The Meaning of “Een” in Halloween May Trick You

haunted house, moon, night

Today Halloween is primarily marked by putting on a disguise and asking for candy, but Halloween has its roots in at least two Medieval celebrations: the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holiday All Saint’s Day. The spooky festival’s name, however, comes from only one.Samhain is Gaelic for “summer’s end,” and marks what has loosely been labeled the “Celtic New Year,” the end of the “lighter half” of the year and the beginning of the “darker half.” One of the four fire festivals of the year, it was celebrated on November 1 when, it was believed, the dead arose for one night. Sound familiar?

The other celebration, All Saint’s Day, honors all of the Catholic saints. The Roman Catholic Church refers to it as the “Solemnity of All Saints.” Though this celebration does not bear a close resemblance to the festivities of Halloween, it did give the holiday its name. The word Halloween is a direct derivation of All Saints’ Day. All Hallows in Old English means “the feast of the saints.” Halloween, first attested in the 18th century, is a Scottish variant of All-Hallows-Even. The Even meant evening. The spelling of the word was once Hallowe’en, in which the “v” was elided. The current spelling wasn’t widely adopted until the 20th century.

(Another major Halloween fact: Who is the “Jack” of “Jack O’ Lantern?” The scary answer can be found here.)


  1. vincent -  October 28, 2014 - 4:10 pm

    thx for the info.

    • isaiah -  October 29, 2014 - 4:22 pm

      Hi but i disagree with you in fact thik the oposite of it

      • isaiah -  October 29, 2014 - 4:24 pm

        sorry but that was a type-o i think the opsite

  2. jackson hewwit -  October 27, 2014 - 5:51 pm

    yes I am Jackson and I is Rihanna

  3. Ben Dibrani -  October 27, 2014 - 8:12 am

    In Albanian Language that means -
    Halloween = Hall o ween
    Hall – trouble(s)
    o- is (are)
    ween – vijn – Coming
    Halloween = Trouble(s) are coming
    Albanian Language says that in this period og year, troubles are coming, that is why we should frighten them with terrible faces.

    • Oni -  October 31, 2014 - 6:25 am

      That’s very interesting, thanks for sharing!

    • Kayla Maurice Brown -  November 1, 2014 - 9:16 am

      My mother hates Halloween. Says its celebrating part of a demonic ritual, so I never went out on Halloween. Thanks for the info. though. Appreciate it

      • Jenny Forero -  October 29, 2015 - 5:29 am

        Good for you because that means you did not caught the satanic curse. GOD bless you.

    • Kimberly. That's who. -  October 28, 2015 - 5:18 pm

      Whoa. That’s deep. Its good to know though. Thank you! :D

  4. Lisette's Misadventures -  October 25, 2014 - 9:27 am

    […] via The Meaning of “Een” in Halloween May Trick You | Dictionary.com Blog. […]

  5. Fred Masquin -  April 23, 2014 - 7:55 pm

    Thanks for increasing my knowledge about halloween.

    • Glenda Newman -  October 26, 2014 - 2:24 pm

      That was just complete foolishness. So incorrect.

      • Cheesus Rist -  October 30, 2014 - 12:38 pm


  6. Aristotle384 -  November 13, 2013 - 10:39 am

    Halloween owes its existence mostly to the Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-INN). When the Church tried to convert pagans in Europe, they would invent holidays with similar but more “appropriate” religious themes to those celebrated by the pagans, and place them on similar dates. This apparently helped ease the transition for most converts. That is why Samhain is close to All Saints Day, Christmas is close to the Winter Solstice, and Easter is close to the Spring Equinox.

    For most Celtic tribes, fall was viewed as a time of preparation for the dark winter months ahead. During winter, the time between sunrise and nightfall is shortened due to way the Earth tilts on its axis. The closer you are to the Arctic Circle, the more exaggerated the effect. Fall was viewed as a time of death, and Samhain was considered to be the one night of the year when ghosts and witches could freely roam the Earth. The Catholic Church created two holidays (All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day) to celebrate the dead and gently remind their pagan converts that the Christian afterlife was the “real deal”.

  7. Kay. -  October 29, 2013 - 9:07 am

    wow, This Is CRAZY .

  8. Jill Marie Loremia -  October 29, 2013 - 5:52 am

    whats with the ghost pictures?

  9. wolf tamer and tree puncher -  October 29, 2013 - 2:57 am

    Warjna, I found the perfect Scripture passage to refute your whole argument except the part about the devil. “Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles [non-Jews] too? Yes, _of Gentiles too,_ since there is _only one God_, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised by that same faith” (Romans 3:29-30), emphasis mine. If you don’t believe me, look it up, as you suggest we do. I used the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible. And it’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” not “A Midsummer Night’s Eve.” Where in that play does it say that it takes place on June 21? Also, “midsummer” and “midwinter” could refer to any time between the first and the last days of those seasons. So even though Christmas is just 4 days after the winter solstice, it is still technically in midwinter.

  10. Samantha -  October 28, 2013 - 8:31 pm

    DAY OF THE DEAD IS THE DAY AFTER HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Fonda Sanford -  November 3, 2015 - 3:40 pm


  11. Wes -  October 28, 2013 - 6:43 pm

    Is everybody 13 on here? All Hallow’s Day is November 1st. All Hallow’s Eve is October 31st. Christmas Eve isn’t on December 25th, weirdos :\
    Furthermore, the tradition of Halloween was meant to ward off evil spirits for All Saint’s Day.

    • Qujae -  October 30, 2014 - 12:25 pm


  12. Jennifer -  October 28, 2013 - 3:18 pm

    The whole thing about the veil between the living and the dead being lifted on Halloween is correct. Dressing up in scary costumes was supposed to be a way of scaring away evil spirits to allow the spirits of the saints to come unharmed the next day — All Saints Day — and the spirits of loved ones the day after that — November 2.

    • Paul -  October 27, 2014 - 2:16 pm

      Jennifer is correct about November 2nd; that day is called “All Souls Day” (or variations thereof) in the Roman Catholic faith. The rest of her statement sounds OK as well…

  13. Damien -  October 28, 2013 - 1:50 pm

    Sounds like instead of the “v” it should’ve been “n” that’s elided leaving “eve.”
    Then we would have Halloweve instead!

  14. DarkWingedAngel -  October 28, 2013 - 9:28 am

    I’m speaking Irish NOw!..
    I said Cheers!

  15. Elena -  October 28, 2013 - 8:19 am

    I think the author of this article is mistaken. Halloween comes from the word: All Hallows’ Eve, not All Hallows’ Evening, since that would refer as Halloween being on Nov 1st (All Hallows) rather than the day before.

  16. wolf tamer and tree puncher -  October 28, 2013 - 7:19 am

    Warjna, you are wrong. Where in the Bible does it say that “Satan is an invention of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic religion triad – in fact, it’s not a person, it’s a job title”? If what you say is true, please provide references to where you got this information instead of telling us to look it up ourselves. (Of course it is a good idea to look things up on your own. But still.) Also, while the Bible does say, “You shall have no other gods before me,” it also explicitly states that there _are_ no other gods, at all. One such instance is Isaiah 46:9, which says, “I [this is God speaking] am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.” There are many other passages which specifically say that there is only one God, the true God of the Bible. Some of these are in Deuteronomy, 2 Kings, Psalms, Isaiah, Mark, John…the list goes on. So why don’t you take some of your own advice and look it up for yourself? And before you ask, yes, Jesus is also God, but He is not a separate God. God exists in the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit. They are three Persons, but they are all one God. So Christians, like Jews and Muslims, have only one God, not three. However, Jews and Muslims do not believe that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, that he never did anything wrong, that he was crucified, and that three days later he came back to life. Christians believe that Jesus came to Earth as the Lamb of God, the perfect and sinless sacrifice to save all humanity from our sins so that we can enjoy a relationship with God, and go to heaven and live forever with Him when we die. Neither Jews, nor Muslims, nor any other religion, believes this. That’s the difference between Christianity and other religions. Most religions believe that if you live a good life and do enough good things, you will go to heaven/nirvana/whatever the religion believes in. But Christians believe that you _can’t_ earn your way to heaven because we’ve all done wrong things, and since God is holy, he cannot be near sin. Only faith in His Son Jesus Christ can save you. I’m always open to discussion about this, and I post on every article, so you can find me anywhere on Dictionary.com. Thanks for reading this.

    • nikki -  October 28, 2014 - 5:16 pm

      awesome way of putting it!

    • Cosborne -  October 30, 2014 - 8:18 am

      Amen. There is one thing that has always bothered me about the word “Christianity.” If a person is not Jewish, Muslim, etc. he says he is Christian. That is only the Religion. I am Christian because I have accepted the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and have asked Him to forgive me of my sins, and become my Lord and Savior. His Holy Spirit dwells within me. I live daily to serve Him and to please Him in all I do. My “works” are not to gain Salvation, and ultimately Heaven, my “works” are because of what He has done for me. I call this a relationship rather than a religion. No other religions believe that we can have a personal relationship with the One and Only True God. I appreciate your testimony.

      • Jeffery -  October 30, 2014 - 1:35 pm

        Cosborn, I don’t know where you got your information, but Jews definitely have a personal relationship with G*D.

    • Jeffery -  October 30, 2014 - 2:12 pm

      Wolf: don’t Christians believe in the ten commandments? If you believe that Jews ‘earn’their way to heaven by following the commandments and Tikkun Olam (basically translates to: the world is broken – fix it / leave this world better than you got it) so be it. But if you are going to share information about Judaism, at least get it right. Thanks

    • WordFreak -  November 5, 2014 - 12:38 am

      Your testimony is beautiful. Much appreciated.

    • mocho -  October 30, 2015 - 4:21 am

      You wrote (quote): “But Christians believe that you _can’t_ earn your way to heaven because we’ve all done wrong things, and since God is holy, he cannot be near sin. Only faith in His Son Jesus Christ can save you.”


      1. We haven’t ALL done bad things. “Paradise” is a metaphor, “Adam” and “Eve” are metaphors, the “serpent” is an allegory, a symbol of you prefer. Unlike other forms of life, humans are said to have been given ‘free will’ by God, (_by definition_, “Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent”) and being not God themselves the corollary is that humans do not share the Perfection of the Absolute, of God, the Creator.

      2. From here ensues that Humankind MUST therefore, (its a LOGIC implication) be NOT PERFECT, Tainted, if you will, by ‘non-perfectedness’ — unlike animals and plants that, as beings supposedly destitute of free will are always, and forever, INNOCENT of their deeds. This «non-perfect» attribute of Humankind became in the long run, responsible for the idea of SIN, in itself a CONSEQUENCE of our freedom to err, having been given FREE WILL.

      3. Of course we, _individually_ may, or may not, be tainted. We may even be Saints (Saints, by the way, are _by axiom_ exceptionally GOOD human beings — not supernatural nor angel-like creatures).

      4. So, We can earn our way to Heaven or Salvation or whatever the name you want to give it THROUGH OUR GOOD, “COMPLETE”, DEEDS. Its not “your faith will save you”, like in a business bargain — that was the historical mistake of the Christian Churches! — It is rather, if you in EARNEST do BELIEVE, then you and your deeds although born of Free Will will be INSPIRED BY the Holy Ghost, which is one of the _”personnas”_ of GOD’s Trinity. So, there you have it: Humans were given Free Will but their true (again: TRUE!) faith will give them the GRACE of the Holy Ghost — which is GOD, in its own right.

      5. Because GOD is a GOD of LOVE, then, of course, he gives his “children”, his “creatures” (in the correct etymological sense of the word, those that He CREATED) when they ERR, the MERCY of a second chance to mend their ways. And it is this, and only this, that is the meaning of REPENTANCE — you have been given a second chance, some times a third, fourth chance — to give your FREE WILL and your “FREE-WILLing” life a MEANING, to give your life a PURPOSE and as such and through that, to HONOUR and GLORIFY the CREATOR.

      6. As such, you can earn your way to Heaven — but only in EARNEST. And because of God’s Omniscience, God will know if we are being truthful or not, and if we have honoured him throughout our life. So there is no Hell nor is there any picturesque Heaven, nor even is there any such place as the Purgatory — they are allegories, images, metaphors and symbols: the Bible (“Biblia” = “Books”) are mostly symbolic in nature: that is, they talk about things abstract in nature by referring to other things that we already know, its a communicational ruse, and a good one at that. What matters is the CORE message, not the other layers, not the folklore, the clothing of the speeches in verbs and adverbs, adjectives and names, not the naming, the exact verbalisation present in the Bible texts — Not FUNDAMENTALISM, Not LITERALISM, NOT INTOLERANCE nor PROSELITISM — but the **CORE CENTRAL IDEAS**.

      7. The rest is POLITICS, and Games of Power — in fact, never better said, “Games of Thrones”. This Games of Power fundamentally destroyed Roman-Germanic Europe in the XVII Century and gave birth to something new, mostly terrible, a struggle for Power in the Christian world, brother against brother, through BOTH the REFORMATION and THE COUNTER-REFORMATION — a different age in which WE ALL failed — and still do — to Honour and GLORIFY the Creator through our DEEDS.


      9. AND THIS we can do in the comfort of our home THROUGH OUR DEEDS, we can do one another THROUGH FAIR AND EARNEST DEEDS, and as such we will be, in fact, BELIEVING.

      10. And all of this OUT OF LOVE FOR GOD, the FATHER/MOTHER, and for our BROTHERS in HUMANKINDness. We celebrate COMMON condition as creatures of God by LIVING PURPOSEFULLY and MEANINGFULLY and thus, MORALLY.

      The rest — all the rest — is just cosmic dust, infinite “nothing” surrounded by the emptiness of VOID.

      Desclaimer: I’m not a) a person of the cloth, a saint, or even an orthodox believer. b) I’m not even a practicing religious person. c) this text is to be read only when you feel that you are in those moments prone to philosophise and permeable to the spirituality of the world. d) think by your own head. Peace.

  17. wolf tamer and tree puncher -  October 28, 2013 - 4:31 am

    Hey, Saf, are you the same guy who posted on the article about the roots of the word September? The one of Persian descent? You should use _only_ facts in your arguments. That way, the other person can’t prove you wrong! :-)

    AMY-LOU, on Samhain, the Celtics believed the souls of the dead would come back, as well as other spirits, both good and evil. Many people disguised themselves in hopes that their ghostly visitors would not recognize them. (That is why we now dress up for Halloween.) People also left offerings of food and drink outside their doors, hoping to appease the spirits. (That’s the origin of handing out candy.) That is why many people nowadays, especially Christians, do not approve of Halloween. They believe that it is wrong to celebrate a holiday which once centered around ghosts (the souls of the dead) and ghouls (spirits). My family believes that celebrating Halloween is all right as long as you know the truth – that according to the Bible, once a person has died, their soul does not come back to the earth.

    savvy918, I’m only 13 (in about a month), but see how much even kids can know! ;-)

  18. SeanG007 -  October 27, 2013 - 6:47 am

    I think this is a trick as opposed to a treat…

    The definition given here of the etymology of the word Halloween is not totally correct. It is partially correct in that the name does come from “All Hallows Day” – I.e. All Saints’ Day, on the 1st November. The day before this is “All Hallows Eve” I.e. the day before All Hallows Day, similarly to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. However, where they go wrong is when they indicate that the original word for Halloween; Halloweven, was meant to signify the evening of All Hallows Day, which of course would not make sense, as Halloween takes place the day before. The mistake is in believing that the “even” part of the name relates to the evening of the day, when in fact it is a Scottish version of the world eve, meaning ‘night before’ as previously indicated. Over time, as mentioned in the article, the letter ‘v’ was elided, as well as the ‘All’ from All Hallows Even, to give us what we use today: Halloween.

    I had known this for some time and doublechecked with google/wikipedia to make sure. I was surprised to see such a mistake on as prestigious a site as dictionary.com, which I enjoy using (along with thesaurus.com) on a daily basis. This is what leads me to believe that it is a trick instead of a treat!


    Sean, Ireland

  19. ginger -  October 26, 2013 - 11:18 pm

    ghosts are spirits, and goblins more represent gargoyles, which are present in most 1800′s churches. with the bats and spiders, old churches were usually house to a few bats and spiders. original costumes used to be scary, none of this ironman/spongebob stuff. The catholic saints would tell stories concerning these scary creatures to the children of the church as a menthod to keep them from misbehaving. ever heard the term “watch out, or the boogeyman ‘ll getcha”?

  20. Brian Davidson -  October 26, 2013 - 3:10 pm

    Please, don’t take Hotword as your source for factual information.

    Samhain was the Gaelic version of a pre-Christian Scandinavian festival of the dead. In Samhain belief, it was a night where the borders between the living & dead weakened, and the dead roamed. They used to build huge bonfires, and have both people and cattle ran between the bonfires as a protection ritual against the dead. In Scandinavia, it was a night to pay homage to humanity’s elven cousins and dead heroes.
    When Christianity came, they forced everybody to worship their dead saints instead, changing it to the days 1st to 4th of November, which is where the name comes from.

  21. martin luthor king the first -  October 26, 2013 - 10:53 am

    my son had a dream. : ) i is mlk the first.

  22. Cornol Lieto -  October 26, 2013 - 3:58 am

    If Halloween has something to do with saints, where do those funny spooky and horror images come in? It makes people feel that its of the devil doesn’t it?

    • Rachel -  October 30, 2014 - 12:48 pm

      Look at the posts before yours and you’ll find the answer. And yes, It is of the devil if that is how you want to think of it. I respect others opinions, but I think it is fine, as long as we keep our actions and thoughts clean as well as our intents.(I’m awful at wording, some one help?)

  23. riv -  October 25, 2013 - 10:57 pm

    good lord. for people to come here to DICTIONARY.com and misspell so many words is way more scary than hallowe’en!!!

    • Erica Graham -  October 31, 2014 - 8:45 am

      So true! Hahaha!

  24. Andrew -  October 25, 2013 - 9:21 am

    “Even” or “Eve” refers to the evening BEFORE an event, not the evening of the event. So “All-Hallows-Even” refers to the evening before All Saints’ Day and Christmas Eve refers to the evening before Christmas, etc. The article implies that Halloween occurs on the evening OF All Saints’ Day, whereas it is actually on November 1.

  25. Giggle :P -  October 25, 2013 - 8:58 am

    Hello fwends :P

  26. quayofsea -  October 31, 2010 - 1:25 pm

    nbfan- I think you’ll find the correct spelling is ‘pagan’ and that many church practices and many of the dates on the Christian calendar have their roots in pagan traditions.

  27. on tiptoe -  October 29, 2010 - 11:33 pm

    Halloween somehow has a tinge of comical ring although after learning of its religious origin. I hope it is not sacrilegious.

    It is usually safe on the other side against the screen–halloween is the one of the teen scary movies.

    Nowdays the TV manutactures is shifting their products from a traditional two dimetinal to 3D without special glasses.

  28. Warjna -  October 29, 2010 - 10:42 pm

    Many things frustrating about this thread. Halloween or Hallowe’en, being All Hallows Eve, is the christianization of an earlier pagan holiday. Pagan in the religious sense refers to any religion that does not derive from the Judeo-Christian-Islamic triad of religions: remember that Christianity and Islam both grew out of Judaism! (Look it up if you don’t believe me – but actually look it up!) The Romans and the Greeks were pagans – people of the countryside. Again, look up the derivation of the word. The Library of Congress article that EvolveFIRE (THANK YOU!) referenced includes the information of Pope Gregory’s instructions to incorporate and subsume the celebrations of other religions to draw the people into christianity. Jahweh-Jehovah-God-Allah is the deity for His people only. The Bible does not say there are no other gods, it says “you (meaning His people, the Jews of the time) shall have no other gods before Me.” No, really. Look it up. If you are reading dictionary.com, you have at least half a brain. Use it. Satan is an invention of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic religion triad – in fact, it’s not a person, it’s a job title. Again – look it up! Honest, it’s right there in the Bible! In fact, while you’re at it, look up the derivations (NOT the definitions!) of demon and devil, it’s very enlightening. Demon and devil are words meaning “little god” and were used to demonize (hello, recognize the derivation?) the deities of other religions.
    And while I’m on a rant, let me hit on the changes to reality that the American greeting card companies have perpetrated on us: June 21st is not the FIRST day of summer, it is Midsummer Day – remember A Midsummer Night’s Eve? Nor is December 21st the FIRST day of winter! That Christmas carol doesn’t say “In the bleak first day of winter”! It says “In the bleak midwinter”! Those are the summer and winter solstices. Those are the days when the sun stops (that’s what the word means) its apparent course and starts returning, making the days longer toward summer and shorter toward winter.
    Nuff said, sorry for the rant.

    • Greased Lightning -  October 25, 2014 - 6:29 pm

      I totally agree with U but ,wolf tamer and tree puncher does have a good point =)

    • Rachel -  October 30, 2014 - 12:55 pm

      True, and I know in my religion we believe that WE will become like gods after our life on earth. It makes me wonder maybe The “cycle” has happened before and God is the God over all and Jesus is “god” over us, but gave his glory to God, as God is his God and having “no other gods before me” he made God our God. He having us by when his going TO Heaven he became like a god. Just my crazy thoughts.

  29. Chad Brockston -  October 29, 2010 - 5:50 pm

    Cool story, bro

  30. carissa -  October 29, 2010 - 5:07 pm

    Actually, before the Schism of the Western and Eastern Churches, All Saint’s Day was originally celebrated in the spring–the Sunday after Pentecost. The Catholic Church later moved the feast to Nov. 1st.

  31. lmao -  October 29, 2010 - 4:23 pm

    how abut jack the ripper? was he a Jack O’ Lantern fan?

  32. Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry -  October 29, 2010 - 3:16 pm


    The Celtic New Year being November 1st, is probably a mistake from around the time the Roman calendar had drifted 2-months ahead … (Julius Caesar corrected said calendar when it reached 3-months ahead: He set it back 90 days so January 1st became the Roman New Year, but the factual ‘New Year’ was thereby restored to April 1st as it had been millennia earlier. Later Pope Gregory in AD 1582 moved our, ‘New Years’ forward to January 1st….

    The getting-right of calendars has plagued the [AUTOCENSORED LACUNA] since the earliest counts, transitioning from lunar-calendars 12-moons-per-year, to Jubilean 800-moons-per-about-65-years, to the Nippur/Jewish solar-lunar calendar (intercalating an occasional 13th-moon to correct it for solar)– and is even the [LACUNA] source meaning of “sinner”….

    On the other subject Dictionary.com tangented: What letters get elided? The “V” is most-obvious: e’er for ever, e’en for even, (both meanings), and the negation, ne’er for never…. (French does “L,” du for de-le.)

    Please, Do not delete my posts– The prior dictionary.com discussion re twins, misremoved my well-founded remark on “sororal” twins– which has about-1800 ‘good’ references in google, and means what it’s supposed to mean despite the apparent fact that dictionary.com does not include it. (I’ve frequently, reported, to dictionary.com, many, words, they miss.)

    Why doesn’t this discussion e’en mention other common celebrations of Halloween– such as “Trick-or-treat-for-UNICEF….” Do something with your time other than deleting good intellectually-better discussions.

    And, Why, do you e’en call it, a “holiday…early 20th century?”


  33. Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry -  October 29, 2010 - 3:13 pm

    The Celtic New Year being November 1st, is probably a mistake from around the time the Roman calendar had drifted 2-months ahead … (Julius Caesar corrected said calendar when it reached 3-months ahead: He set it back 90 days so January 1st became the Roman New Year, but the factual ‘New Year’ was thereby restored to April 1st as it had been millennia earlier. Later Pope Gregory in AD 1582 moved our, ‘New Years’ forward to January 1st….


  34. Mark V -  October 29, 2010 - 2:21 pm

    Its one thing to have your house egged, its another thing to have your house egged every week.

  35. Lefty -  October 29, 2010 - 2:03 pm

    I also Celebrate Day Of The Dead Nov 2nd!! It’s a Mexican thing not sure what other cultures celebrate that or not…

  36. Saf -  October 29, 2010 - 1:20 pm


    Yeah, we philistine barbarians here in the States are unbelievable. Adapting and modernizing parts of language? How crude and uncultured!

    Did you know that we also subsist on a diet of raw squirrel meat and whiskey?

    (Also, I didn’t actually see anyone mention that they didn’t know that the “e’en” is a truncated version of “evening,” or that they were American, but — hey, way to make pretentious generalizations about an entire country!)

  37. Jan -  October 29, 2010 - 1:19 pm

    There was a whole program on this subject on the History Channel a couple of days ago. It said that in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Halloween in the U.S. was an excuse for teenage thugs and older drunks to break windows, put carriages on rooftops, burn stuff, and terrorize neighborhoods. The entire concept of small children wandering about, with adults supervising in the background, really dates from only about the 1940s or so, with the addition of store-bought costumes and candy dating from shortly thereafter. The holiday as we know it is really not so old a tradition as most people think.
    (I know what “e’en” means. I think this website is written for kids).

  38. Josie -  October 29, 2010 - 1:17 pm

    It appears to be all in fun but really doesn’t please God or his Son at all. It’s a horrible holiday!

    • Rachel -  October 30, 2014 - 1:03 pm

      I doubt it pleases God, But I wouldn’t so readily judge it. AGHH! What is the word I’m looking for.

  39. GrayKat -  October 29, 2010 - 1:10 pm

    Denise, Satanic roots are one thing; pagans are another. Please don’t confuse the two. The Celts were pagans and Samhain (pronounced “Sow-in”) was a major celebration long before the Catholic church usurped as many pagan celebrations as possible in its universal effort to convert everyone. The pagan feast marked the end of the harvest and the beginning of the cold, dark winter (Skin saver, it is a literal term – short days, long nights, and icy cold would be VERY dark before electricity and central heating).

    A similar pagan feast fell at the beginning of spring, the planting season, to celebrate the return of warm weather, green leaves, and sunshine. The church snagged that one too with the tale of the death and rebirth of their saviour… a theme that has been around since the earliest goddess worship (the death of her consort and his rebirth/reassembly -as found in Egypt’s tale of Isis and Osiris).

  40. bcullen -  October 29, 2010 - 1:04 pm

    Whatever they say, it still gives children something to look forward to,its a happy day for them, where they can get candies for free, where they can look spooky and scary at the same time,and people give them candies for it! try to look scary on a regular day? see if you’ll get a candy hehehe…

  41. patti -  October 29, 2010 - 12:51 pm

    Many Christians have left Halloween to the wayside, not so much because they think it represents a celebration of satan, but because of how society has changed the way we celebrate Halloween. It’s definetly not the way it was back in the early 50′s. Halloween in the 21st century has redifined the word “scary”

  42. katelynn justice -  October 29, 2010 - 12:50 pm

    wow i never really think about how words are made. i dont even know why i clicked on this. 0-o

  43. katelynn justice -  October 29, 2010 - 12:49 pm

    wow! i never really think about how words come to be. i don’t even know why i clicked on it. 0-o

  44. David -  October 29, 2010 - 12:07 pm

    Tamara – Good Explanation of why Feast Days have an “Eve” liturgically. Thanks.

    Gm – Thanks for the update on Celtic Paganism

    Taylor Gang – Isn’t it a Lepracaun (sp?)

    AnnaG – Most Christians believe (or ought to, since the Bible is pretty clear about it) that there are only two sides you can be on. So, yeah, paganism falls on the “not-Jesus” side – AKA Satan’s side. I now that seems pretty intolerant and exclusive, but consider this…

    If you were at the beach and someone was drowning, and lined up to help were a plumber, a computer programer, a horse trainer, a legal clerk, and a trained life guard, not only would you be calling for the life guard, but you would tackle to the ground anyone trying replace the guard with the plumber.

    Hope that explainds the “all Jesus, all the time” you get from us Jesus people. Problem is we’re not real good at living what we say we believe. Sorry (really).

  45. ss1678 -  October 29, 2010 - 12:06 pm

    Halloweeny – I suspect that you’re HUGELY lapsed Catholic then. All Saints Day is November 1st and All Souls Day is usually on November 2 – except on Sundays. You’ve got them mixed up and I too went to Catholic school and vividly remember the dates.



    #1 Skillet Fan – as others have pointed out, All Hallows Eve is the night before All Hallows Day or All Saints Day.

  46. Guest -  October 29, 2010 - 11:50 am

    It’s one thing to not give out candy. It’s another thing to open your door and give people a lecture.

  47. Softwear -  October 29, 2010 - 11:18 am

    Darn, I was expecting a surprise. But doesn’t everyone know that the “e’en” in Hallowe’en means evening? That’s what we learned in school, and we also learned to spell it “Hallowe’en.” Psh. Americans.

  48. Jacque -  October 29, 2010 - 11:13 am

    The ghosts probably came into Halloween because ancient pagans believed that Samhain was the one day of the year that the barrier between the earthly world and the other world was the thinnest. They believed that spirits of the dead (past relatives as well as malicious spirits) could visit the living on Samhain night. This is probably how All Saints Day came about, as a day to honor those spirits.

  49. AnnaG -  October 29, 2010 - 10:42 am

    @ Kathrine

    Ghosts and goblins were introduced by the Celts (I think) as a form of protection against the evil spirits.

    @ Denise

    Halloween has nothing to do with Satanism. Stop your fear mongering.

  50. nbfan -  October 29, 2010 - 10:20 am

    All Saints Day and Halloween are pagen, people! They have nothing to do with Christ\God!

  51. Gm -  October 29, 2010 - 9:46 am

    Known for its witches, goblins, and other grotesque decorations and paraphernalia, Halloween—also called All Hallows’ Eve or the eve of All Saints’ Day—can be traced back to the ancient Celts of Britain and Ireland. On the full moon nearest November 1, they celebrated the festival of Samhain, meaning “Summer’s End.” They believed that during Samhain, the veil between the human and the supernatural worlds was parted and that spirits, both good and evil, roamed the earth. The souls of the dead were thought to return to their homes, and families would put out food and drink for their ghostly visitors in hopes of appeasing them. Thus, when children today, dressed as ghosts or witches, go from house to house threatening a mischievous trick unless they receive a treat, they unwittingly perpetuate the rituals of Samhain.

  52. HALLOWEENY | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  October 29, 2010 - 9:45 am

    [...] “EENY, MEANY, MINEY, MOE — AS a lapsed Catholic where else can you go — All Saints Day is November Second — All Souls Day is November First — At least that what they taught us in Catholic School — All Christians remember the Roman Catholics were the first. — to come up with the marketing and change around the books — The Holy Roman Empire has conquered all parts of the world — with way too many cooks. — The one thing that they taught us if we fall into a lurch — take over an old movie theater and open up a HALLOWEENY CHURCH. — TRICK OR TREAT! –>>Rupert L.T.Rhyme [...]

  53. Kate -  October 29, 2010 - 9:36 am

    @Skillet (your first comment) I thought All Saints Day was November 1st? Or were you saying that Martin Luther’s thesis thing was on October 31st?

    @Kate (the other one) Omg there’s someone else named Kate on here! :D Oh and btw, your comment answered my question for Skillet, so idk why I even added that part… O.o

  54. Marian -  October 29, 2010 - 9:15 am

    “Eve” can simply mean the day before, not necessarily evening, as “on the eve of the election…” So Halloween is All Hallows Eve, the day before All Saints Day.

    In the Catholic Church, a saint is anyone who has gone to heaven. The day before, All Souls Day, is about anyone who has died and is – possibly – in purgatory. The idea of ghosts, spooks, wandering souls, etc., has therefore come to be associated with the “restless” dead who have not reached their final destination.

  55. J. Spriggs -  October 29, 2010 - 8:58 am

    You’re thinking of Nate Robinson and yes, he is indeed “little”. I thought that I was short at 5′ 8″, but even though he is listed as 5′ 9″, Nate Robinson is actually only 5′ 6″. This fact makes it even more impressive that he can dunk, and win a slam dunk contest over Dwight Howard is truly an accomplishment.

  56. jesse b comnet -  October 29, 2010 - 8:54 am

    i love candy corn

  57. -.-$^Taylor Gang^$-.- -  October 29, 2010 - 8:29 am

    This has nothing to do with this article that i know of but on the N.B.A team the Boston Celtics, what is that little guy?

  58. Josh Curran -  October 29, 2010 - 8:25 am

    I like the Boston Celtics! The Celtics new year this year was October, 26th VS Miami!

  59. Michael Dadona -  October 29, 2010 - 7:41 am

    Last time my late father told me “Samuin” is the original spelling for Samhain. He read lots of articles related to a historian, Nicholas Rogers, who explore the origin of Halloween. What activity I like most celebrating Halloween? Just one, watching ‘trick-or-treating’ perform by children.

  60. tamara -  October 29, 2010 - 7:21 am

    #1 Skillet Fan: re: Halloween not All Saints Day
    The modern (at least in US) Roman Church generally only celebrates Mass, (and not the full cycle of the hours), but the older practice is that a feast begins with the celebration of Vespers the evening before (like Jewish feasts, and thus the Vigil Mass on Sat. night is actually the service for Sun. in current Roman practice). So, the celebration of All Saints Day would begin with Vespers on the evening of Oct. 31. Eastern Christians still follow this practice (although for Eastern Orthodox Christians, All Saints Day is the Sunday after Pentecost – usually in June).

  61. F5F5F5 -  October 29, 2010 - 7:20 am

    @#1 Skillet Fan
    Hallowe’en = All Hallows Even. i.e. the evening before All Hallows.
    Similarly: Christmas Eve/ New Years Eve the evenings before Christmas or New Year.

    I believe there is a similar thing in German where Samstag is Saturday is also known as Sonnabend (Sonn = Sun, abend = Evening; Sonntag = Sunday)

  62. Nathan Hunter -  October 29, 2010 - 7:02 am

    Once again, more common Halloween knowledge. I think that The Day of the Dead is also on Halloween. Kind of want to know more about that holiday.

  63. KK -  October 29, 2010 - 7:02 am

    “All Saint’s Day wasn’t on Halloween- it was the day after. Martin Luther posted the 95 theses on the day before All Saint’s Day- which was, if you will do your reaserch, October 31st, 1517.”

    He didn’t say it was on Halloween. Although he could’ve phrased it better, he was referring to the “eve” of All Saints Day (as in Christmas Eve is the evening before Christmas and New Years Eve is the evening before New Years day). Halloween is the eve of All Saints Day.

  64. Denise -  October 29, 2010 - 6:40 am

    Halloween roots itself in ritual bloodletting, sacrifice and death. In satanic circles it is considered a high day. Like every other pagan practice, it’s being termed as innocent and cute. Don’t knock on my door unless you want the truth.

  65. Katherine -  October 29, 2010 - 6:39 am

    So, where did the ghosts and goblins come from. How come that’s such a big part of Halloween?

  66. mallen -  October 29, 2010 - 6:33 am

    why then all the ghostly images?

  67. David -  October 29, 2010 - 6:01 am

    BYW – Why would All Saints Day have an “All Saints Eve”? It was a major fall celebration in the early and medieval church. Remember this is Europe mostly – no U.S. Thanksgiving. In the Church calendar, Advent (the 4 Sundays before Christmas) is the beginning of the Church Year. The symbolism in Nov. (as the Church Year comes to a close) is a remembering that on the last day, Jesus will return. Nov. 1 begins that focus on the “End Times” by celebrating all those who have been saved and have already gone to be with God. Our turn is coming. Lots of cultures have this emphasis in the fall as harvest and the onset of winter reminds us that all things will come to an end some day.

    So All Saints was a big deal, not unlike our winter “holiday season”.

  68. David -  October 29, 2010 - 5:41 am

    Skillet Fan – I didn’t even notice until you pointed it out that the article kind of flows from All Saints to All Hallows Eve without actually stating Nov.1 is All Saints, and Oct. 31 is All Saints Eve (or the night before… i.e. Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve). All Saints day to me is a celebration of the fact the my sins are forgiven because of Jesus’ payment for them, and so I will stand perfected before God, like all those saints who have gone before me. I am one of them.
    Amy-Lou – What do you mean by “bad”? If by “bad” you mean celebrating the spooky, I think that in the history of Christianity, and in times and places where superstitions were (are) common All Saints was combined with lots of spooky stories about “the dead”, which is kind of silly if you really know what the Bible teaches about the spirits of dead people. Combine that with pagan ideas about the spirit world and witchcraft and you get a mixed up holiday which is good for nothing except the fun of putting on a costume and eating candy.
    If you by “bad” you mean people doing stupid stuff, valdalizing property, hurting people, burning things, etc… I guess some people will always look for the chance to tear down instead of build up.
    If by “bad” you mean pagan rituals and wicca celebrations which some people carry out on Oct. 31, someone who knows more about that will have to answer about why this is a big day for them…

  69. Cronkinator -  October 29, 2010 - 3:58 am

    #1 Skillet Fan -

    Thats why the 30th was All Hollows Eve. Just like Christmas Eve is the day before Christmas and New Year’s Eve is the day before New Years Day.

  70. Kate -  October 29, 2010 - 2:05 am

    I was hoping for something surprising but I’ve always known the “een” to mean even-ing. I learned it in school. I can’t be the only one to have known that. I’m Irish though so fall (fell) into both the Celtic and Catholic traditions of the holiday. And yes, All Saints Day is November 1st. All Hallows Eve (Halloween) is October 31st. It’s like Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.

    I still spell it Hallowe’en. Though my headmaster in primary school was a bit of an old soul.

  71. johnesh -  October 29, 2010 - 1:59 am

    The apostrophe has only been dropped from the American spelling, the British spelling still has it! In modern Gaelic, interestingly, the word Samhain is the name for the month of November, while the actual night of Hallowe’en is called Oidhche Shamhna (“Samhain night”). The word for “summer” is samhradh.

  72. kierabear -  October 29, 2010 - 1:13 am

    Just saying – it doesn’t matter if All Saints Day was the day after or not. I mean there’s a whole host of holidays we celebrate on the wrong day or for the wrong reasons. As for how it became a “bad” thing, I think we all just need a time to not take death and spooky things so darn seriously :) keeps the kid in us alive. I’m 20 and I haven’t missed a single year haha.

  73. elise -  October 28, 2010 - 11:12 pm

    the lighter and darker part of the year is not metaphorical. It’s literal. In Winter the days are shorter – so it get’s darker earlier. In summer the days are longer – that’s why they have daylight savings and stuff, because it’s lighter.

  74. luis perey -  October 28, 2010 - 5:29 pm

    bummer (oh and is bummer spelled with two m’s or one)

  75. savvy918 -  October 28, 2010 - 4:45 pm

    that is freakishly wierd.
    how old is everybody else here?:)

    • Rachel -  October 30, 2014 - 1:09 pm

      Are, you really asking that?

  76. braiana h. -  October 28, 2010 - 3:55 pm

    I love candycorn I want to eat all of it.

  77. smoothius -  October 28, 2010 - 2:42 pm

    i think we should further change the word to represent how we today view this event. HELLOWEEN – HAHAHAHAHAHA(extended evil cackle)

  78. louis paiz -  October 28, 2010 - 12:20 pm

    ii is the day after all saints day when all souls day is celebrated i remembered that in that day when i was a child we used to go to the cementery in daytime and bring fresh flowers to grandpa or grandma or which ever other member of the familly were there.family used to get together and have a good drink , good smeelly bread baked during the day .and prey for the ones departed and tell scary stories about the leaving dead walking in the street on that spessific day ofcourse am talking about the grounups while we the children sleeping with the light on all night long.

  79. Rachel Johns -  October 28, 2010 - 12:13 pm

    when it says the ‘v’ was elided it means that over time the ‘v’ was left out of the prnounciation of the word in an effort to make it easier to say.

  80. Judith Vermilion -  October 28, 2010 - 11:18 am

    Some of my fondest childhood memories are of Halloween back int the forties. It is completely innocuous. Well…. except for the cavaties.

  81. AMY-LOU -  October 28, 2010 - 10:05 am

    Wow thats really good to know. But then why do so many people try to make it bad?

  82. #1 Skillet Fan -  October 28, 2010 - 8:06 am

    All Saint’s Day wasn’t on Halloween- it was the day after. Martin Luther posted the 95 theses on the day before All Saint’s Day- which was, if you will do your reaserch, October 31st, 1517.

  83. abc -  October 28, 2010 - 8:05 am

    ‘v’ was elided?

  84. skin saver -  October 28, 2010 - 8:02 am

    What it mean by the beginning of the darker half? Is it cold winter in the literal sense or something metaphorical?

    I like scary stories but only if when they are not too scary.

    I like the words ‘slap on the wrist.’


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked (required):

Related articles

Back to Top