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Halloween is an annual holiday celebrated on October 31. It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holy day of All Saints, but is today largely a secular celebration.
Halloween The word Halloween is first attested in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Eve, that is, the night before All Hallows Day.
Symbols Development of artifacts and symbols associated with Halloween formed over time. The most popular is pumpkin.
Symbols The turnip has traditionally been used in Ireland and Scotland at Halloween, but immigrants to North America used the native pumpkin, which is both much softer and much larger – making it easier to carve than a turnip.
Symbols The American tradition of carving pumpkins is recorded in 1837 and was originally associated with harvest time in general, not becoming specifically associated with Halloween until the mid-to-late 19th century.
The modern imagery of Halloween comes from many sources, including national customs, works of Gothic and horror literature and classic horror films.
Symbols Elements of the autumn season, such as pumpkins, corn husks and scarecrows, are also prevalent. Homes are often decorated with these types of symbols around Halloween.
Halloween imagery includes themes of death, evil, the occult, and mythical monsters. Black and orange are Halloween's traditional colors.
Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. Children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy (sweets) or sometimes money, with the question, "Trick or treat?"
Halloween is not celebrated in all countries and regions of the world, and among those that do the traditions and importance of the celebration vary significantly.