

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The traditions and importance of Halloween vary greatly among countries that observe it. In Scotland and Ireland, traditional Halloween customs include children dressing up in costume going "guising", holding parties, while other practices in Ireland include lighting bonfires, and having firework displays. This larger North American influence, particularly in iconic and commercial elements, has extended to places such as Ecuador, Chile , [] Australia, [] New Zealand , [] most continental Europe , Japan, and other parts of East Asia.

Most of the people from Latin America construct altars in their homes to honor their deceased relatives and they decorate them with flowers and candies and other offerings. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the observance. For other uses, see Halloween disambiguation.

For other uses, see All Hallows' Eve disambiguation. A jack-o'-lantern , one of the symbols of Halloween. On All Hallows' Eve, Christians in some parts of the world visit cemeteries to pray and place flowers and candles on the graves of their loved ones. Halloween portal Christianity portal Holidays portal. Archived from the original on 3 November Retrieved 1 November It is widely believed that many Hallowe'en traditions have evolved from an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain which was Christianised by the early Church The Church traditionally held a vigil on All Hallows' Eve when worshippers would prepare themselves with prayers and fasting prior to the feast day itself.

The name derives from the Old English 'hallowed' meaning holy or sanctified and is now usually contracted to the more familiar word Hallowe'en. However, there are supporters of the view that Hallowe'en, as the eve of All Saints' Day, originated entirely independently of Samhain The Book of Occasional Services 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.

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The Anglican Family Prayer Book. Archived from the original on 25 January Retrieved 31 October Use this simple prayer service in conjunction with Halloween festivities to mark the Christian roots of this festival. Archived from the original on 31 October 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.

From the Union of the kingdoms, , to the present time. Archived from the original on 21 June 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. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. Halloween All Hallows Eve.

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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. Archived from the original on 6 October Archived from the original PDF on 19 November 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 Irish pre-Christian observances influenced the Christian festival of All Hallows' Eve, celebrated on the same date. The Making of the English Village: A Study in Historical Geography. Retrieved 14 December 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.

Women's History in Global Perspective. University of Illinois Press. 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.

From Pagan Ritual to Party Night. 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.


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