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All-Hallows-Even (Hallowe'en)

The eve of All Saints (Hallows) Day

trick or treat goody bags

On All Saints Day (1st November) Christians remember all the saints of the church. The origin of the day and the accuracy of the date is difficult to establish. The first evidence of lst November being the date for celebrating this festival is recorded during the reign of Pope Gregory III (731 - 741 ) who dedicated a chapel in Rome on that date in honour of All Saints. In medieval England, the festival was known as All Hallows ('hallowed' means 'holy' - the root word for 'saint') and the day before as Halloween. Halloween has since become a day connected with witches, ghosts and demons or for trick or treat.

In the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches the day after All Saints is celebrated as All Souls Day. On this day we can thank God for those who have gone before us, particularly members of our family. This may be a good time to get out all those old family photographs and talk, as a family, about relatives past and present. This is often the way children learn about the origins of their family. In many countries children go from door to door singing rhymes or traditional songs in memory of the dead. The children are treated to special breads or cakes. Mexican children run through the streets with lanterns and ask for coins.

Location: All over Britain

Date / time: October 31st - after sunset

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