Halloween is the name of the evening before the Christian holy days of All Saints Day on 1st November (also known as All Hallows’ or Hallowmas) and All Souls’ Day on 2nd November, thus giving the holiday on 31st October the full name of All Hallows’ Eve (meaning the evening before All Hallows’ Day).
All Saints Day (Nov 1st) is a holy day of obligation meaning that Catholics must attend Mass on the day, or at the vigil Mass the night before. Since the time of the early Church, major feasts in the Christian Church (such as Christmas, Easter and Pentecost) had vigils which began the night before, as does the feast of All Hallows’. These three days collectively referred to as All Hallowtide, are a time for honouring the saints in heaven and praying for the departed souls in purgatory who have yet to reach Heaven.
In Scotland and Ireland, the turnip has traditionally been carved…
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