Halloween is a holiday with rich religious origins. It is the day before All Saint's Day. And so it is known also as All Hallow's Even. It is celebrated on Oct 31. All Saints day is celebrated on Nov. 1. All Souls day is celebrated on Nov. 2.

All saint's day is a celebration of all the saints. All souls is a celebration of all souls of those who have served God. However most people conventionally celebrate All Saints as for all the dear departed who have been faithful. Quite simply, only God knows who all of them are.

In the Episcopal church we pray:

"For in the multitude of your saints, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses, that we might rejoice in their fellowship, and run with endurance the race that is set before us; and, together with them, receive the crown of glory that never fades away."pg 380 Book of Common Prayer

Our tradition in which we think of ghosts and trick-or-treat comes from Celtic beliefs. Some believed that the souls of the departed were believed to roam the earth one night in the fall. Since it was a time of harvest, the people would huddle together in front of fires, eating, and telling stories. There are a lot of holidays that have pagan customs merged into the spiritual customs.

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