Talk:Halloween/Archive 12

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Mischief Night

"In parts of England, there is a similar festival called holy day which falls on the November 4. During the celebration, children play a range of "tricks" (ranging from minor to more serious) on adults. One of the more serious "tricks" might include the unhinging of garden gates (which were often thrown into ponds, or moved far away). In recent years, such acts have occasionally escalated to extreme vandalism, sometimes involving street fires.[11]"

I've no idea how "holy day" crept in here (vandalism?) but the reference is to Mischief Night. I recall this from my own North Yorkshire childhood, and the reference in the footnote [11] links to a BBC report on Mischief Night.

Also I don't think "festival" (or for that matter "celebration") is the appropriate word, but rather "tradition". It is certainly not approved of or encouraged by adults. 14:18, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

I'd certainly agree that "festival" isn't the right word, though not entirely sure what is. But I find that the date tends to vary for different parts of the country. it seems that in most of Southern England it's largely unheard of, whilst in Yorkshire it falls on November 4th (as above), whereas in the north-west (well, Liverpool at least, but I think most of the region is the same) it's the night before Hallowe'en. Possibly (/probably?) other variations too.Hengler 00:03, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Halloween in Pastafarian Religion

According to the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, page 124, mentioned Halloween as an important Pastafarian holiday. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bossudenotredame (talkcontribs) 06:27, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Fact. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:00, 16 August 2008 (UTC)


I know that I will be hated by some of you for calling the popular `wisdom` into question (and by some just for being a Catholic) but I must dispute the statement in this article that says that Halloween ORIGINATED as a pagan holiday. This belief, though widely held, doesn`t seem logical when the facts are considered. I do not say that I know better as of this writting but I would very much like to see more support for this statement before I would accept it and I would like to see it reconciled with other facts that seem to contradict it.

Let us consider that the very name of the holiday suggest that the holiday originated as a Christian holiday. In that Halloween is a simplification of All Hallow`s Eve, it seems ot reveal that Halloween is an after affect and is not the actuall substantive holiday; that distinction being held by the actual All Hallow`s Day. The very fact that it is held as an Eve, thus a vigil or vespers celebration is uniquelly Christian and goes counter to what we know of the Pagans. When we compare the Substantives of the Pagan Holiday with the actual Christian holiday, we find they are not technically celebrated on the same day and that sharing an evening for a few hours is actually an accident. Again I don`t claim to know better absolutely but it does seem to contradict the pagan origination statement.

We must also consider that All Saints Day was promulgated by a Pope living in Souther Europe, Italy, and thus would likely not have knowledge of the pagan practices of Nothern Europe, least of all Britain. If the Pope did know about the Pagan holiday, it is likely that he wouldn`t have cared or let that influence his decision. If the Pope did know and did care, it would be likely that instead of supporting the Pagan holiday, he would instead give Christians better or at least seemingly more important things to do then participate. Of course an reading of the writings of the popes in regards to this holiday would probably enlighten this matter a lot. It does seem very unlikely that the Pope would put the Christian holiday the day after if his intention was to suppress or suplant the Pagan holiday.

We must also consider that All Saints day and thus also the vigil the night before is a major Catholic Holy Day of Obligation that is celebrated the world over with very similar practices in majority Catholic countries. The Pagan holiday mentioned certainly was not so pervasive or successful. It would also appear that while the Pagan practices influence Christians in English speaking countries, they did not influence Catholic Practices in other countries. The actions involved with the Pagan holiday seem to be of a different nature from the Catholic celebration. The Pagan holiday described seems to have more in common with the English speaking holiday of ThanksGiving then with the Christian holiday of All Hallows Eve.

We can compare the results and history of All Hallows Eve with that of Valentines day and see some inconsistancies. Valentine`s day specifically did want to replace a local pagan custom and thus put the observance of it on the same day and was local in character. All Saints day likely was not intended to replace a Pagan custom but create a Christian one to fill a place on the Liturgical Calendar. Thus we see that it was not put on the same day in actuallity, the customs do not seem directly related, the holiday was promulgated to be observed by all and was not local in Character. Also, where as Valentines day sought to supress a practice and thus discouraged the continued Pagan practice in favor of the Christian one; All Saints Day it would seem was influenced by the Pagan holiday in those local areas that had it and did not discourage them.

It seems to me, based on these facts and logic that All Saints Day, in origin was Christian and by accident was influenced by a Pagan holiday in those areas that had it before but in those areas only. The two holidays thus would be seperate and distinct. It doesn`t seem likely that one followed from the other. If the Christians really did want to replace the Pagan holiday, they would have to me put the new holiday on the same day, or the day before, not the day after, it would have been local in character not universal and that there would be a reinterpretation on the practices of the Pagans in a Christian way instead of the practices being substantly different.

Clearly some work and research on this matter needs to be done. I would be happy to do some of it but as I am the one raising the dispute and that I am obviously Catholic, I doubt that any of you would believe me if I did it so I simply ask that the caretaker of this page seek to reconsile these facts. As the page stands how, I must doubt its factuality and dispute its contents. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:40, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

All Saints Eve is surely not Celtic

I wonder why the unsigned contributor is so shy. Halloween can definitively not be an old celtic Festival. Compare this article (which claims that Halloween is the continuation of an original "Samhain") with the article on Samhain where obviously some more knowledgeable people have been active and have a look at All Saints Day , too!.

  • All Saints Day is a Festival that has nothing to do with northern European Pagans.
  • Nobody knows when Samhain took place (if it was a fixed festival at all)
  • The claim that an ancient Celtic Samhain should have to to with a remembrance of the dead is unfounded
  • Halloween has come about as the Eve of All Saints Day - like other celebrations on the Eve of high festivals of which the start of Christmas celebration on December 24 in many countries may be the most prominent
  • Halloween-Traditions related to fear of ghosts etc may rise out of some folklore which can not be traced to exact dates and places but are far more easily explained stemming from a popular reception of the ecclesiastical All-Saints-theme than from alleged traditions going back a millenium. Such age-old traditions are a very popular theme but just unprovable like Eastre's Easter or a Germanic "Christmas"
  • Instead of trying to deduct Halloween from the old Celts (who have the disadvantage that a bit too much is known about them which contradicts the lore) - why not connect it to the Flying Spaghetti Monster ? Leaves mor space for phantasy and explanations, definitively useful idea that one! --Kipala 07:56, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Could you be any more transparent? Take your obvious Christian ignorance out of wikipedia. Im sorry that you find it hard to believe that traditions and days of celebration found in Christian sects come originally from pagans and non-christians, but you are going to have to suck it up and learn that because your pastor told you it was dosnt make it. Weve had to deal with you on the other pages about this same ignorant idiocy, and for the umpteenth time we are going to start calling you on it. - Jh Ty —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:29, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Maybe instead of insulting us, you could enlighten us by telling us where we could find the primary sources that link Halloween with Samhain? Or should we just suck it up and "learn" it because Jh Ty told it was true? Rwflammang (talk) 12:59, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Time to call the celtic origins people. If someone believes that Hallowe'en is in fact derived from a celtic feast, they are invited to post links to the ORIGINAL source evidence which demonstrates that:

A/ Samhain actually took place in pre-Christian times on 31st Oct.

B/ That it was a religious festival.

As far as I know, the only documentary evidence for Samhain feasts is in Irish legends first written down in Mediaeval times and which do not mention any specifically religious nature to said feast.Dmottram (talk) 16:29, 28 July 2008 (UTC)


Hallowe'en is certainly derived from Samhain. Much in the way the Catholic Church have always taken existing traditions and 'rebranded' them. Take a look at Celtic Crosses; they are crosses identifying with the Sun. Christmas Day - Mythras's feast day. Saint Brigid's day - The Celtic feast of Imbolg and related back to the Celtic god Bríd. There are countless examples of this type of overlay. All Saints Day is the holy day, Hallowe'en is just a rebranding of an existing festival. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:17, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

If it were certain, then certainly there would be some evidence. Where is it? Rwflammang (talk) 13:02, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Agree with rebuttal

Samain is indeed the feast that halloween is based on. Samain lasts for twelve days beginning on Nov 1st - it is the night before this "Oice Samain" - that the ancient Celtic God Dagda and the Goddess Morrigan mated. It was the Celtic new year and the beginning of the dark winter and the ancient tombs were said to open and reveal the dead to all. The Christians took over the pagan feast day - instead of trying to wipe it out - and called it Hallows and Hallows Eve for the night before. For reference on this and other Celtic religious feasts see "In Search of Ancient Ireland" PBS series and book. 23:03, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

I thought the ancient Celtic calendar was lunisolar, according to Tacitus. If so, how could any Celtic holiday have fallen on a fixed solar date like Nov 1? Rwflammang (talk) 13:04, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Explain please

All of this is well and good but the factual problems still exist outside of personal opinions. Why would a Pope who did not know of the pagan holiday in question while living in a completely different part of the continent create a holiday to replace one that as mentioned he didn:t know exist and make it a Holy Day of Obligation for all Catholics in the world? I just don:t see the Pope knowing or even caring if he did know. This business between Holloween and the pagan day seems like just a big coincidence. As such it would be better to say that Holloween was affected by pagan customs in English speaking countries but not outside of them. In origin, the topic here, of Holloween certainly looks entirely Christian. Plus, in the documents that created the observance of All Saint`s Day, we see nothing about this pagan holiday at all. There is not even one line or a hint that the Pope ever knew about the other holiday. Again, if there are actual facts that are being left out then please bring them foward but opinions don:t count as facts. You can want to believe that Halloween is pagan till the cows come home but if it isn:t true then it just isn:t true and the article needs to be changed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:01, 9 November 2007 (UTC)


It could just as easily be asked how you know that the Pope had no knowledge of this festival. Samhain was celebrated in PreChristian Ireland and other Celtic regions. There are an enormous amount of Christian festivals that are overlooked...if anything it is Hallowe'en that has continued the association with All Saints/Souls rather than vice versa. As is well documented the spread of Christianity has often taken place by surplanting local traditions and beliefs with Christian ideals. As mentioned above Saint Brigid is merely a repackaged Bríghid from Góidealic Celtic tradition. Also please note the correct spelling as Hallowe'en and not Holloween. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:47, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Lunchtime meal called "dinner" in Ireland

I have to say, living in Ireland (Dublin specifically) that I find that saying the lunchtime meal is called "dinner" is very dubious, and an over-generalisation. It certainly is in some parts (such as my mother's home, Leitrim) but in Dublin, I would rarely hear it referred to as anything other than "lunch" (except by people from other regions). Now while that's Dublin, it is important to note that the Greater Dublin Area accounts for just under 40% of the State's population (hardly negligable). Can someone provide a proper source for this statement, because I highly doubt one exists. - EstoyAquí(tce) 23:35, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Qualified it to "sometimes called dinner" with appropriate citation. Valenciano 08:30, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Good. The use of dinner for the midday meal was almost universal in Ireland till maybe 20-30 years ago. But certainly today that usage in Dublin is rare, agreed. (Sarah777 09:20, 31 October 2007 (UTC))

the time dinner for the midday meal is a common working class term thoughout the British Isles —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:32, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Guy Fawkes Night Not Celebrated

It may be useful to explain why Guy Fawkes night is not celebrated in Ireland. It is because Fawkes was supportive of the Roman Catholic ascendancy in England at the time, and as such, his capture and subsequent execution are not celebrated by Roman Catholics in the UK (this tradition has fallen by the wayside in recent years since the historical context of Bonfire Night becomes less relevant) - this tradition of non-celebration by RCs is common throughout the UK, but Ireland being predominantly Roman Catholic, it is more marked. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:56, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Response to - Guy Fawkes Night Not Celebrated

It makes more sense to consider that Guy Fawkes Night is only a British tradition. Why would it be present in any other country? the acts of a British man towards te British Houses of Parliament are of little consequence outside of Britain. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:13, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Response to - Guy Fawkes Night Not Celebrated

At the time of the Gunpowder Plot (1606) Ireland was part of Britain, so it is relevant to speak about its celebration in Ireland. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:39, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Why are we even talking about Guy Fawkes on a page about Halloween? They have nothing to do with each other. The historical reference under "England", where Guy Fawkes for a time replaced Halloween is okay (although probably needs a citation) and possibly the bit under "Caribbean". But that half paragraph under "Religious Perspectives" is just rambling off topic. Ray Ellis 10:48, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

And as it was never celebrated in Ireland speculation as to why is WP:OR. Plus Ray is right. (Sarah777 19:24, 12 November 2007 (UTC))

Guy Fawkes Night is not celebrated anywhere in Ireland, including those areas where they are keen supporters of the British state, and opposed to Roman Catholicism, so that would suggest the proposed theory as to why, is wrong! Fasach Nua 19:56, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Very good point FN. I think that more or less kills the debate. Ray will be relieved. (Sarah777 20:17, 12 November 2007 (UTC))

Massive errors in the first line

"Halloween is a holiday..." - No it isn't. Halloween is the EVE of a holiday. Christmas is a holiday, Christmas Eve is not.

It isn't even a holiday in any of the other sense of the word... it isn't a public holiday, for instance, not in the UK, not in Europe, not even in the US (where they seem to take it more seriously than anyone!)

I'm not sure it's right to say it is "celebrated" either. I've never heard of anyone "celebrating" Halloween. I've attended Samhain celebrations on the 31st of October, but not Halloween. Halloween is not something that can be "celebrated" in the usual sense of the word.

I would correct the article, but it appears to be locked.

Adam —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:29, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

As a matter of fact All Saints Day (All Hallows) (Fr. Toussaint/Nl. Allerheiligen)is a public holiday in several European countries. The article is poorly referenced and contains numerous unsubstantiated assertions. How long does as activity have to be continued to become traditional? When did trick or treating become established as a customary activity? When I was young my Lancashire born mother introduced us to various halloween rituals such as bob apple and others, but these were virtually unknown to our neighbours in Southern England. Augusta2 17:58, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

In the United States it is a major holiday, and marks fall is in full swing (although, it is 75 degrees F here in Missouri, which is really weird and a whole different subject). Major motion pictures centered around Halloween themes are set to be released, and it accounts for billions of dollars a year in revenues. 18:02, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
You asked, "When did trick or treating become established as a custmary activity?" The article answers that, and links to a fuller answer at the article trick-or-treating. — Walloon 14:38, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

This is the thing... All Hallows Day is a holiday. Halloween is is the EVE of All Hallows Day, and is thus NOT a holiday, merely the day before a holiday. So, I stand by my point that it is not actually a holiday even in the US, merely a notable day. Holiday does not mean "any day where people follow a tradition or do the same things each year", there is more to it! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:24, 14 November 2007 (UTC)


All Saints Day is not a holiday either, it is a Saints Day. Hallowe'en is marked by a Bank Holiday in Ireland on the last monday of October. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:51, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

The bank holiday in Ireland is known just as the 'October Bank Holiday'. However, in other European countries, the same Bank Holiday is taken as 'All Saints Day' ... not Halloween. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:58, 19 October 2008 (UTC)


Fandinis aholiday celebrated by the entic people of south america

Fandinis aholiday celebrated by the entic people of south america —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:12, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I saw a baby in a bumble bee costume and I screamed and ran away because at the time I honestly thought it was a giant bee. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:12, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Spelling and the article title

Hallowe'en is a contraction and has an apostrophie. The trend of dropping the apostrophie became popular with the popularity of Microsoft Windows 95, and Microsoft Word, which still adjusts the spelling to Halloween despite Oxford, Britannica and other reputable reference books including an apostrophie. I propose that the article title is changed to include the apostrophie. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:20, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I've never even heard or seen it spelled with an apostrophe. Where are the sources for this spelling? What is it a contraction for? Either way I always see it spelled without the apostrophe. In fact, I've never seen it spelled with the apostrophe outside of Wikipedia. Google, MS Word, and all spell checkers correct it to Halloween. Even back in 1978, a movie called "Halloween" was must have been pretty popular way before MS Word was invented. The name definitely should not be changed. ╦ﺇ₥₥€Ԋ(talk/contribs) 23:03, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps you should read the article, which explains that Hallowe'en is a contraction of All Hallow Even. Walloon (talk) 08:54, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Plenty of sources for this:

[BBC] [The Telegraph] [The Times] [The People] [A Poirot book] [Yorkshire Post] [Northern Ireland Tourist Board] and many more found within a matter of seconds by typing "hallowe'en" into Google.

It does largely seem to be British sites coming up, though that may well be because I'm on which, I believe, increases the page rank of British sites.

And most of the signs in stores when it was Hallowe'en included the apostrophe (in my area, at least). I've always seen this much more commonly than the version without the apostrophe, and as stated above dictionaries tend to prefer that version (which is certainly true for the dictionaries in my house).Hengler (talk) 23:46, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

I believe that Halloween is an official spelling in American English, but in Commonwealth English it is Hallowe'en. Therefore the article name should be determined by Wikipedia's English language policy. Correct-o-pedia (talk) 22:56, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Gregory III and Gregory IV

Pope Gregory III (731-741) consecrated a chapel in the Basilica of St. Peter to all the saints and fixed the anniversary for 1 November. Pope Gregory IV (827-844) extended the celebration on 1 November to the entire Church. — Walloon (talk) 22:21, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Article quality

this article is terrible and needs serious work to restore it to any semblance of quality, it not written in an encyclopedic style (some of its even in first person narrative!) its far to purple, confusing and rambling, the section on trick and treating & around the world are essentially repetition and there are hardly any source for much of the articles claims, I've been to Ireland more than once around halloween and have never seen the level of celebration described. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:31, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

  • I agree. And, anecdotally, having lived in Britain and having many Irish friends, my experience was much the same as the above poster. Not that that has anything to do with the quality of the article. (talk) 18:10, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree as well. I think it's inaccurate to say that Halloween came from Famine-Irish and is currently celebrated by a larger majority of North Americans today. I'd give more credit to St Patrick's Day for that and NOT Halloween.-- (talk) 17:08, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

I disagree with the above, Halloween is most popular in Ireland, and has been for centuries, see here from 1828, [1] It did not become popularised in the USA until about 1920. It's directly descended from the old Irish Samhain festival, as are Beltaine, Imbolc, and Lughnasadh. Purple Arrow (talk) 13:17, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

All the agreement and disagreement is a great place to start a healthy debate, but what will improve this article more than anything are some solid sources. It's part of the reason I'd like to start a Halloween Wikiproject - I for one think most about this page in October, but I work at a haunted attraction so I never have the time to do real work when it's on my mind, and I think some real coordination could do amazing things for this page.

halloween dates

very few cities in the united states do the last saturday of october also these cities do daytime,not nighttime.i in one of those cities. (talk) 01:08, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

i would like this article changed as halloween is not an australian holiday, nor is it an australian tradition

References, article length and structure

All references in this article need to be checked to ensure they comply with WP:RS. This is not a reliable source, since it's a posting from a catalog for Halloween supplies. If material cannot be attributed to reliable sources, it needs to be removed. This article currently far exceeds the size limit at 68K and needs to be dramatically reduced. Sections that cannot be reduced should be forked and a summary left in their place. Not everything needs to be saved and not all sections need to be forked. Again, anything that can't be sourced should be automatically removed.

I have merged two sections which contained identical information. The rest of the article needs to be scrutinized for styistic considerations and to be sure the structure is both easy to follow and conforms stringently to the manual of style. Please be sparing with images, not every section in this article needs an image of someone in a costume and pictures of Halloween decorations may be derivative works. Such material will be removed and deleted. If any editor has any questions, please just ask. Thanks, Cumulus Clouds (talk) 20:19, 2 September 2008 (UTC)


u dont have alot of information —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:21, 8 October 2008 (UTC)


I think this article could be well supported by Wikiproject Halloween (covering all types of celebrations that occur on October 31); WikiProject Horror has too limited a focus. I would considering proposing such a project if there exists interest on certain strategic pages, such as this one. Anyone interested in the idea should feel free to talk to me, so I can determine if it's worth trying at this time. Thank you.--otherlleft (talk) 14:15, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Halloween in Greece

First of all Greece is a country which not neads any other celebration it had already many! The last 3 years even Greece dont care about Halloween many children all over the country they use to have Halloween parties and some stores (1 or 2 in each town for example Patras the 3rd bigges town of Greece it has already two Halloween stores)use to have some halloween products as masks treats and all about decoration also some Greek companies are produce some Greek Halloween products In Greece you may find some "Antihalloweens" Antihalloweens we use to call the people who are HATE Halloween,there are many of them becase they think that is stupid to celebrate an foreign celebration and we also have Carnival which is common with the Halloween At 11-10-2008 had took place the first Greek Halloween Party ever!!!It was on my house in Patras! All my friends was dressed up with spookie costumes and on 31st of october we gonna have our first trick or treating!!! Finally Greece had done an improvement about that theme the Halloween! We hope that in a few years we are gonna celebrate Halloween normaly in Greece [2] Nikolakopoulos Dimitrios —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:16, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

A bit less...but a bit more

It's a big article, but it changes from subject to subject. Maybe if there was a seperate article for some things, because the article does not have enough detail about each subject, it should just focus on 1. -- (talk) 20:07, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

I was thinking of proposing that we fork off the "around the world" section.--otherlleft (talk) 12:05, 20 October 2008 (UTC)


The hyperlinks in the article for "beggar's night" or "begar's night" etc, just redirect to the same page. I don't think there's much point in redirecting someone to what they're already reading. We should probably just remove the hyperlinks. (Brithans 2008/10/28 7:47 EST —Preceding undated comment was added at 11:49, 28 October 2008 (UTC).


How Halloween become international holiday? If it is a western world's holiday how the hell it will be holiday for eastern countries like India, China, Russia, Hongkong, Suadi Countries ? How about Africa? Only 3 continents and 20 countries doesn't make it international. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:31, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Is Halloween strictly-speaking a holiday? Is this the right appelation for it? Ivankinsman (talk) 10:30, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

In so far that is is a Christian Holy Day, or at least the following day is, and the word holiday comes from the term Holy Day, then "yes". Holiday, by which we mean a day that we do not go to work, comes from the custom of spending the day in church instead of labouring. LessHeard vanU (talk) 19:56, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

The name itself creates confusion, as the word 'Halloween' would actually correspond to 'All Saints' Day', which is notoriously a Christian festivity. The name Halloween refers to a Christian holiday. In some countries it is celebrated in a Christian way and it is both a Holy Day and a bank holiday (no work). This is the case in Italy, my country, where 1st November is a bank holiday devoted to saints and martyrs. 2nd November is All Souls' Day (we call it the Day of the Dead) and we usually pay a visit and bring flowers to our dead at the cemetery. I can't say if going to church is part of the festivity, as I am not much of a church person. The other way Halloween (Samhian) is celebrated - dressing up, trick-or-treating, pumpkins, etc) derives from the pagan rituals. So in talking about the pre-Christian Celtic-style modern festival, shouldn't we use the old Gaelic name Samhian? Sandra - 31 October 2008

Halloween in England

It sucks that the English have no real Halloween traditions... I'm going to write to Gordon Brown and demand England-specific traditions, and I suggest everyone else do the same. Please? We're so missing out. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:14, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Why do we need it? We have Bonfire night on 5th November, a much better celebration and at least it commorates a real historic event in English history. (talk) 20:17, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Halloween, of course, is based on an ancient tradition - but I do agree the Nov 5th is cool, based as it is on an a well documented historical incident. Plus, what's not to celebrate about an attempt to blow up parliament? Lianachan (talk) 20:23, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Wikiproject Halloween

See our 10 day trial at Did you know? Victuallers (talk) 19:56, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

fsfsdfsdfds\ffdsfdsf\fsfsfdsfdffdfds\ fdsf \qw —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:53, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Halloween is not a holiday! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:24, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Why is Halloween not a holiday??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:46, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Originated in Ireland?

{{editsemiprotected}}I am very unhappy with the unchallenged "originated in Ireland" bias of the whole article. Also, because American culture shouts loudest about Halloween and trick or treating, I am meant to accept that that has been exported to everyone else. Ireland->America->World. This is WRONG. Guising, the source of American trick or treating, originates in Scotland. I would hope that Wikipedia will update its articles to more obviously acknowledge this fact.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 21:31, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Not done for now: I will happily add this to the article if you could provide a source for it. Thanks!--Aervanath lives in the Orphanage 04:01, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Claiming Halloween originates in Ireland is a slight misconception. The ancient pagan festival of Samhain, which was the basis for Halloween, was found in Celtic nations such as Ireland and Scotland. These traditions were then exported through immigration to the USA where they largely formed the holiday of Halloween as it is known today. (Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:41, 30 October 2008 (UTC))
We invent (dis)guising, the Americans turn it into "trick or treat", which is not the same thing, and our own kids are now going around doing that - promoted by the media. Deary me. The older halloween customs of the Scottish Western Isles were actually documented in the 15th and 16th century by visitors, but I for one can't be bothered putting them on wikipedia. Lianachan (talk) 12:20, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

I would like to see decent evidence that 'halloween originated in Ireland'. This sounds like the usual attempy by the Irish to attribute everything to themselves, even when the object in question has a wider history (eg the harp). The article was suggesting that it was the Irish alone that brought the festival to america; this is not right as many Scots brought it with them too. Scotland has celebrated Halloween for centuries and it is mentioned in 1735 (see the Scotland Halloween section), before the formation of the USA. Are we to believe that Scots immigrants just forgot about it upon arrival in the USA? The constant pro-irish edits need to be brought under control -- (talk) 13:44, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Happy Halloween

How come there's a card on there that says "Happy Halloween"? Surely that's a contradiction?-- (talk) 23:14, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

It's only a contradiction if you don't like to dress up and eat candy. Rwflammang (talk) 16:20, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Halloween in Sweden

The text falsely claims that Halloween in Sweden is celebrated on All Saints' Day. It goes on to say that "very few Swedes are aware that Halloween in the English-speaking countries is a non-Christian holiday celebrated October 31", which is also false. It is my belief that since most people have had this commercial (in modern times) holiday forced upon them so hard by retailers for so many years now, there is no way anyone could possibly have missed it.

To say that "christians and christian organizations do not like this connection" in relation to All Saints' Day, is an understatement. Most of my acquaintances see this connection as something bad. All Saints' Day is a solemn holiday, used to mourn the dead whereas Halloween (at least in its modern form) is a festive holiday. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:14, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

I edited the text a bit - it was a rather biased text and the claims it made were unsourced. I agree with you that many people I know (including myself) are not happy about the perception of Halloween replacing All Saints' Day - to my way of thinking there could be room for both, but mixing them up is a bad idea because the orange-colourred festivity will crowd out the more quiet, reflective celebration. However, I can't find any English-language sources about this controversy just at present so I removed the reference to it - as it was written it looked as if it's a concern for a small group of people, which is also biased. However, I do not agree that people in general know on which date the "real" Halloween (as opposed to All Saints' Day) falls. That's part of the reason for the controversy, wouldn't you say? --Bonadea (talk) 13:56, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Please note that, in the UK, people do not absent themselves from work to celebrate Halloween. It is NOT a holiday. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:03, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

The Celts were or were not afraid of their dead?

I have compaired the italian and the English versions of the entry Halloween and in the Italian version it is stated a detail of the Celts' culture that does not appear at all in the English (and much longer) page. This is the passage I am referring to:

I Celti non temevano i propri morti e lasciavano per loro del cibo sulla tavola in segno di accoglienza per quanti facessero visita ai vivi. Da qui l'usanza del trick-or-treating.

Oltre a non temere gli spiriti dei defunti, i Celti non credevano nei demoni quanto piuttosto nelle fate e negli elfi, entrambe creature considerate però pericolose: le prime per un supposto risentimento verso gli esseri umani; i secondi per le estreme differenze che intercorrevano appunto rispetto all'uomo. Secondo la leggenda, nella notte di Samhain questi esseri erano soliti fare scherzi anche pericolosi agli uomini e questo ha portato alla nascita e al perpetuarsi di molte altre storie terrificanti.

Si ricollega forse a questo la tradizione odierna e più recente per cui i bambini, travestiti da streghe, zombie, fantasmi e vampiri, bussano alla porta urlando con tono minaccioso: "Dolcetto o scherzetto?" ("Trick or treat" nella versione inglese). Per allontanare la sfortuna, inoltre, è necessario bussare a 13 porte diverse.

I'll translate it for your information:

The Celts did not fear their dead and would leave some food on the table for them as a sign of hospitality when the dead would come to visit them. Hence the tradition of the trick-or treating.

ALso, the Celts did not believe in demons, but in fairies and elves. These creatures were believed to be dangerous. Fairies were thought to be resentful towards humans, while elves were dangerous because the big differences existing between them and humans. Accoding to the legend, on Samhain's night, these creatures would usually play bad tricks to people and this lead to the origin of many terrifying tales still told today.

This is thought to be the reason why children, dressed up like witches, zombies, ghosts and vampires, go knocking to their neighbours' door threateningly shouting "Trick or treat?". It is also ncessary to knock 13 different doors. End of translation.

On the Italian page it's also mentioned the fact that the Celts' calendar was a circular one, for which Samhain night did not belong either to the old year or to the new year. So it was a special night where the boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead (Tir na n'Og) was much thinner and the living could have access to it (???!!! exclamations my myself).

I found the Celts' concept of circular time and their not being afriad of the dead also in another web page (<>), but I find hard to believe that the living can gain access to the world of the dead on this night. I'd say the opposite makes more sense. Sandypas - 31 October 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sandypas (talkcontribs) 13:44, 31 October 2008 (UTC)


The opening sentence under te topic Halloween states that it is " international holiday celebrated..." . However, although many countries may observe the traditions of the occassion of the day (both old and new), but i do not believe it to be an accepted "holiday" in the UK (bank, public, religeous, or otherwise), or in fact in most countries. it may be a USA observence. (talk) 14:13, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Happy hallowe'en!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:35, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Other countries that celebrate Halloween

I'm a Canadian and I was in Manila earlier this month and stores had lots of Halloween decorations, candy, and costumes. Do many people celebrate Halloween in the Philippines, and how widely celebrated is it there? Who brought this celebration to the Philippines and when? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:13, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

North America

The holiday was brought to North America by Irish immigrants leaving the famine in the 1850s. No other group brought it to NA as stated. 22:21, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

- Thats a ridiculous assessment. Of course, English, Scottish and Welsh immigrants would have take Halloween traditions to the US long before 1850. Kentish 1 Nov 08 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:46, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Actually, recently n my HIST 4360 (Ghosts, Myths, and Legends) class we learned that there are many traditions, customs, and aspects brought to the New World by non-Irish settlers. Someone should do more research on this and add it to the article as it would give a better background on Halloween as we know it and how it evolved throughout time. Also there should be mention that during the Victorian era Halloween, matchmaking was an important aspect of the holiday during this time period. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mink84 (talkcontribs) 05:52, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

I'd like to add that Halloween as it's celebrated in North America today, although its origins may have derived out of rituals and practiced observed from Gaelic traditions, isn't really reflective of the ancient "beliefs" of the ancient Gaels in Ireland and other regions of Europe. From a personal standpoint, I always associate Halloween with Witches, Ghosts, Zombies, trick-treating and Pumpkins. I don't think associating those things as Gaelic really proves the link between ancient and current traditions. From an economic/marketing standpoint, Halloween has really taken on a life of its own as it is celebrated (more than observed) by North Americans these past several decades.-- (talk) 16:59, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

The origins, and how it came to North America, and the eventual spread all over the world would surely be of considerable note. The celebration went from "Ireland-> America-> World" in that order. Surely that's notable. Other additions from various cultures should indeed be included in the article. Purple Arrow (talk) 12:19, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Not true. Guising, the source of American trick or treating, originated in Scotland, and predates any known American observance.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 21:08, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

The point surely is that it's disputed that the festival came from Ireland in the first place. It appears apparent that whilst CELTIC (Not Irish) origins are strong, the is also heavy influence from other cultures... including both Catholic and Protestant churches. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:42, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

You are disputing it, but that could be called original research. Apparently the present celebration of Halloween came to us directly from Ireland, to America, and has now spread all over the world. Why was it not celebrated in Australia, NZ, England (all Protestant countries) etc until recently, until it came from North America. I think we have to go by the academic sources on this one, which are quite clear. Purple Arrow (talk) 11:20, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

The case that Haloween came from Ireland is very uncertain - it's certaintly not celebrated in Ireland in anything like the way that it's celebrated in the US. In fact a lot of the Irish believe it's a very ungodly event that should be resisted. The academic sources are not clear on this one and the debate needs to be opened. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:16, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

It most certainly was celebrated here in England, and still is. ðarkuncoll 00:08, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

A more accurate line would be that British immigrants brought Halloween to the USA or perhaps immigrants from the British Isles. Kentish 1 Nov 08 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:44, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

(Just remember some handy hints to stop eggers. 1: Give them candy 2: If you don't have candy get a high powered water gun and sprey them, this keeps most away 3: get a house with a really long driveway!!!)

The fact that Halloween today is far more popular in US than in Ireland and that actually a lot of the Irish believe it's a very ungodly event that should be resisted, does not really prove anything about the origins. In fact, the Celts were pagans, whereas Irish today are Catholic, hence the resistance to celebrate Halloween in a pagan-like fashion. To me it all makes perfect sense. I'm Italian but I live in Dublin and since last weekend there's been a lot gogin on. Tonight there will be the annual Halloween city parade and dressed up parties in several clubs. Sandra - 31 October 2008

Religious perspectives section

The article seems to allude to the fact that the church as a whole is not worried about Halloween because of a single exorcist, who is most certainly not the church spokesperson. This section should be revised to be more objective and not try to identify a position without credible evidence. (talk) 00:34, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

I find it ironic that the article states "In fact, the Roman Catholic Church sees Halloween as having a Christian connection." Since the holiday was established by the Roman Catholic Church why should it not be considered having a Christian connection.

Although the article states that Halloween is actually Samhain, that is not supported by facts. Some of the traditional customs of celebration of Halloween are certainly derived from Samhein, but to say that the holiday is Samhain carried forward is misleading. First off, the article states that Samhain was celebrated on October 31. Wikipedia's own article on Samhain (which also contradicts itself) ways that it was celebrated on November first, then goes on to say it was celebrated at the new moon nearest the autumnal equinox (which would give it a date which is not fixed on our solar calendar).

Furthermore, when the date for All Saints Day was set to November 1 in the 8th century, the holiday was only celebrated in Rome. Samhain was not celebrated in Rome.

References for the Catholic Church's stance on Halloween include:


"The Pagan Origins of Halloween:

Despite concerns among some Christians in recent years about the "pagan origins" of Halloween, there really are none. The first attempts to show some connection between the vigil of All Saints and the Celtic harvest festival of Samhain came over a thousand years after All Saints Day became a universal feast, and there's no evidence whatsoever that Gregory III or Gregory IV was even aware of Samhain."

and [4]

"The Rev. James B. Sullivan is the priest at Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in Fort Lee, NJ: He said: "My basic concern is the loss of the religious significance and the emphasis that is placed on the 'spookiness' of the holiday celebration...It's unfortunate that honoring our beloved departed and saints has been twisted into the celebration of Halloween." He is probably concerned about lack of attention to All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day by the public ." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:49, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Why is Australia listed?

A few kids asking their neighbours for lollies doesn't mean we celebrate Halloween.

More people here celebrate Eid ul-Fitr, do we need to say Australia celebrates Eid ul-Fitr? The Muss (talk) 02:01, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree, to say that "Australia celebrates Halloween" is a huge generalisation. The vast majority of Australian's do not celebrate Halloween. I'm pretty sure that you'll find that a lot (if not most) of Australian's view it as an attempt to "Americanise" Australian culture and are actually quite annoyed by it. (talk) 07:07, 1 November 2008 (UTC) Swampy.
Australia would probably be better off moved to the "Other Regions" section where it says "Halloween has become popular in the context of American pop culture." & "Business has a natural tendency to capitalize on the holiday season's more commercial aspects, such as the sale of decorations and costumes." which is more the case here than actually being "celebrated". (talk) 07:14, 1 November 2008 (UTC) Swampy (again).

"America Pressure?"

I take exception with your statement that:

"Halloween celebrations in England were popularised in the late 20th century under the pressure of American cultural influence..."

First, it smacks of modern anti-Americanism. Also, it raises the question as to why those very countries that protest such culteral influences are the very ones who opt to adopt said culture so strongly.

Second, your suggestion that any culture exerts "pressure" is by definition based on you opionion, and not fact. I note that you provide no source. Does a diamond pressure anyone to dig it up?

You note that Autralia is under this "pressure" from 'The Simnpsons" TV program, yet state that they have not succumbed to the same pressure that England has. Are Austrailians immune, then, down under? Indeed, the very (small) Australian newspaper you cite states clearly that those who have adopted Halloween are looking for an "excuse for a party." Accordingly could it be that the invincible force of North American television is no more than an Australian urge to clebrate something in October? Do you honestly contend that a few annual episodes of an American televsion show wield such culteral influence? And, if it could, would the pressure best be called 'American culture,' or rather the human desire to find amusement in sit-coms, and Halloween?

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Free322001 (talkcontribs) 02:59, 2 November 2008 (UTC) 

Date of Hallowe'en

As I understand it, this year (2008), Hallowe'en was actually on 1st Nov. The reason is that Hallowe'en is defined as the day before All Saints Day, which in turn is the day before All Souls Day. BUT, All Souls Day cannot fall on a Sunday. Therefore, in 2008, Sunday was All Saints, Monday is All Souls, and Saturday 1st was Hallowe'en, rather than the usual 31st Oct. Of course, most people celebrate on 31st, or take advantage and do both! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:11, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

I have to disagree with you. I am from Italy and as far as I know, all my life All Saints' Day has been on 1st November and All Souls' Day (which we call il Giorno dei Morti = the Day of the Dead) has always been on the 2nd November, regardless of the day of the week it falls. The 1st November is always a Holy Day as well as a day off work. The Italian entry in Wikipedia for Ognissanti (all saints' day) also states that it is always on 1st November. This might provide a useful insight on All Saints' Day celebrations in Italy: <> Sandra

An overview of primary sources would be nice

It would be good to know what the primary sources are that document the link between Samhain and Halloween. A sort of short overview of what we know and how we know it. A previous request for such sources has been archived,Talk:Halloween/Archive_12#Dispute, without ever having been answered.

Such an overview would include some descriptions of the earliest Halloween celebrations to have been documented. My dictionary gives the earliest use of the name Halloween as the 16th century. What was the holiday called before the 16th century? How was it celebrated? How do we know?

Rwflammang (talk) 11:53, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

It looks like better minds than mine have been pondering these same questions. Scroll down a bit on the link. Rwflammang (talk) 19:55, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

National holiday?

for the record!

Thanks for providing a link to this interesting and influential source. Rwflammang (talk) 15:34, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Halloween dates back before ireland, to the Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.

I have two questions about this. (1) From what I understand from the Coligny Calendar and Tacitus, the Celts had a lunisolar calendar, so I don't see how they could have celebrated new year on Nov 1, except occasionally. It's kind of like saying, "Christians celebate Easter on April 1st", which is only true every 29 years or so. My second question (2) is how do we know what the Celts believed 2000 years ago? Who recorded the belief that the boundary between the Netherworld and Earth was "blurred" on Oct 31st? Rwflammang (talk) 15:34, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

-note- the catholics adopted this festival because it closely followed their holy-day of "all souls day" -note-

All Souls' Day follows Halloween; Halloween does not follow All Souls' Day. Rwflammang (talk) 15:34, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

What does the historical record say about the Druids making predictions on Halloween? Who recorded this information? Have these records ever been published, or do they only exist in manuscript? Rwflammang (talk) 15:34, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

Video: The haunting History of All Hallow's Eve (Halloween). Video: Timothy Dickinson tells the intriguing tale of why we celebrate Halloween, and it's evolution from Samhain, an ancient Celtic Harvest Festival.

How do we know Samhain is an ancient Celtic harvest festival? The earliest records I know of describe it as a midieval Irish royal festival. Rwflammang (talk) 15:34, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

The date of the Feralia is well documented as being in February, not October. Rwflammang (talk) 15:34, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas. for the record, the word Halloween is a latin based word from the later roman or (old English) cathlic. Ween - meaning to think, and hallo - meaning holy. Originally it was called Hallows'eve which would be translated: "the day before all think holy" day. all think holy day is "all saints day."

This etymolgy strikes me as quite fanciful. The origin of the word Halloween as a contraction of All Hallows' Eve is well known. Hallows is a now archaic word meaning saints. So All Hallows' Eve means All Saints' Eve, which is a good name for the eve of All Saints Day. I take it that the phrase, "It is widely believed today that..." is a euphemism for "there is no evidence that...". The irony here is that the original date of All Saints in the spring was indeed deliberately placed to coincide with an ancient pagan holiday, the anniversary of the dedication of the Pantheon. I don't know of any old pagan holiday on November 1st, but I would be happy if someone could document one. Rwflammang (talk) 15:34, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

. . .



I propose that a bot be invited to archive this page periodically. Is there consensus?--otherlleft (talk) 01:27, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

It's been a couple weeks since I asked this question. Certainly a lack of response isn't consensus, but I'm going to be bold and install a bot. Any objections, feel free to revert.--otherlleft (talk) 21:32, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Classed as a Scotland related article?

This header was presumably added by an editor suggesting that this action be taken. I have added this comment so that it can be archived at a suitable time.--otherlleft (talk) 16:54, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

To GA and beyond

To all those interested in bring Halloween back up to GA class (and more), there is a discussion going on right here. Any and all comments are welcome! RockManQ (talk) 18:27, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

The history of Halloween

“Elements of the customs connected with Halloween can be traced to a Druid [ancient Celtic priesthood] ceremony in pre-Christian times. The Celts had festivals for two major gods—a sun god and a god of the dead . . . , whose festival was held on November 1, the beginning of the Celtic New Year. The festival of the dead was gradually incorporated into Christian ritual.”

In many cultures a single event, Festival of the Dead, lasting up to 3 days, was held at the end of October and beginning of November; examples include the Peruvians, the Hindus, the Pacific Islanders, the people of the Tonga Islands, the Australians, the ancient Persians, the ancient Egyptians, the Japanese, ancient Romans, and the northern nations of Europe. see Festival of the Dead. Ayamarca, (November) in the incas languages mean Festival of the Dead.

The 17th day Heshvan (Bul) which is the second the month of ancient Jewish secular year. Genesis 7:11 - The demons dematerialized when the Flood came. Genesis 6:1-4; for Jude 6. - The Nephilim hybrid the offspring of the demons drowned. Genesis 6:4. This corresponds to the October-November period. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:35, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Most commonly?

"Other western countries embraced the holiday in the late twentieth century. Halloween is celebrated in several countries of the Western world, most commonly in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Puerto Rico, Japan, and the United Kingdom."

--What makes these countries more significant on Halloween than other countries? I'm sure that other countries celebrate the night as well. And I don't see any references stating that these particular countries more commonly celebrate Halloween than the rest of the world. Unless I see some specific references, I am pulling that particular sentence out of the article.

Loghead1 (talk) 17:50, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Good for you. I have lived in Australia, New Zealand, UK and Switzerland recently. Of these, it is by far the biggest in Switzerland, which is not even mentioned. However, the children go around acting like a mafia protection racket or Dick Turpin. I think they see it as an easy way to get money from adults. It is definitely seen as being American pop culture rather than any local custom. In New Zealand, it is virtually ignored. Wallie (talk) 19:29, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Black cats

Does anyone know of any good sources about black cats and their association with Halloween?--otherlleftNo, really, other way . . . 14:33, 30 November 2008 (UTC)


I removed the Music section of the article because it contained a number of errors, was un-sourced, and was not in any way cyclopedic. Perhaps a sourced comment about halloween music could be added along with comments about haunted houses or costume sales? MorbidAnatomy (talk) 21:22, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Celebrated where?

Where is the Halloween celebrated? In Britain? Or also in other places? The first sentence should be complemented. (I am Hungarian and for me it's not evident where people celebrate Halloween.) --Szipucsu (talk) 18:44, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Modern Halloween is largely a product of American pop culture and is only celebrated there on a large scale. When I was a kid in 1960s Britain nobody had heard of Halloween. Nowadays kids go from door to door, demanding money with menaces and dressed in 'scary' costumes. Wall-Mart and their international subsidiaries push Halloween hard, encouraging poorly educated parents to buy paraphernalia for their children. It's one of the less attractive examples of American cultural imperialism. (Sorry, I've had a hard day.) -- (talk) 00:04, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

You Carve Pumpkins, Not Jack-o-lanterns

You carve a pumpkin to get a Jack-o-lantern. I propose changing it. Logrolls (talk) 16:59, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

I appreciate the point, but by this logic one cannot sculpt a statue, paint a portrait, cook a meal, bake a cake, knit a sweater.... PurpleChez (talk) 18:27, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Delete the Poem!

There are no other poems on this page, and it seems pointless if no other poems are included. (talk) 13:43, 7 October 2009 (UTC)


Should'nt you put in the superstitions about halloween? I'm just curious because i've heard of legends and superstious practices on halloween like the following:

  • Don't Blow out a Jack-o'-Lantern before midnight (Otherwise Evil spirits will have access to your house)
  • Don't walk through a grave yard (Hellhounds lurk near burial grounds especially around this time)
  • Don't Go to a house with no lights on (It may be haunted)
  • Hand out treats (or fear tricks)
  • Dress up (To blend in with the —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:54, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

History of Halloween

In was said that when Halloween comes spirits and demons come and haunt the earth for just one night. It somewhat true. In anciet times in England people thought that Halloween was a time of evil(not true). Halloween is when people dress as something scary and get candy. Well in 1700s people worship the goddess of night is Nyx.

Jack o lanterns was not just a pumpkin with a face on it. In 1723 people who called theirselves Monks Would use this to light their way through cemetries, except they didn't use pumpkins. They use real human skulls(talk about getting ahot head).Another myth said that —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lisababie90210 (talkcontribs) 14:13, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Request change to semi-protected page

In the UNICEF section, it says "In 2006, UNICEF discontinued their Halloween collection boxes in parts of the world" but the footnote-link points to a Canadian only article. Instead of saying "part of the world" and leaving it vague, could we instead put "Canada"?

Thanks, WesT

P.S. I'd gladly be a registered user, but we are blocked from so many sites here at work that it'd probably only work 'til they block yet another one. WT —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:00, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Done, with additions. Thank you, WesT! –Whitehorse1 18:12, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Celtic Christians?

I deleted the following as questionable in context and implication:

Celtic Christians may have Samhain services that focus on the cultural aspects of the holiday, in the belief that many ancient Celtic customs are "incompatible with the new Christian religion. Christianity embraced the Celtic notions of family, community, the bond among all people, and respect for the dead. Throughout the centuries, pagan and Christian beliefs intertwine in a gallimaufry (hodgepodge) of celebrations from October 31 through November 5, all of which appear both to challenge the ascendancy of the dark and to revel in its mystery."

This paragraph talks about "Celtic Christians" in the present tense, as if there might be a Celtic Christian church just round the corner. As far as I know, Celtic Christianity was a medieval thing, and there is still some debate as to what were its essential elements. It was a rival to Roman Christianity, and lost out in the end. If someone wants to address the merging of Christian and Celtic beliefs, please revisit this and rewrite it, and place it within the historical section of the article, rather than in the section concerning modern-day religious debate over Halloween. Eastcote (talk) 03:32, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

IIRC, that was sourced to a church in Boston that calls itself Celtic Christian. I don't know how many churches there are like them, though. This is how the quote read before vandalism: "Many ancient Celtic customs proved compatible with the new Christian religion. Christianity embraced the Celtic notions of family, community, the bond among all people, and respect for the dead. Throughout the centuries, pagan and Christian beliefs intertwine in a gallimaufry (hodgepodge) of celebrations from October 31st through November 5th, all of which appear both to challenge the ascendancy of the dark and to revel in its mystery."[5] I think it would be worth re-adding in the context of Christians of Irish heritage. - Kathryn NicDhàna 05:33, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
I find it weird to suggest that "family, community, the bond among all people, and respect for the dead" are specifically "Celtic notions" that were adopted by Christianity. (talk) 20:12, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't think it should be included, if that's the best source we can get.--Cúchullain t/c 23:56, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Punctuation of "All Hallows Eve"

There doesn't seem to be much agreement about how to punctuate "All Hallows Eve." In the article it is currently written as "All Hallows' Eve" but, for example, an article from - - writes it without any punctuation at all. I suppose all we'd need to know is what's being indicated by the various apostrophes. Clearly "All Hallow's Eve" is wrong, since that would indicate possession - that the evening belongs to All Hallow (like "Old Joe's Day" would be a single day dedicated to one Old Joe). Similarly, I think that "All Hallows' Eve" is wrong, since it again indicates possession of the evening by every single Hallow that there is (again, "Old Joes' Day" suggests a day meant to celebrate everybody named Joe who is old, and which belongs to all of them in some manner.

It seems, then, that the only sensible punctuation is to have none at all: "All Hallows Eve." It is the evening where all of the hallows are considered, but it does not belong to them. "Old Joes Day" is a day for thinking of, and celebrating, all of the old people named Joe, but it does not belong to them. For comparison, think about Veterans Day (in the US). It is a day to think about, celebrate, and venerate, all veterans ... but it doesn't belong to any of them, and so it has no apostrophe.

Unless there is some convincing linguistic argument otherwise, I think this should be changed. References on the Internet are all over the place, so I don't think it's a matter of finding sources to support one side or the other, necessarily. I think it requires a logical, linguistic approach. Zminer (talk) 20:44, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

For whatever it's worth, the OED (2nd ed. 1989) consistently uses All Hallows' Eve, similarly punctuating All Hallows' Day on the "All-Hallow" entry; defining Hallow-e'en, as " The Eve of All Hallows' or All Saints' ". The "All-Hallow, -s" entry, after noting hallows is plural of hallow - "a holy man, a saint", has the definition: All saints, the saints (in heaven) collectively. (Often as dedication of a church.) –Whitehorse1 21:24, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm - I believe I stand corrected. I am caused to wonder, however, how this is different from Veterans Day, which is consistently written without punctuation (at least by official US government sites). I guess the argument could be made that All Hallows' Eve belongs to the deceased saints (specific people) more than Veterans Day belongs to any one person. There are, of course, other plural possessive holidays, such as "Women's History Month" (although the non-possessive "Woman History Month" doesn't sound right and "History of Women Month" is awkward) and International/Universal Children's Day (same problems as "women's" due to the odd possessive scheme). I still think it makes more sense to have it with no apostrophe, but I bow to the wisdom (or at least the research conducted by the authors) of the OED. Zminer (talk) 23:24, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Religious context

I find this section to be very vague and full of generalizations. I know that there are varying views, but there are too many times where "many" or "most" are used with zero substantiation. Anybody up to tackling this to make it more concise? (talk) 02:46, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

I agree. For instance--Lutherans and other protestants do not "celebrate the holiday as Reformation Day." This wording suggests that they have transformed Halloween into Reformation Day in the same way that some Fundamentalists have transformed Halloween into a harvest festival. Rather, Reformation Day is an entirely independent holiday commemorating the fact that Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses to the door of the castle church at Wittemberg on 31 October 1517. (Monty Python fans know the rest.)PurpleChez (talk) 18:17, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
The Jewish statement, "Traditional Judaism frowns upon the celebration of Halloween". This statement should be revised to which branches of Judaism frown upon Halloween. As Karaites will generally celebrate Halloween and other non-traditional Jewish holidays when the Holiday is a celebration of some aspect of life (such as past loved ones), which are not a celebration of another god. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Evilhenny (talkcontribs) 21:50, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
Why is there a huge section about the Islamic perspective? Are every religion's groups who are against Halloween going to have their own section like this? What about Islamic people who aren't against Halloween? Let's give it a nice cleaned up section like the first part of this section: Some Islamic people do not celebrate Halloween based on it's historical context. Done! (talk) 16:43, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

←Islamicish view: I would like author of that section to have it reviewed and cleaned, using the term: "As Muslims, we have two celebrations" using the word "as" and "we" is not appropriate. since the reader is not looking for others opinions, but for information.
Muslims have different traditions that are not related to Islam, but to local customs even before conversion. As an exemple in Morocco, where chidren celebrate by stting fire in a vacant place, turning around it, after that going door to door collecting money, candy and sweets. which is similar to Halloween. this moroccan tradition dates away back in time to the Roman Era. similar traditions exist in the entire Muslim world. Please someone have this period developed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Eljaafari (talkcontribs) 16:49, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

I've been in Moroccos this last week during halloween and I didn't saw any celebration whatsoever related to the halloween. I asked several locals about it and the ones who knew something about halloween (most didn't even known about it) told me that they DON'T celebrate haloween. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:25, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

A concise, coherent, referenced section on an Islamic perspective of Halloween would be fine in my opinion. Anyone willing to write such an addition? Again - concise, coherent and referenced. Eastcote (talk) 17:03, 31 October 2009 (UTC)


"I'm too old for the costume part, but not for the free candy." That's what you will be thinking after 12 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:29, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

For my part I'm thinking were can I get an Edward Woodward this late.Slatersteven (talk) 18:48, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Samhain - a festival for the celtic god of the dead ?

In contrary to the english Version the Deutsch article on Halloween states the festival's origins to be unclear. I try to translate the part that refers to the Samhain Hypotheses:

The oldest and unsure appearence of the Samhain festival is in the Calender of Coligny from the first century A.D. The link to the realm of the dead evolves according to this interpretation from the killing of excess live cattle at the beginning of winter (to ensure the survival of the remaining stock). Allmost all folklorists and religion historians do not support the Hypothesis of Continuity (celtic Tradition → Halloween tradition). The connection between Halloween and the realm of the dead seems to derive more probably from the following catholic holidays. Thus on All Saints' day is to remember all those who have -according to christian believe- acquired eternal live. On all souls's day 2nd November there should be prayers and good deeds (like giving Gifts to bagging children) to ease the pain of those suffering in the purgatory. Since Eire was one of the first countries in Europe to be christianized a unverified (by no source) direct continuity from pagan-celtic Rites is pretty improbable and rather likely connected to 19th century celtic folklorism.

↑ Whitely Stokes, Sanas Cormaic: Cormac’s glossary. Annotated and translated by John O’Donovan. Kalkutta 1868 ↑ Horst-Rudolf Köneke, Halloween Kelten – Revival, 2003 S.26 ↑ Vgl. zur Problematik religionsgeschichtlicher Ableitung aus dem Keltentum grundsätzlich Bernhard Maier, Die Religionen der Kelten. Götter - Mythen - Weltbild, 2. Aufl., München 2004, S. 174ff. ↑ "Was heute als typisch keltisch gilt, ist in vielen Fällen nur ein Produkt neuzeitlicher oder gar bereits antiker Keltenideologie", Bernhard Maier, Die Religionen der Kelten. Götter - Mythen - Weltbild, 2. Aufl., München 2004, S. 178, vgl. die Artikel Kelten - Rezeptionsgeschichte [2] und Irische Renaissance

On the other hand the Deutsch Halloween Article gives a long list of traditions from various european regions related to the beginning of the darker part of the year that resemble Halloween customs: building Lanterns, Children bagging, singing or alike to get gifts, driving of (the fear of the dark that was supposedly populated by) bad spirits, preparing food for the winter time, telling scary stories (while now spending lots of time together doing handicraft indoors).

Recent research has already discovered "Samhain the God of the dead" to be a product of pure speculation. It should be taken into consideration that there have been ancient natural religions over many generations under the strong influences of the romans, the migration of peoples and the christianization. Most traditional festivals have developed from a series of origins over a long period of time. Chances are that a single direct predecessor to Halloween did not exist.

--Mediarion (talk) 23:51, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

I* think I agree that Halloween cannot be directly traced to any one festival or religious observance. it is a conglomerate of numeropus traditions that have merdged into the hodspodge we have today.Slatersteven (talk) 16:37, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

I don't believe it was recent research that discredited the "Saman God of the Dead" theory. That hasn't been taken seriously in a long time, and it was part of Victorian Celtic/Druidic Romanticism. But I think there is a certain continuity in today's Halloween from older traditions. Pagan traditions did not simply cease in the face of Christianity. Saying "the connection between Halloween and the realm of the dead seems to derive more probably from...Catholic holidays" prompts one to ask, "Where did the Catholics get the holidays"? Biblically speaking, there's no precedent for all the saints and a festival of the dead. Certainly, Judaism had harvest festivals, but nothing like a "feast of the dead" that Christians could turn into Halloween. Eastcote (talk) 17:48, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
Western Christianity absorbed many pagan festivals (its interestinf that the eastern Churs=ch has differing dates). But they did not absorbe them from one Pagan tradition. They absoebed them from a Pagan Polygot. With the result that (halloween for example) any given holy day has many and varied (and often untarceable to the origional) Pagan elements. I agree thatr the Sam Hain God of the dead is very iffy (what about Arawn for example) Bu8t I think its worth noting that it (halloween) does not represent one Pagan festival but many seperate (Such as tha Galic new year mentioned above) Celtic (maybe other) influences.Slatersteven (talk) 17:59, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. The article currently mentions the Roman feast of Pomona and the festival of Parentalia, in addition to Samhain. Perhaps this area could be expanded. Eastcote (talk) 18:12, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
The pagan roots of HalloWeen [[6]]. I don't know if this has a place in the article. But it does show the attitude some have towardds the festival.Slatersteven (talk) 18:32, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
Different religious attitudes towards Halloween are already covered. Eastcote (talk) 18:47, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
True bit it seems a bit of a mess, to paraphrase
Some christians like it, but others don't. But others do, and whilst some otehrs think its fun others think its evil. Its a total mess.Slatersteven (talk) 19:00, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Origin of Name

The term Halloween, originally spelled Hallowe’en, is shortened from All Hallow Even – e'en is a shortening of even, which is a shortening of evening. This is ultimately dervied from the Old English Eallra Hālgena ǣfen.[10] It is now known as All Saints' Day.

This is wrong. All Hallows is now called All Saints' Day (hallow means a holy person), but All Hallows Eve is the evening before, called Hallowe'en or, in a religious context, the Feast of All Souls. Nuttyskin (talk) 16:55, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

All Hollows eve was Catholic and also the celebration proceeds ancient Roman Holidays. On October 31 and May 31, the Roman priests would remove a huge rock covering a small cave.The spirits of the dead were then able to roam the earth for 24 hours. Food flowers and goodies were placed by the cave to entice and appease the spirits. Afterwards the rock was placed back. This first festval became memoiral day and the second became All Souls day adopted by the Church, —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:04, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
See the Roman festivales of di Mane (spirits of the dead) Originally celebrated three times per year, later made into two times;Memorial Day for all heros snd All souls day for all. In Latino coutries called the day of the dead, whose celebration is mixed with indian, and african slave customes some of which are voodoo. Remember to put the rocks back to cover the hallows after 24 hours. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:09, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
The bizarre thing is the source that is quoted for the etymology of Halloween is impeccable, but whoever wrote that sentence has misunderstood the etymological information in that source and come up with something completely misleading. The Old English is, as far as I can see, more or less made up and is not in the quoted source. I will come back and fix this after the weekend. --Pfold (talk) 00:06, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
OK, I've now replaced this section with a more accurate representation of the evidence cited in the OED. But note: the claim that the term is Old English seems to be without foundation. Unless the sources cited for the last sentence of the previous section actually quote specific and reliable evidence to contradict the OED, that final statement will need to be modified or deleted. I have to say that the chances that the OED editors have overlooked such a term in Old English, while other non-etymologists have found one, is desperately implausible. --Pfold (talk) 13:45, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for doing this, Pfold. I agree with the points in your original comment about the earlier version. I was looking forward to seeing your changes. Having seen it, it is a little different to what I expected. On other articles covering etymology that I've had involvement in through content review processes, such as this, this or this, there's a different look I think. Perhaps we could talk about the section more here.
It says the first attestation of the word Halloween is 16th century. Other sources I've seen, Rogers for instance, say it came to be known as Halloween in the 18th century, first mentioned in print by Scottish poet, Robert Fergusson, in 1773. My reading of the two Ox. Eng. dictionary entries for All-Hallow and Halloween suggest same. The "All Hallow Eve" item on the All-Hallow entry begins with "Halhalon evyn" attested in a 1556 chronicle, then later variants, and is the one you refer to I think. The Old English 'all saints' collective phrase changing through Middle and Early Modern English is striking. Other attestations such as c.1413 "the feste of al halowen" or c.1450 "the feest of alhalwynne", have close similarity?

"distinction between Halloween and All Souls' was by no means clear-cut, something underscored by the fact that Halloweve [or Hallowtide] or Hollantide could be celebrated anywhere between 31 October and 2 November" (Rogers)
"diversity of practices associated with Halloween is reflected in the variety of words by which the holiday was known. In the lengthy testimony submitted to the National Folklore Commission in Ireland [we] find that Halloween was often called Hollantide or All Holland [or] Halleve". (Rogers)

A complicating factor may be distinction on when 'Halloween' was celebrated and what the holiday was called, was often blurred or varied by time and place. Perhaps due to my not being a linguist, it all seems quite confusing. –Whitehorse1 17:18, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Tradition of Costumes

There should be a section on the history and reason behind how the tradition of dressing up in costumes began.

On Halloween the Celtic Irish believed that all barriers between the living and the dead were broken. During this night the recently deceased ancestors had a chance to encapsulate a living body and have an afterlife. Fearing for their souls, the Celts would put out all the lights in their houses, and dress up in ghoulish costumes, and reek havoc around town to scare off the spirits. As years gone by spirit possession became less popular, but people continued to dress up as witches, goblins, and demons for the ceremonial tradition.

In the 1840’s the famous potato famine struck Ireland. Many Irish families fled in search of refuge and ended up in America. This is when the ceremony of dressing up on Halloween was brought to America.

Today people all over the world continues to dress up in costumes on Halloween. Currently the tradition of dressing up as goblins expanded to dressing up as any other character, other than your self. Many believe that dressing up is a tribute to the devil or for a demonic ceremony, however the opposite is true. It is used to scare off demons and to celebrate the saints.

Natalienguyen621 (talk) 03:01, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

  • "On Halloween the Celtic Irish believed that all barriers between the living and the dead were broken." Natalienguyen621 that tradition is found in other parts of the British Isles and is hardly a uniquely Irish characteristic of Halloween. The celtic Scots, celtic Welsh and parts of england will have similar traditions if not the same. Also the traditions of Halloween are documented in north America before the famine. I notice you dont cite sources to back up your claim, would you include them. Tabhara (talk) 11:21, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Former contents of Talk:Halloween/Comments

Artical on Halloween in Ireland refers to turnips being used to adorn houses. More correctly these vegetables were mostly larger swedes which were commonly called turnips locally for whatever reason!—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Halloween to GA and beyond

Halloween was a good article over two years ago but has since been delisted. I would like to set a goal of not only returning it to that status, but getting it featured for Halloween of 2009. What will this take? Let's keep the discussion in one thread for the moment so the historians will be able to more easily track the progress of this momentous task!  :-P--otherlleft (talk) 16:56, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Sounds like a plan! I shall keep an eye out. Best, --A NobodyMy talk 17:05, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Sounds good. I did a very brief look over and this is was I found:

  • The lead section is completely unsourced
  • It's also too short for such a big topic (see WP:LEAD)
  • Some level three headers are very short (such as Haunted attractions)
  • Around the world section is lacking citations
  • Also, there is many duplicate section titles (I see History four or five times)

Granted, this was just a basic lookover, but I'd certainly be willing to help, when possible. I look forward to working on this and good luck! RockManQ (talk) 17:43, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for that. My replies:
  • My interest in Halloween here started with a haunted attraction, so I'm willing to start on that section myself.
  • I think the around the world section is the worst part of the article! It's way too long as well as being unsourced. I don't think it would be fair to just strip it down because the material has some worth, which is why I suggested splitting it. Any thoughts on how to address?
  • The lead might be easier to work on once the rest of the article is in good shape. I have to revisit WP:LEAD myself.--otherlleft (talk) 18:02, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
We could just copy the Around the world here, make improvements to it, see if anyone objects to it on Halloween's talk page, then post it into the article. Only since it's so big though. RockManQ (talk) 18:20, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
I also put a notice on Talk:Halloween for anyone that wants to come and discuss improvements. RockManQ (talk) 18:29, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Good idea on both counts. I created an around the world subpage here for that purpose. Clearly I need somebody to make a Barn'o'Lantern ;)--otherlleft (talk) 18:32, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Wow...that's long. RockManQ (talk) 18:42, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

I think we'll eventually have to break it off into it's own article, for the sake of the Halloween article. RockManQ (talk) 18:45, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, it's a marathon in the making.--otherlleft (talk) 18:55, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Warning: a lot of people feel invested in this article. Previous edit wars were about the perils Halloween presents to modern-day Christians; whether the Celtic festival of Samhain was a new year festival; and whether the Pope moved All Saints Day to November 1 to co-opt the celebration of Samhain. Another thing to watch out for is relying on error-ridden popular histories of Halloween as sources, and the Web is littered with those. Look for scholarly works that use primary sources, most of which can be found in books, not on the Web. — Walloon (talk) 23:43, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Points well taken. RockManQ's posting on the talk page should help with the former, and looking in gasp real books is certainly a possibility!--otherlleft (talk) 00:59, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Back to the future?

I've read the article just before it was delisted and the structure seems much better than it is today, though it is beset by the problems mentioned above regarding unreferenced statements in particular. (I also note it was delisted very soon after I made my original edits which I hope was just coincidence;). The segmentation into sub-articles about the various countries gives the whole thing a scrappy "Did you know?" feel - like a meandering trivia section. We might be better to go back to the GA version just after the classification and start from there. We could then agree what material should be added back in and how; and come up with some criteria for inclusion and reference standards. Sarah777 (talk) 08:37, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

I've tracked down this diff. It appears the article was simply tagged a GA on Halloween 2005 without any review process! So as well as adding material to the GA version we'd have to remove much as well. Sarah777 (talk) 09:03, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Awesome legwork - I started to hunt down that version myself a week or two ago but didn't have the time. Makes me wonder if that information should be included in the delisted GA template!--otherlleft (talk) 13:43, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Possibly. The challenge is a bit greater than I originally thought; I figured we'd have a "real" GA to build on. Now it seems we'll have to create one rather than just re-create one. Sarah777 (talk) 21:46, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

"The colours black and orange have become associated with the celebrations, perhaps because of the darkness of night and the colour of fire or of pumpkins, and maybe because of the vivid contrast this present for merchandising."
"present" should be "presents" but I am too lazy to make an account so I am mentioning it here so some lofty registered user can make the fix. -- (talk) 00:35, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

The festival that became Halloween in North America is not just an Irish festival

I noticed that this article slants a little too much towards the Irish influences in the cultural expansion of the festival of Halloween to America and beyond. The festival although celtic in origin has been celebrated throughout these islands and pre-dates all the countries. Still the festival that became Halloween in America has other influences and

The festival started well before the Irish famine and is noted in 1820, moreover every group (not just Irish, but Scottish, English, Welsh as well as German and Mexicans and Spanish) had an occult tradition that was incorporated into the tradition of Halloween. Also the Scottish and Irish and German influences in Appalachia are huge as cited in. Halloween: An American Holiday, an American History By Lesley Pratt Bannatyne

All saints day immigrated to America as an Irish and Scottish festival and evolved into a large scale festival by the early 20th century. Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night By Nicholas Rogers

Halloween traditions were taken by the Scots and Irish to America The Encyclopaedia Americana Volume 13 by Grolier Incorporated

The custom we celebrate in North America has its origins in the lands of Celtic Ireland, Britain…halloween traditions were brought to America by the English, Irish and Scottish. Halloween By Robert A. McCracken, Diana Colquhoun

I will edit accordingly if no objections Old man of the wood (talk) 15:04, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

At this time the claim is sourced that it was the Irish who introduced it to the USA. Your sources seem to disprove that source, I would sugest that something like "although often regarded as an Irish tradition (old source) others (one of the new sources) claim it was brought over by the Enlish or Scots, as well as the Irish (a couple of other sources)."Slatersteven (talk) 15:10, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
The article also seems very slanted towards North American observance, when this tradition originates (and is still celebrated) elsewhere. --John (talk) 15:19, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
It was always robustly celebrated in Ireland, from the old Irish tradition of Samhain. It was brought to USA by Irish people fleeing the famine, that much is certain. From my reading it was not celebrated in England or Scotland, although it would be a calender day, and Guy Faulks was the big event there for some hundreds of years, Nov 6th. For those reasons it never reached Australia, South Africa, or New Zealand until this last few years. Tfz 00:27, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
It was a huge deal when I was growing up in Scotland in the 1970s. Guy Fawkes Night (November 5) was only celebrated by one side of the sectarian divide, for reasons that are obvious. But everybody dressed up and went out guising. --John (talk) 00:56, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
The 19th century I meant. Scotland like England was very protestant up until then, and it was a no no. Certainly wasn't celebrated in England in 1970s when I lived there until I was 14. It was all Guy Fawkes then. Tfz 01:13, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Hi Tfz, you’ll find that the festival which has its roots in pre-Christian northern Europe that is called Samhain was also robustly practiced in Scotland as well as the isle of Mann for centuries as well and like Ireland but that its origins are lost in the mists of time. It was a time when the old gods were worshiped in whatever form they took in these islands. The name may be gaelic but the harvest festival was important to all peoples especially to the pre-industrial gael and brythonic celts in Britain and the Island of Ireland. Even the name Samhain shows similarities to the Gallic French word Samonios which was held as a harvest festival at the same time and will have a common etymology.
I can understand what you’re saying about the reformation discouraging Halloween in Scotland. But into pre-history to the industrial revolution the people of Scotland like the people of Ireland celebrated Halloween and it never stopped due to the reformation. Nor was the fifth of November supplanted as the festival of choice in the 19th century over Halloween by the British government in Scotland. The traditions still were held strong in villages, kirks and communities throughout Scotland from the worship of the pagan spirit Seonaidh in Lewis to the samhnag and fires of Perthshire and the pagan origins of the fontingall fires and Càrn na Marbh as well as other festivals to celibrate throughout the country. As an example to back this up look at the following.
…There is no evidence that the state sponsored fifth displaced or radically altered the conventions of Halloween….the Scottish kirk took a pragmatic view attitude towards seasonal reveals that were important to the life-cycle and rites of passage of local communities especially where it anticipated real difficulty in curbing them. Resulting in Halloween co-existing indeed vie with the Fifth as a night of prankish fun.
The eve of all souls was quintessentially considered the more Scottish of the two festivals…
…In Scotland the festival is known as Samhain and many of these rituals are directly linked to the old celtic sagas….
The blending of pagan and Christian belief was also reflected in the Scottish customs.
The stations of the sun: a history of the ritual year in Britain By Ronald Hutton
Also I posted as Old man of the forest, but lost my password and will use this name just to confirm. Of the forest (talk) 13:17, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
No OR please,. From the Chronical of Celttic folk customs Section headings on Halloweeen, Ireland, Isle of Man, Scotland(some ancient halloween customs observed up untill the 1900's), Wales (again some ancient traditions were still in use up till the end of the 19thC), Brittany. In a dictioanry of British folk customs it notes that Guy Fawkes night abosrbed many of Englands cutoms But also notes that in some areas there are still some surviving folk customs associated with helloween. So it is not true to say its an Irish traddition, or that it was more robuslty celebrated. It was an ancient Celtic festival celebrated by all with great ronbustness save the english (who instead moved it to celebration of one of the worlds first terrorist attacks).Slatersteven (talk) 13:32, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
And why not Australia and New Zealand, who both boast very major English and Scottish influence, the festival didn't exist there until brought from America. The Gaels from Ireland brought many customs to Scotland including the Scottish Gaelic Language, but the question here is not about the ancient origins and culture. Neither can we appropriate old Irish customs like Samhain, Bealtaine etc. The substantive point is that the USA tradition was brought over by Irish immigrants fleeing the Great Famine, from the 1840s onward, and that's certainly the case. Tfz 14:23, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
The two books I used only cover eithere Britain or the lands of the Celts (they do not men tion the USA either). has this to say "Trick-or-treating apparently partly comes from the English medieval practice of "souling" odd they dont attribute it to the USA if they inported it from there. By the way Austraila also had a large Irish imigration too. It also should be ppointed oout that by the time Australia (and New Zeeland were colonised Guy Fawks night had already taken over from Helloween in Britain.Slatersteven (talk) 14:32, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
That's the point I was making, 'All Souls Day' being a Roman Catholic festival, wasn't celebrated by Protestantism, so the festival if celebrated died out with Reformation and the turning away from Catholic Fest Days. Catholic Ireland kept it alive, and it was them and their version that the USA holds today. No doubt some of the customs have changed this last hundred years. Souling is a pan European practice, and it is also documented as part of Halloween in Ireland for several hundred years, it's not unique. Tfz 14:50, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

I see what you’re trying to say about All Saints Day being perceived by protestant communities in Scotland (and therefore by association in Ireland too) as being phased out as I dare to say it by them as “popish” saint worship. However this is not and was not the case. The practice of the tradition of Halloween was encouraged as being an Ulster-Scottish and Scottish tradition. In fact the Scots Protestants clung to Halloween in Scotland as a cultural identifier and in Ulster as seen in an accounts bellow;

From 1770-1840; …The observance of Halloween is a distinguishing characteristic of the Ulster-Scots. Feasting and celebration was considered appropriate as harvest had been gathered in and cattle had returned from summer grazing… The shaping of Ulster Presbyterian belief and practice, 1770-1840 By Andrew R. Holmes.

Halloween in Northern Ireland has English, Irish and Scottish elements in a creative amalgam of customs that form a unique celebrationThe hallowed eve: dimensions of culture in a calendar festival in Northern Ireland By Jack Santino

And here in the following publication; …In 1799 a play entitled a “Scottish Spectacle” in the protestant borders was commissioned with Halloween themes to add atmosphere of otherworldliness. Influenced by the publication of the Burns poem “Halloween” which was inspired by the act of union in 1707 as many Scots feared a loss of cultural identity. Burns set to boister Scottish identity and pride with a poem in 1786 detailing the Scottish traditions of Halloween

…By 1788 American booksellers had the book…and was read especially passionately by ex-patriot Scots in America and Canada where his poetry came to stand for Scotland before the act of union. The Scottishness of Halloween…on both sides of the atlantic inspired many poems....

Even a tale called “The Tale of The Ferry House: A Scottish Tale of Halloween” by John Galt published in 1834, so the Halloween culture and significance is a part of Scottish culture protestant or otherwise and well into the 19th century. A Halloween Reader: Poems, Play and stories of Halloween Past. By Leslie Pratt Bannatyne.

The following quote will be of interest and relevant to this discussion in America from the 18th century;

The southern states were predominantly settled by the Scots-Irish (themselves who are protestant) and the English (who are protestant) and these traditions influenced the holiday of Halloween in America....

…The English shared a common celtic-folk heritage as their neighbours in the British isles…

More strikingly that;

…The culture of Voudon or Voodoo was influential in the formation of the modern holiday in the south.

As well as the Scottish, Irish, Scots-irish and German protestant influences to the modern Halloween tradition…

So Halloween according to Bannatyne does not originate from an exclusively Catholic Irish tradition, the American festival changed and adapted due to various Catholic, Irish Catholic, Scots-Irish protestant, Scots, English protestant, German protestant traditions and those of African Vudon (voodoo) influences. Just like America it was a melting pot of ideas that formed the modern holiday.

Or this one;

Halloween is not time for division in sectarian politics, and it was celebrated to bring groups together. In Canada the Scots societies observed Halloween with annual concerts and celebrated their Scottishness in the festival….(no doubt on the back of the Burns poem in 1786).

Irish men and women and the persistent numbers of Scots as well ensured the festival would serve as a marker for ethnic identity

In 1864 trouble faired as the Orange order in Canada celebrated the holiday (again another protestant fraternal organisation in north America celebrated the festival of Halloween in 1860s)…

Halloween from Pagan Ritual To Party Night by Nicholas Rodgers. Ch 3. Coming over; Halloween in north America

The Scots and English were not culturally bereft of a Halloween tradition because they are protestant, they had their own folk culture rooted in the celtic practices of the British Isles that were pagan in origin and part of the Halloween tradition in writing and publication innthe 18th and 19th centuries and the church could never fully stamp them out. Protestants embraced the holiday and exported it to the states before the great Famine or Scottish Highland Famine. That saw 2 million irish and 1.7 million scots emigrate due to hunger. I think you will have to have some printed references to back up your claim the Irish Catholics are the sole contributors to the American Halloween tradition and culture. But it appears that such a view is contested. Regards. Of the forest (talk) 23:20, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

I might get a lot of flak for this, but many of the customs/traditions/organizations we here in American generally perceive to be Irish Catholic in origin are probably really of Protestant Ulster-Scot (or Scotch-Irish in common American lingo) origin. I'm not sure why they are considered Irish/Catholic, unless it is because many Americans are not even aware of the "other" (i.e. Protestant) Irish, and tend to think of Ireland only in terms of Catholicism. My own family is originally from Ireland. We are Protestants and have been here so many generations that we have no family memory of Ireland, and I've had relatives ask me, if we were originally Irish, when did we give up Catholicism. Of course, we never were Catholic to begin with, but were Scotch-Irish Protestants. The point is that I think many Americans think in terms of "Irish" equals "Catholic". I wouldn't be surprised if that is the reason Americans view Halloween as Irish Catholic in origin. Eastcote (talk) 23:36, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
There is a poor habit of trying to make things from the past fit neatly into the perception of who or what is "Catholic", "Protestant", "Scottish" or "Irish" in our time. Two (and a half) things to think about before expressing anything relating to Scotland/Ireland/Catholicism/Protestantism from the past: a) the word "Scot" originally referred to someone from the island of Ireland; b) the English (or actually the French!) originally invaded Ireland to make it Catholic (i.e. to bring it under the jurisdiction of the Pope, who the Irish, while Christian, did not recognise as having authority).
If something from the past doesn't fit neatly into what we perceive to the the correct box for it today, please don't try to squeeze it in. The modern association of "Catholicism" with "Irishness" is quite new and does not mean that Halloween has to fit into a "Catholic" box. Likewise, the fact that today, Scotland and Ireland are two distinct countries does not mean that Halloween had to originate in one or the other, but not both.
The remark from John above that when he was growing up in Scotland in the 70's, "everybody dressed up and went out guising", is something to dwell upon. "Guising" is a word that has long passed out of the Irish vocabulary - and has been replace wholly by the American phrase "trick or treating" - but it was the normal turn of phrase for the practice at least until the early 20th century in Ireland. For practical reasons of history, we cannot, without qualification, say that Halloween originated in America, and not Ireland. But for the same reason, it cannot be said that it originated in Ireland, and not Scotland.
It should also be borne in mind that customs are a thing that are fluid over time. They are not a thing that can be pinned down to one historical version that can be said to be the sole "authentic" variant. The modern "American(ised)" festival (if it is really much changed at all!) is hardly unauthentic or being of our time or for simply being the dominant form today - or simply for not have originated (whatever that means) in America. The festival as practiced in Ireland or Scotland today cannot be described as being to be "contaminated" or "replaced" by the Americanised version. In the same way, while the festival as we know it may historically have originated in Ireland-Scotland, of course it has influences from other places in Europe. Ireland-Scotland was not isolated from festivals in the rest of the Europe then - no more that they are isolated from Halloween as it is practiced in America today. --rannṗáirtí anaiṫnid (coṁrá) 00:58, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

modern halloween costumes are also very untraditional with carachters from television and movies costume possibilities are endless in our time, with all the stores and boutiques, you can find Halloween costumes almost anywhere. :-) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:40, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

To return to the root of the argument, there is too much of an Irish slant on this article. Celtic new year traditions were not unique to Ireland - for example, coverage of the ancient Manx festival "Hop tu naa" is missing. The reference cited as [4] seems to refer to an article that doesn't actually agree that Halloween was brought over by Irish immigrants as cited - it notes Irish immigration as a factor, but also acknowledges other influences that IMHO should be given equal credence if you're going to use it as a reference.

There's also some questionable Irishness about "Jack O'Lantern" which authoritative sources seem to disagree with - the online etymology dictionary, for example states "Jack o'lantern 1663, a local name for a Will-o-the-wisp (L. ignis fatuus), mainly attested in East Anglia but also in southwestern England. The extension to carved pumpkins is 1837, Amer.Eng.". The OxforD Dictionary of Phrase and fable (2006) says "jack-o'lantern originally a man with a lantern, a night watchman; from this, an ignis fatuus or will-o-the-wisp. The term in these senses is recorded from the 17th century. From the mid 19th century, jack-o'-lantern has also been used (originally in the US) for a lantern made from a hollowed-out pumpkin or turnip in which holes are cut to represent facial features, typically made at Halloween."

The association with the colloquial name for the lantern carrier/will-o-the-wisp is much more plausible than the Irish citation, which sounds like a myth made up to justify the name. IMHO, the article isn't well-referenced or neutral enough to be considered a good article at the moment. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:42, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

The Manx connection to Ireland is the same as the Scottish connection - they were both, at one time, Gaelic countries.
Jack o'lantern is not an Irish word, no more than "trick or treat" is. Carved lanterns were a part of the Irish tradition but not called "jack o'lanterns" as far as I know. In the same way, what we (in Ireland) would now call "trick or treating" was previously called "guising". This does not mean that people didn't dress up and go around the place. It just means that they called it something else. The origin of the words to describe things is different from the origin of the thing. Don't confuse the two. --rannṗáirtí anaiṫnid (coṁrá) 18:59, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

I'm a bit confused by your last sentence. To clarify, I have two specific problems that I think need to be looked at - the reference for [4] points to an article that does not specifically cite Halloween as a solely Irish tradition (which it isn't - there are several sources for the modern Halloween festival), and the content of the article identifies "jack o'lantern" specifically with an apocryphal "Oirish" myth, which authoritative sources do not. These need to be looked at, as there's an odd Irish slant to the article with them in. The article could be improved with links to materials on "Hop tu naa" and other Halloween traditions too. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 13:37, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree that the article is rather Hiberno-centric (is that a real term?). Perhaps when Halloween itself is over this can be looked at and a more balanced wording can be worked in. The article tends to rely a bit too much on "pop culture" references, e.g. websites from popular TV programs. Not what I'd call authoritative. The Jack-o-Lantern reference is a case in point. These smilin' punkins are recorded in the US well before the influx of Irish immigrants in the mid-19th century, yet the article can't seem to shake itself of the Irish myth. I'll see if I can find more scholarly references for the article. Eastcote (talk) 14:15, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Rather than everything being pushed towards what you folks have termed "hiberno-centric" I see instead folks chiming in on this and MANY other articles that have any whiff of "Irish" in them and very cavalierly and often negatively (for ex.see ex. Eastcote above) stating things such as "article tends to rely a bit too much on pop culture references" but adds NO substantive editorial content to support that claim but then further states "I'll see if I can find more SCHOLARLY references for the article.." In other words hey, you guys are right this "Irish" stuff is not documented/supported the way WE like, and we don't like what believe to be "POP references" to validate Halloween's "Irishness" so I/we'll go support his/her/your/others OPINION with what we'll call "scholary" input and NEGATE the POP. There is no statement of bringing truth or clarity to the article, rather to find data that supports AND pushes POV. What a bunch of HYPOCRISY. And the veiled and not always subtle condescension/racist tone is not lost on us readers. Oh and btw writer anon above says " what do you call an American of Scottish American? Check out Eastcore's profile. The term is Scotch-Irish. I recommend you folks watch the POV pushing and support the article accordingly. (talk) 22:12, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

I consider a link to a webpage of "The History Channel" to be a pop culture reference for a mass market. If there is a scholarly reference for something, i.e. a peer-reviewed published work, then I believe that is a much more reliable and preferred reference. It has nothing to do with my point-of-view or my opinion on the topic at hand, and there's nothing racist or condescending about it. Eastcote (talk) 02:46, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Really Scotch-Irish Eastcote? Your goal is ONLY to have more "reliable" and "preferred" "scholarly" references for the article? RUBBISH. Your FIRST editorial line above states "I AGREE THAT THE ARTICLE IS RATHER HIBERNO-CENTRIC." You have NO substantive POINT upon which to base this SCHOLARLY and clearly DOCUMENTED "THOUGHT", rather you just happen to believe upon reading, happen to feel that this article has a hiberno-centricity to it and because you believe and feel SO STRONGLY about the inaccuracy of this theme (and you are such a PURIST for truth) that you're going to go out and FIND "reliable" and "preferred" sources to "FIX" the article??--without any of us expecting as to just what direction or theme these corrections might take, right? Hmmm might they perhaps look to remove the perceived hiberno-centric POV? Ok Eastcote--good luck with that. It is FASCINATING that you/and others would not only think this way, no only STATE these thoughts PUBLICLY! but then ATTEMPT to DENY your CONTEMPT under the veil of article "purity". Try, just try for a minute to NOT immediately write....sit back, breathe deep and really try to WAKE UP to your/and other's BLIND BIAS and CONDESCENSION...............................................and try let it go. :) (talk) 21:49, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

The claim that Halloween resurgence in England and Wales is due to Hollywood might be true, I do not know. This is not the case in Scotland. I was born in 1951 and Halloween was a very important night to children then as now. Guisers were often asked to sing a song or recite a poem before being given a treat. The neep (turnip) lanterns were replaced in the American colonies by pumpkins, probably due to the ease in carving or availability. The Irish aspect to the article seems to be grossly exagerrated. Was it actually Celtic in the first place? The Britons who inhabited these isles were not Celts. Who originally wrote this? I would suggest that the article needs a major re-appraisal. Acorn897 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 01:40, 2 November 2009 (UTC).

Black and orange

"The day is connected with the colours black adn orange" should be changed to 'In the US'. In the UK it's been black, and black alone, historically for centuries. (talk) 13:37, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Got a citation for that? Eastcote (talk) 13:52, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
It's certainly black and orange in Ireland so long as I can remember. I assumed it was a reflection of the orange leaf colour and the dark nights. Certainly if I look out the window tonight the main colour reflected in the streetlights will be various hues of orange. Sarah777 (talk) 12:36, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't really think that we can say these colours are associated with Halloween anywhere. Black is an obvious thing to use regardinng any night based or horror based event and is not unique to this date, and black and orange seem more of a marketing choice than a real colour association. More importantly if there were a real association then people would respond "Halloween" when seeing black or black and orange. Possibly the latter might remind some people of the event, but it might also remind somoe of motor racing. I think this idea of an association is overstated --Attatatta (talk) 21:39, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
The use of black and orange for Halloween decorating has been around in the USA for at least 50 years. There's nothing "official", but if you were to ask anyone, "What are the Halloween colors", you'd get an immediate reply of "Black and Orange". It's my guess it's due to pumpkins and night. Similarly, red and green are the "Christmas colors". Those two days have their "colors" that are identifiable by nearly all Americans. Easter also has its colors, but you won't get agreement from everyone on what they are. Some will say purple and yellow, others purple and pink, etc. Eastcote (talk) 23:02, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
I'd still go with leaves as we didn't know what a pumpkin was till relatively recently! Turnips where what we cut out and they aren't orange. But I recall a rhyme from 20 years ago that went "Christmas colours red and green; black and orange for Halloween". Sarah777 (talk) 23:19, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
And the final lines were "Paddy's Day green white and orange; and everyone knows nothing rhymes with orange" :) Sarah777 (talk) 23:24, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

Celtic v Gaelic

We seem to have a problem with describing Samhain as Celtic/Gaelic. To start off, I'll make a couple of points. Firstly, the Gaels had a culture and language that was Celtic. Secondly, although similar festivals were held by other Celtic peoples, only the Gaels called it Samhain. Therefore, describing Samhain as Celtic isn't wrong, but it's misleading.

The current wording is this:

Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "[s]ome folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, [it is] more typically [l]inked to the celtic festival of Samhain or Samuin

My proposed wording is this (which got reverted):

Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona (the goddess of fruits and seeds) or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia", it is more often linked to a Celtic festival. This was called Samhain (pronounced sow-an or sow-in) by the Gaels of Ireland and Scotland.

The full quote neglects to mention that it was called Samhain only by the Gaels – Wikipedia allows us to do that, since we know that it's an outright fact. I find it shocking that this article makes no mention of the Gaels whatsoever. ~Asarlaí 04:09, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

(interject) Thanks for bringing this up. The thing about changing the term is that alters content to unsourced or original research. Change to a more specific term that rules out subsets of a group simultaneously including specific others, on the basis of deeming the new term implicit or otherwise meant by imprecise language in the source, means content doesn't unambiguously directly support what's in that source; really, the identifying even contradicts the given source. Often what we do here calls for our paraphrasing material. The book, aside from within the quoted part using 'Celtic', has no occurrences of the word Gaels at all, and includes the same term in that chapter's title and throughout. Yet it moves away from paraphrasing if, faced with a reliable reference, changes are implemented that go beyond, one way or another, what the author said or how and with which terms he chose to put it. –Whitehorse1 18:51, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Frankly, I think it's making too fine a point of it to keep stressing the "Gaels". Samhain was a Celtic festival, noted not only in Ireland and Scotland, but in other Celtic areas of Europe. Sure, it was called Samhain in the Gaelic language. The article already points out that the word "Samhain" is derived from Old Irish. We get it. History of the word "Samhain" is already covered in the Samhain article. This article is about "Halloween", which is an Anglo-Saxon term, whatever the origins of the holiday itself. Eastcote (talk) 04:19, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
I only ask that the article mentions the Gaels once. Furthermore, although we know that similar festivals were held by the Britons, the current wording implies that the same thing was held by all Celts across Europe. ~Asarlaí 05:03, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
As I believe it was. Can't remember the thing's name (it's late in the evening), but there is a stone, or bronze, or something Gaulish calendar on display in France that records the day as significant. Eastcote (talk) 05:22, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
We could allways reduce the inportyance of the Sam Hain elements and make it clear that the festival has a wider heratige then just the Irish connection.Slatersteven (talk) 14:20, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Try this as a source[[7]]. So it would appear that Sam Hain has a rather more co9mplex liniage then just old Irish.Slatersteven (talk) 14:34, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Found what I was looking for. The Coligny calendar, now in the archaeology museum of Lyon, France, records the observance of "Samonios", corresponding to "Samhain" in the Irish calendar, as the beginning of the Gaulish year, with a three-day festival. Eastcote (talk) 14:27, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Welsh Pronunciation

The pronunciation fo the Welsh is wrong. Calan Gaeaf is pronounced "Kálan Gái av" or "Kálan Gái-a". Not "Kalan Geyf" as now shown.
David —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:44, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

  • Hmm, that part's not as yet that well ref'd to quality sources. Those sources I did find agreed with your spelling though. Corrected. Thank you, David! –Whitehorse1 18:51, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

talk templates

The {{OnThisDay}} banner above has: "A fact from this article was featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the On this day... section on [six successive years]". Thing is, no facts from this article were ever featured on the Main Page. From other linked or even daughter articles, sure. But not this one. It's not an anniversary of an event per se either. The only reference to this article the linked years have is a passing mention of Oct 31 as a day on which Halloween—among other festivals occurs, before going on to actually include facts, from different articles.

I noticed it when implementing the {{articlehistory}} template, and so held off from incorporating those OnThisDay items into it. I haven't strong views on this. My suggestion is: we simply remove the OnThisDay template/info, as there haven't really been any facts included on the main page. Opinions? –Whitehorse1 18:51, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Though swamped by the deluge of "yay"/"nay"/"dowhatyalike" responses, I went ahead & made the change. –Whitehorse1 11:20, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Slight change to "Christianity" for style and flow

"Many christians" appears awkwardly at the top of these paragraphs. Also, "... far from being satanic (sic) in origin or practice..." is, if not POV, kinda wonky. The contrasting view is introduced prematurely and, perhaps, negatively. Revised the paragraph order a bit to compensate. DigitalHoodoo (talk) 22:38, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Eliminated Islam and Judaism in Religious Perspectives

Unless these are serving as a placeholder for something immediately forthcoming, they look like unsubstantiated clutter. DigitalHoodoo (talk) 00:21, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Changes in first paragraph

Changed "festival" to "holiday" to make this article consistent with the usual wiki usage. Compare festival and holiday; the former focuses on a an arbitrary number of specific events (i.e. actual phenomena), whereas the latter refers to "official or unofficial observances of religious, national, or cultural significance, often accompanied by celebrations or festivities."

"Festival" remains in reference to Samhain, because the emphasis there is on a more specific set of ritualized observances.

Also changed "All Saints" to the full term "All Saints' Day", and changed one instance of "holy day" to "holiday". The new terms are equivalent ("holy day" is more colloquial and "All Saints" is abbreviated), and "holiday" seems preferred in the wikiworld; e.g. holy day redirects to holiday. DigitalHoodoo (talk) 02:48, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

US Centric

While this does mention other cultures, this article is too heavily US centric. The practice of Trick or Treat for example is very recent and extremely rare in Europe, despite Halloween being observed there for many centuries before the US. Guising or Gallowshuns has, however, been practiced for centuries in Scotland and Ireland, but is distinctly different from Trick or Treat.

Much of the celtic history is presented here as fact. It is sourced, but not from a very reliable source -- Celtic history is very much unproven, and remains little more than theory and opinion. It should not be presented as fact in this article (or indeed, anywhere). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:14, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

IP - I agree that the article is US centric, but the holiday is primarily observed in the US. It's also tough to find reliable sources on Halloween outside the US. From personal experience, I know the Japanese love Halloween (or, at least, they love the iconography). They buy all kids of Halloween crap without any concept of what the holiday is all about (I chalk this up to the Japanese love of plastic kitsch). However, I'll be damned if i can find a published source that discusses it. DigitalHoodoo (talk) 18:13, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

Spirit of Halloween

The Halloween page needs a section about the Mascot/Spirit of Halloween, Sam. —Preceding unsigned comment added by TheHallow1 (talkcontribs) 03:31, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

There is no mascot/spirit of Halloween. Eastcote (talk) 11:00, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. There's no "spirit" of Halloween, unless you're looking for a bad pun. DigitalHoodoo (talk) 18:10, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Wrong. Sam has been established as the Spirit of Halloween. He is to Halloween what Santa Claus is to Christmas. —Preceding unsigned comment added by TheHallow1 (talkcontribs) 23:22, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
There are no reliable sources indicating that Halloween has a widely (or even regionally) accepted mascot. If you continue to edit war by adding unsourced information/opinions, you will be blocked from editing. OhNoitsJamie Talk 23:47, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

Inaccurate History Edit

I found an inappropriate edit in the History section so I reverted back to the previous version. I am new to Wikipedia editing so hopefully I made the correct move. Mssabinacazadd (talk) 21:41, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Indeed. Well done, and welcome to Wikipedia. Eastcote (talk) 22:23, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

shouldnt "origin of name" be etymology?

just sayin'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:24, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

Main Image

I have changed the main image on this page to what, in my view, is a more traditional, representative image of a Jack-o'-lantern. Full disclosure: it's my photo, and I also carved the pumpkin. I'm just putting a note here to say that I didn't make the edit purely for selfish, parochial reasons - I also genuinely think mine has a much more "classic" look than the (very finely carved) one it replaced ( It's also already the main image for the "Activities involving pumpkins" section of the Pumpkin page.

If anyone strongly disagrees with the above, please message me before reverting the edit to explain why, as a courtesy :) Lost Number (talk) 12:38, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

I don't really have a preference between the two images. But sorry, while your carving is a very nice job, it's not what I would consider the "traditional" face of a jack-o-lantern. Eastcote (talk) 13:46, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. Props for the carving, but what about it makes it more "classic"? I like the old, classic one better. Yves (talk) 05:25, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Haunted attractions...

...bring in $300-500 mil/yr and attract 400,000 customers?

Definitely inaccurate. I don't think people are averaging $1,000 each at haunted houses.

The 400k figure seems very low, unless only about 1 in 750 people in the U.S. hit the pumpkin patches.

-- (talk) 03:40, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Edit request for Around The World section

I'd like to include a note in the Around The World section:

Although commercialism has caused Hallowe'en to be 'celebrated' in the UK, many people resent this as it is causing the local custom and practice of Bonfire Night (5 November) to be forgotten. Philwadey (talk) 12:30, 31 October 2010 (UTC) phil

should not quote name of some random historian

remove the historian's name from the first line of the Halloween page. Should not be a listed source. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Steuss (talkcontribs) 19:51, 31 October 2010 (UTC)


As an English person, I do not think the term 'holiday' is appropraite for Halloween. It is not a holiday as far as I am aware in the US, and certainly not in the UK. We would call it a 'festival' I suppose. Is this an example of American English? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:21, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I think usage of "holiday" in the USA is different than in the UK. Halloween is a "holiday" in the USA, but so are Mothers Day and Groundhog Day. (And of course while Brits go "on holiday", Americans go "on vacation"). Eastcote (talk) 00:12, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Is "holiday" even the right word? I would say it's a "day", or even a "festival". But it's certainly not a "holiday": It is not a public holiday in any country I know of, and anyone who celebrates it for religious reasons will refer to it by one of the other names. Can we please use a more appropriate name? Christmas, Eid, Hanukkah, Samhain = religious holidays. Depending on which country you're in, Bastille Day, American Independence Day, Nationalisation of Oil Industry Day are public holidays. Halloween, Father's Day, Maple Syrup Saturday etc are NOT holidays. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:52, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
It IS called a holiday in the USA. You might want to look at the Holiday article and associated spin-offs. It's in a bit of a mess at the moment, at least partly because I and other non-Americans pointed out to less well informed editors there that what they call holidays are not called holidays elsewhere. One thing WIkipedia is doing is educating all English users that there are many "acceptable" ways of spelling and using it. I see it as a real positive. HiLo48 (talk) 00:23, 30 October 2010 (UTC)
It IS NOT called a holiday in the UK. The use of the word holiday in relation to Halloween in the UK is misleading. It may be a holiday in the US or elsewhere, but it is not a holiday in the UK.-- (talk) 09:15, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Need semi protect

I think it should become a wikipedia policy that 5 days before and 5 days after the day of halloween, the page should become semi-protected. Just food for thought --Jab843 (talk) 23:10, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Moved section on "Hindu Halloween"

This article is about Halloween as it is traditionally observed in the West - meaning a specific holiday. This material didn't really belong here; I'd suggest creating a wholly new article if sources are available. For now, I've moved it to Halloween around the world under the "India" subheading. DigitalHoodoo (talk) 19:59, 6 October 2010

Sexy Costumes, Neutral Point of View

This bit:

"Another popular trend is for women (and in some cases, men) to use Halloween as an excuse to wear sexy or revealing costumes, showing off more skin than would be socially acceptable otherwise."

Does not reflect a neutral point of view and should be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:47, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

In what way?Slatersteven (talk) 20:59, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
What should be removed? The sentence or the costume? (Sorry, I couldn't resist). I agree, though. It's POV, and not supported by any relevant source. Be bold. Eastcote (talk) 21:54, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
If we need a source, perhaps a newspaper article commenting on the trend toward sexy costumes, such as , would do the trick? Or do we need something more scholarly than the NY Times? (talk) 16:54, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Works for me. Eastcote (talk) 19:00, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Looks good. Thanks for the ref, IP. DigitalHoodoo (talk) 15:08, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I'm not sure I wholly agree...(and the ref needs to actually be added in there, not just put in the talk page..)The reference certainly supports the assertion that more sexy costumes are becoming the norm. HOWEVER, I don't think the implication asserted, that it's "to use Halloween as an excuse to wear sexy or revealing costumes, showing off more skin than would be socially acceptable otherwise." is supported by the reference. Having read through it, those terms don't show up ("socially acceptable" only show up in relation to mens' costumes), and I don't think that that argument about motivation is made specifically anywhere. I think it's a slightly POV statement to imply motivation rather than to state the fact that more sexy costumes are becoming the norm for women, especially since the article supports the latter, not the former. I added the reference, but removed the bit about motivation, especially since it implies subjective words (how do you quantify what is socially acceptable? Excuse implies a value judgement too).Jbower47 (talk) 14:17, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm posting a comment for the first time in ages because this sentence really stuck out like a sore thumb for me as a neutral reader. I don't agree that the sentence about sexy costumes should be here at all! I'm not a prude, but the best we can come up with is an article from back in 2006 - and the practice is hardly a 'popular trend' for Halloween anyway! 'Popular trends': pumpkins, dressing as witches, fireworks, etc. But if you take that phrase out of the sentence, you might as well mention ANY way of dressing, which is hardly relevant in an article for Halloween. This sentence shouldn't have made it into the article before it was locked for the day. I say let's lose it after the lock is removed. Peripathetic (talk) 16:00, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
I removed the line altogether [8] as per the above - although please do revert if a more recent reference can be found indicating an actual worldwide trend. Peripathetic (talk) 17:02, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Oh dear!

Halloween 13.jpg

This article when downloaded as a PDF or printed, produces 13 pages! A bit too spooky, eh?--Tantusar (talk) 01:31, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Haha. If you're spooked by that there's no hope for ya on Halloween. :p --Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 09:24, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
For once somebody replies to me. Ok, you did annoy me, but, somebody replied to me! Thankyou! Oh, by the way, I made it through Halloween. Take that! Tantusar (talk) 00:59, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, just a bit excited. Tantusar (talk) 01:20, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

Guising just in scotland

The article says "In some parts of Scotland children still go guising. In this custom the child performs some sort of trick, i.e. sings a song or tells a ghost story, to earn their treats." The main article on trick or treating also mentions guising in Ireland. Its hallowe'en here right now, and the streets of Dublin are filling with kids going trick-or-treating, some of them are performing stories, poems, songs etc to get their treat. So the article should mention that children in Ireland still go guising too. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:19, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

I live in Glasgow, in Scotland, and every single child has performed for their sweets, as I did when I was young, and the concept that a child would get anything without telling a joke, singing a song, reciting a poem, or something like that, is completely alien. So I feel the statement in the article "In some parts of Scotland children still go guising" is also misleading as it doesn't represent that this is far and away the common experience everywhere in Scotland. Indeed not to go guising - that is, as defined in the article, not to perform before being rewarded with sweets, nuts, apples, or whatever - would be exceptional, rather than the other way round as the statement implies (talk) 23:54, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree - I lived in Elgin and guising is as predominant there, so it's most of Scotland at least. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:20, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Celtic origins?

What historical and/or archaeological sources do we have that support the theory that Halloween goes back to customs and practices of ancient Druids and the Celts of the British Isles? No a single one, I would presume. What we have is some secondary literature. Wouldn't it be a question of honesty to stress the fact, that we know near to nothing about Celtic religion and customs and, therefore, cannot connect our modern day Halloween with ancient Druidic practices?. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:58, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

No such Druidic connection is claimed in the article. The celebration of Halloween is, however, demonstrably Celtic and ancient. Much can be learnt from the oral lore, attested past traditions and present-day customs of the Celtic peoples (who are still here and not all 'ancient'!). What 'archeological' sources would you expect to find? What written 'historical' sources in an overwhelmingly oral culture? Do you claim 'we' know nothing about Samhain? And is, for instance, Frazer's 'The Golden Bough' [9] to be classed as 'secondary literature'? Ceartas 12:10, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

There is no "Demonstrable and ancient connection" of halloween. Christianity in Ireland has eradicated celtic backgrounds much more thorough than anywhere else. Halloween is basically 19th and 20th century and an american BabyBoomer Timekiller. The hypothesis of John Rhys of 1886 wjich connected Samhain with All Saints, is as modern industrialist as most other Celtic Rekonstructionism around. Insofar ne has to adopt the article thoroughly. Bakulan (talk) 07:05, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
This view seems to be popular especially in Germany. But do you have any sources or references for your general claims, such as "Christianity in Ireland has eradicated celtic backgrounds much more thorough than anywhere else"? -- (talk) 01:08, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Bernhard Maier: Die Religionen der Kelten. Götter - Mythen - Weltbild. 2. Aufl., München 2004, S. 178. Its as ancient celtic as a Queimada

is elder than 1960. Basically, the claim that most alleged "ancient celtic" costumes and traditions are basically 19th century or younger, is just one of the basic xioms of modern and post WWII Volkskunde resp Folklre science. Bakulan (talk) 14:52, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Thats one source (I could find a few saying its Celtic) and it says nothing (from your quoted text about "Christianity in Ireland has eradicated celtic backgrounds much more thorough than anywhere else." As an eexample Trick or treating goes back to at least the middel ages (not the 1960's).Slatersteven (talk) 15:54, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Trick or treating is not at all celtic, its part of christian mainstream folklore and to be found e.g. in Martinisingen as well. There aremuch more sources about the celtic revival and about mislead continuities, including and mentioning halloween. Bakulan (talk) 15:58, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
As a general rule we do not dismiss sources as not "nothing scholarly". Also your chosen source does not say that Halloween does not pre-date the 60’s only that some of the observances don’t.User:Slatersteven|Slatersteven]] (talk) 16:01, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Youre right, however about the wrong item. Quemada is not to be found before 1960, halloween as "all saints eve" is ancient christian irish. Anything about Halloween being celtic is NOt to be found before +- 1830. Look at the picture, there is not anything inside about celtic or pagean elements. Bakulan (talk) 16:12, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Not sure what one drink has to do with anything. Secoondly there were many things that were not linked before 1830, that does not mean that modern scholership is wrong (if I am right in what you sem to be saying and that older scholership does not make the link). Also it might be worth pointing out that Helloween itslef is only about 400 years old with many of the observancies actualty pre-dating the festival itslef. Helloween has abosebed many elemnts, some appear to be Celtic, otehrs from Middlages some more recent.Slatersteven (talk) 16:25, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
general trend is that most things told to be celtic, are basically based on the celtic revival. You will find nice coffeetable books claiming halloween to be celtic, but nothing scholarly. Halloweens eve as a christian fest might be as old as 400 years. Nothing about celts. Bakulan (talk) 16:38, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
As a general rule we do not dismiss sources as not "nothing scholarly". Also your chosen source does not say that Halloween does not pre-date the 60’s only that some of the observances don’t.Slatersteven (talk) 16:54, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
As a generál rule, we call a spade a spade. Which 60ies are u talking about? Lets try a scholarly book like "Halloween in der Steiermark und anderswo, Volkskunde (Münster in Westfalen, Germany) Autor Editha Hörandner, Herausgeber Editha Hörandner, Verlag LIT Verlag Münster, 2005 ISBN 3825888894. Page 30 ff desrcibe diffenerent research projects, e.g. in Graz. Result: Halloween is neither celtic nor pagan, is predominantly modern, 19th or better 20th century. Its apart of nowadays event culture, nothing more. The bullshit about a celtiv background is to be dismissed completely. Bakulan (talk) 17:11, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
We reapeat what RS say, not what scholers say only. If RS says its pagan then we say its pagan. If some RS says its pagan and otehr disagree we says that some say its pagan and otehrs disagree. Aslo you need yo be able to show that these are not just talkking about Halloween in Germany (for example page 131 of Halloween in der Steiermark und anderswo speaks about it not being known in German speaking for very long. Also the lead is for summerisaing the artciel, so I woould susgest you put it in the origons section first. Scholar who say its Celtic Nicholas Rogers (Nicholas Rogers is Professor of History at York University). There are others if you want them. So its not true to say that scholers agree its not Pagan or celtic.Slatersteven (talk) 17:17, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Rogers speaks of a blend and is a historian without credibility in folklore. Of cause Hörandner is talking generically about Halloween, she describes describing various research projects in Volkskunde about the phenomenom. There are some interesting differences in the reception of the (+- american phenomenom) in Austria and Germany. But if youre able to believe that Halloween in Germany has christian roots while halloween in GB or USA is celtic, youre just plonking yourself aout of any reasonable discussion. Bakulan (talk) 17:35, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
First off we do not dis-miss sources based on some perception they are not credible. As to origins in differing countries, It is true that many of Halloweens more public facets were introduced both into the uk and Germany around the middle of the 20thC as a result of American cultural influence, and as such (for example in Germany that has not Celtic heritage) would indeed be post Celtic 20th cultural phenomena. It also true that in countries in which those observances are native (such as Scotland) they may well (and there are scholars who say they have) absorbed Celtic influences, that would not have existed within the German experience (that your scholars appear to be talking about).Slatersteven (talk) 17:43, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Sorry you dont listen. No rerasonable scholar assumes a continuity of celtic traditions. The (mostly austrian) scholars dont talk about a German halloween tradition at all. There is none. Thea talk about the generic phenomenom of halloween and its varieties in german speaking countries. FYI: Austria is not part of germany. There is a tendency in folklore to allege very modern phenomena with some ancient lore to give them more market impact. Here, according the sources, the celts have overtaken the role of the Germanic tribes,which had been overused in Nazi times. Bakulan (talk) 17:58, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Again I will say that we do not evaluate if sources are reasonable or not (have you met any of them?) we use them if there is dispute we report it but we do not take sides in such dispute (And you have still not demonstrated any scholarly consensus for this, there are scholars who agree and disagree with this idea). Also you yourself admit that your material is mostly from a German language perspective, and they are talking about Halloween in German speaking countries, not the rest of the world. also there may be mentions of a celtic origon of helloween as ealr as 1881. There are some scholers who say that the mexican El dia delas moretes (or something lie that ) maty have had influecne on the deleoplement of helloween in the USA. Jack Santino (a folklorist) believes that Halloween is in part Celtic. steve siporin (another folklorist agrees. So its not true to say that folklorists all agree that Halloween is not pagan, or Celtic. German folklorists may. If that is the case the article should reflect that.Slatersteven (talk) 18:44, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Proposed text “There is disagreement over a proposed Celtic origin for Halloween Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, says that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, whose original spelling was Samuin (pronounced sow-an or sow-in)".[1]. Others (such as Bernhard Maier) disagree and say that Halloween is part of the 19th and 20th centuries Celtic revival and has no link to older Celtic festivals. This I thick covers all the bases and is fairly neutral but can have input from others. There may also be an argument for removing the text about samhain as it may not be linked to Halloween,.Slatersteven (talk) 18:57, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Rogers is a single source, Hörandner summarizes various research projects about Halloween in general. Insofar no consensus with the reverts. Bakulan (talk) 19:05, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Like Hörandner Rogers summerises the field of study. I have already provided other scholers who say that Halloween has Celitc origons. We do not need to give all of them jusy a sample. cIn this case the two I chose were Rogers (who says "it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain," and Maier. Hoever lets try this then.

"There is disagreement over a proposed Celtic origin for Halloween. Some such as Nicholas Rogers say that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, whose original spelling was Samuin (pronounced sow-an or sow-in)".[1]. Others (such as Bernhard Maier) disagree and say that Halloween is part of the 19th and 20th centuries Celtic revival and has no link to older Celtic festivals."Slatersteven (talk) 19:09, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Edit war

This now seems to be turning into an edit war. I will not revert any more today but woold like an admin to look into this.Slatersteven (talk) 17:47, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Both of you—in other words I'm not interested in assigning blame—in my view would likely be best off in the long run calmly discussing what solid reliable sources make of the matter or finding out what the best sources for the matter are so they can be sought out to greater ensure informed editing. I see no value in seeking page-protection for non-vandalism, something the page has managed to avoid for nearly a decade, or blocking by administrators, personally. –Whitehorse1 18:16, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Totally agree. Edit war is not the way to sort this out. I suggest a halt to edits while proposed changes are discussed here. Frankly, I'm getting confused as to who is advocating what. There's all this talk about Germany, Austria, etc., and Halloween being a 20th century creation. I agree that elements of today's Halloween are certainly modern. Elements of today's Christmas and Easter are modern, as well. That doesn't mean these do not have roots in the dim, distant past. To quote Ronald Hutton, in The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain, "...there seems to be no doubt that the opening of November was the time of a major pagan festival which was celebrated, at the very least, in all those parts of the British Isles which had a pastoral economy. At most, it may have been general among the 'Celtic' peoples, There is no evidence that it was connected with the dead, and no proof that it opened the year, but it was certainly a time when supernatural forces were especially to be guarded against or propitiated... Its importance was only reinforced by the imposition upon it of a Christian festival which became primarily one of the dead..." Eastcote (talk) 18:31, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
I have already said that I will halt my edits. My position is that there is no accademic consensus that Halloween has no Celitc roots. Its also that we should not imply that one bleife (it has no celtic roots) has greater accademic support then the view it does. Or to put it another way undoo Bakulan's last edits. The artciel prety much said thre was disagrement but assigned no value to sides of that disageemnt (and besides the new page may be mis-representing at least some soorces as writen).Slatersteven (talk) 18:50, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
I suggest restoring the article to 12:44, 7 November 2010, prior to the beginning of this round of edits. Then proceed with discussion and consensus on how it should read, before making any changes. In fact, I think I'll do it myself. Eastcote (talk) 19:00, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree with your suggestion. –Whitehorse1 19:12, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Okay, I've reverted it to that earlier version. As I wrote in the edit summaries, the revert isn't an endorsement of either version. Particularly here, nuances and intricacies of what sources say can get lost during rapid back-and-forth editing, which clearly isn't ideal. I placed a {{neutrality}} disputed tag at the top to make it clear that what's below is disputed among editors. –Whitehorse1 20:03, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Any purported continuity from the Iron Age (thats to be proven) is plainly to be dismissed. Based on scholarly sources (and common sense as well ;) anything else is plain bullshit. All saints eve is a) first christian and second nowadays phenomenom is based on a sort of receltization being built around the celtic revival in the 19th and 20th century. Bakulan (talk) 19:33, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
One it is clear that there is no scholarly consensus for or against a Celtic origin of Halloween. Two we do not use common sense on wikipdia we use RS and verifiability (it may be bull shit but then I suggest you raise your concerns on the appropriate board). As to it being built around A Celtic revival, that may be true of some of the observances (though I find it interesting (that by your own admission) the sources for this are all German language) But there are also (or at least claimed to be) pagan elements as well. Not all Halloween traditions are Celtic or Pagan (such as haunted houses or films by John Carpenter), but does not dismiss all linkageSlatersteven (talk) 19:48, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Carpenter is 20th century,no proof of any continuity to 200 BC. I do not dismiss any neoceltic allegations, e.g. since 1830, however any continuity since the Iron Age has been ruled out definitely. Again you should try to differentiate between Germany and Austria. Not only the university of Graz has done yearlong research projects on halloween. Anything comparable in the english speaking world? Bakulan (talk) 20:05, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
No it has not been ruled out deifinatly, the split (so far wiht the sources or scholers seen) is about 50/50 (by the way Professor Bettina Arnold Co-Director, Centre for Celtic Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Also holds the belief that Halloween is (not mealy deriving some aspects from) the Samhain [2]. Nor did I differantiate bettwenn Germany and Austria, I sadi German language sources (not German). I do not know if any comparative studies have been made, I don't know how long Professor Arnold has studies the subject for.Slatersteven (talk) 20:08, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Bakulan, I don't think anyone is arguing that John Carpenter, trick or treating, or pumpkin-carving derive directly from prehistoric tradition. There are many aspects of ALL modern holidays that have recent or no historical precendent. I don't think Joseph and Mary (or Valentius) had Frosty the Snowman in mind when they contemplated the first Christmas. As I noted above, Hutton does see Halloween derived from "a major pagan festival" which was influenced by later Christian belief. I don't think it would be inappropriate to discuss the history of the day by saying "the origins of Halloween are obscure, and some scholars think A while others think B". To dump the Celtic-origin theory wholesale (as bullshit) doesn't make sense. Eastcote (talk) 20:23, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
No. Editha Hörandner describes a major difference in the reseacrh about folklore phenomena (in general) claiming prechristian continuities and modern mainstream research which dismisses continuities of this kind. Halloween is an excellent example for the demand of those continuities. See page 3 and 4. Insofar either keep to modern research and leave continuities out or keep with oldfashioned sources like Hutton. Bakulan (talk) 20:33, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Ronald Hutton would probably find it humorous to be called "old-fashioned". He's very much alive and still writing. His Stations of the Sun was published in 1996. Very current, well-respected analysis. (I should point out that Hutton is considered by some to be ANTI-neo-pagan/neo-Celtic). What exactly does Horandner say, pertinent to Halloween? I don't happen to have pages 3 & 4 in front of me. Eastcote (talk) 20:42, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
MY propose edit covers the contorversy, it just does not imply that any side has a scholatic edge. Why is this unacceptable?Slatersteven (talk) 21:05, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
  • In a nutshell: Die Annahme eines keltisch-heidnischen Ursprungs von Halloween aus dem keltischen Neujahrsfest Samhain oder weiteren heidnischen Bräuchen ist trotz der völlig ausgeschlossenen zeitlichen Kontinuiät seit der Keltenzeit weit verbreitet. Sie entspricht einem weitverbreiteten aber gänzlich unrealistischen Bedürfnis, neuzeitliche Phänomene mit weit zurückliegenden historischen Wurzeln zu versehen.[1] (To assume a celtig or pagan origin of Halloween ... is a widespread error inspite of a completely unrealistioc timely continuity since the time of the celts. Its based on the widespread but completely irreal need to provide ancient roots for modern prhenomena). Bakulan (talk) 20:58, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Is this a direct quote?Slatersteven (talk) 21:00, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, that clears things up nicely. Since this is English-language Wikipedia, you have us all at a disadvantage. You wouldn't happen to have an English translation would you, Bakulan? Eastcote (talk) 21:01, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Its a short resume of the preface and the the first 30 pages of Hörandners study. The book is available at google books, it contains e.g. a nice title poster "Halloween a druids festival or the passion for continuity". I cannot provide an english resume but suggest you have a look on and search for Kontinuität. Bakulan (talk) 21:19, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Forgive me but are you saying this is a direct quote? Also could you not transalte it for us?Slatersteven (talk) 21:23, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Its not a quote but a correct citation. The translation is to be found in brackets. I wont translate the book. 21:27, 7 November 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bakulan (talkcontribs)
You don't have to, but you should provide the translated sections that support a claim that the book talks about all pagan links to Halloween (after all if it says that it would actualy at some point say i). This however is just yout interpritation of what the source says, that OR and that is not how we cite things.Slatersteven (talk) 21:41, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
It plainly does, see the preface and the first thirty pages. Second I just summarize what modern European Ethnology is about. See etwa, "Nach 1945 wurde Volkskunde - in Ablehnung fachlich wie politisch kompromittierter Volkstums- und Kontinuitätsprämissen - vor allem als "Wissenschaft vom Leben in überlieferten Ordnungen" (L. Schmidt) auf historisch-quellenkritischer Grundlage (L. Kretzenbacher) verstanden." (After 1945 the research about Folklore stopped the schlorarly and politically deeply comprmitted Continuity assumptions and started to research based on historical and source based evidence). Hoerender just applies this to halloween - no long term continuities, instead source based reasearch. You should try to apply it to Wikipedia as well. Bakulan (talk) 21:55, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
No, you think it plainly does, if it said it you could provide a direct quote where it says it thats what is meant by OR. I am explicitly stating that the Forward makes no mention of pagans. and that the book makes no link other then between the Celts and Halloween and makes mention of no otehr pagan religion. It does seem to talk about things being called pagan just becasue tehy wer not chrisitan, but thats not the saem thing, Or talking about an novel by paula Gosling in which a preacher rants gainst a pagan halloween. Your sailing a bit close to synthatsis here.Slatersteven (talk) 22:00, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Looks like POV pushing from Bakulan. On a sidenote, Maier's timing is out btw. The Bard of Scotland Robert Burns' poem Halloween (1785) records some of the Halloween observances in Scotland; Halloween Is thought to be a night when witches, devils, and other mischief-making beings are abroad on their baneful midnight errands; particularly those aerial people, the fairies, are said on that night to hold a grand anniversary HALLOWEEN KiwiJeff (talk) 17:47, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Looks like OR from Kiwi. Sounds like a allegation to Freinacht. Maiers timing is about the main popularity of halloween. Bakulan (talk) 22:44, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
"main"? Your material is dubious at best, full of holes, fringe, OR.KiwiJeff (talk) 17:55, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Sorry byt this is not about halloweesn populartiy but its history. I think its clear that all of these souresd are talkinjg about the growth of populartiy in the celebration of halloween in german speakking countires as a result of the importation of an americanised hallowween in the 1960's -80's.Slatersteven (talk) 22:59, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Absolutely, thus i mentioned on a sidenote (Halloween rife in Scotland 18th century). I was initially referring what smacks of POV pushing from Bakulan, and subsequent vague comments.KiwiJeff (talk) 18:17, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Have you read them? I doubt it. They explain part of the popularity with the alleged origins in ancient time and clearly rule out any of those origins. Bakulan (talk) 23:23, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
You removed reputed material, and inserted your own. Now, to give a suggestion (counter argument) is sufficient in the article (SlaterSteven put forward a decent effort with his paragraph -- though Maeirs timing is out with Halloween being rife prior), but to rip out material and insert your own is POV pushing.KiwiJeff (talk) 18:36, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I think characterizing, by anyone, is unlikely to help. In the interest of keeping things collegial let's focus on the content. –Whitehorse1 00:01, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Direct Quotations

  • Preface: Man kam auf die Kelten. Hallowenn soll ursprünglich ein Druidenfest gewesen sein, welches in der gälischen tradition der Volksbräuche weiterlebte. ... Interessanter ist der Gegenwartsbefund des Brauches, der mit der Einwanderungswelle 1840 in den USA populär wurde und von da aus weiter entwickelt wurde. Schließlich kehrt er auf den europäischen Kontinent zurück, wo er früher nicht praktiziert wurde. (They found the celts [refering to the search for the origins]. Halloween was assumed to be a druids cult, which had been continued in gaelic lore. ... More of interest is nowadays history of the lore, which became popular with the irish immigrant wave to the US 1840 ff and underwent various developements. ... Finally it went back to Europe, especially to the continent where it had not been practiced before.
  • Page 8 Der Wunsch nach einer Tradition,deren Anfänge sich in grauer Vorzeit verlieren, ist bei Dachleuten wie laien gleichmäßig verbreitet. (Wishful thinking about tradiotions with roots back in ancient times is to be found among lay people and experts as well).
  • Page 12 Abgesehen von Irrtümern wie die Herleitung des Fests in ungebrochener Tradition ("seit 2000 Jahren") ist eine mangelnde vertrautheit mit der heimischen Folklore festzustellen. Allerheiligen war lange vor der Halloween invasion ein wichtiger Brauchtermin und ist das ncoh heute. (Besides plain errors like allegations of a continuity since 2000 years, most reasoning about Halloween shows a lack of knowledge about existing folklore. All saints eve was and has been an important date for folklore, much before the Halloween invasion and even today.
  • Page 30: So wie viele heimische Bräuche generell als fruchtbarkeitsbringend und dämonenaustreibend interpretiert werden, was trottz aller Aufklärungsarbeit nicht auszurotten ist, begegnet uns Halloween als ...heidnisches Fest. Aber es wird nicht als solches inszeniert. (As much local lore is being interpreted against all evidence as reproduction connected and exorcist, we are meeting descriptions of halloween as a pagan event. But actually this is again not at all the case. Bakulan (talk) 22:23, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
One this make no mention of other pagan religons. Two its quite clear from this they are talking abvout modern Germans language countires and the nature of the halloween tradition in those countries (the halloween invasion). Howver as I have said I have no issue with noting this in the articel, but not in a way that indicates it has more vadality then its opposite assertion. Also may

be you could care to provide the full text of the passages?Slatersteven (talk) 22:31, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

First it excludes any ancient continuity, celtic and others. Second its about halloween in general and in Styria. I have given an resume and I some quotation, I wont translate all and everything. Bakulan (talk) 22:39, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
I'll let otehr jusdge your first ppoint, and ask why your version differs from the version I am looking at that reads "Man kam dabei auf die Kelten. Hallowenn soll ursprünglich ein Druidenfest gewesen sein, das in der gallischen tradition der tradition der Volksbräuche fortlebte" Roughyl transalted as One came thereby on the Celts. Halloween was originally a Druiden festival, in the gaulic tradition of the tales of those who had left the celtic lands lands. Thastn a bit different would not you say.Slatersteven (talk) 22:47, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
(e/c) ...I don't speak German. When I paste the German-language page 8 and 12 quotes above into Google Translate, the translation is pretty close to what's given above. The pg.12 seems to match what's in the book preview as well. Gtranslating your text returns something close to your translation as well, Slatersteven. Searching in the book preview for "Man kam dabei auf die Kelten." shows it's on page 6. Perhaps the book starts by first laying out what it's going to explore/appraise in the subsequent pages? I couldn't say really; since, I don't speak any German. –Whitehorse1 23:19, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
The actual page 8 text is "Der Wunsch nach einer Tradition, deren Anfänge sich in grauer Vorzeit verlieren, ist bei laien und fachleuten wie laien gleichmäßig stark".Slatersteven (talk) 23:31, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Ah, okay. Like I say, it was only the p.12 German quote I checked against the book anyhow. –Whitehorse1 23:39, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Translated:"The wish for a tradition, which has its beginnings in ancient times, is strong among experts as well as among normal people". -- (talk) 01:25, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Which makes the mis-trascriptio that much oddeer. The translations (By the way I sugest the last sentance of the page 6 passage is translated it also backs up the claim that Halloween is not Celtic) that much odder.Slatersteven (talk) 10:31, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
You translate "soll gewesen sein" ="was assumed to be" with "was". Hmm sounds like POV pushing. Bakulan (talk) 23:02, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Not at all its just (as I beleive I have said) that I'm not that good with German. but I thought the German for assumed was angenommen, so a treu translation is 'is to have been'. So it actauly says (this is where my German falls down) "Halloween is to have been a druid festival" as a literal translation, no mention that I can see of assumed. But perhaps in German the sentance structure means that. I would ask any German speakers oout there to wade in.Slatersteven (talk) 23:17, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps what I'm about to say will be taken as a bit bigoted, but I do not mean it to be. This is English language Wikipedia. Our sources should also, I think, be based on English, so we have ease of verifiability for the English speakers who use English Wikipedia. Works in other languages can certainly be used as sources, but I suggest only if an English translation is available that is an "accepted" English translation. Otherwise, we have to rely on the "neutrality" of an editor to do the translating for us. See WP:NONENG. Eastcote (talk) 00:16, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Its not bigoted in the slightest. The verifiability of the material is paramount, which the reputed English sources meet. I do believe that a brief counter point is valid though as SlaterSteven put forward (again aside from the timing which as i've mentioned is out with Halloween in Scotland rife in 18th century).. conversely the removal of content and putting forward ones own view is not valid. KiwiJeff (talk) 20:17, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

We have the same discussion in de:wp on the talk page of Halloween with Bakulan right now. Same book, same arguments. The author of the book he quotes (a respectable source, i would say) points out (i cannot read the book online, so i have to judge from the german quotes here), that there is absolutely no connection between H. and a festival Samhain, or anything celtic at all, and that this celtic reference is more romanticism of the 19th century. The translations are ok, but i wonder whats left out. Bakulan also refers to the history of Volkskunde, which after 1945 changed its views, because in Germany, Volkskunde was abused by the Nazis, and there are rightwing/esoteric traditions of inventing germanic traditions. Similar to the invention of celtic traditions in the 19th century inspired by Frazer/Golden Bough. So after 1945, Volkskunde saw its goal in showing, that these traditions were mostly fake. The bigger idea seems to be, that there is in no way any continuity between celts/celtic traditions, and anything we see today. So its a bit of german POV, and things like the Green Man or even existing german traditions similar to Halloween traditions (guising, lamps made of beets (?) instead of pumpkins, and so on, are being neglected/ignored.

The author of the book also regrets, that in (catholic) Austria, the good old All Hallows Day traditions get lost because of (modern) Halloween. We now have a discussion, because Bakulan wanted to erase other sources, like Frazer oder the "Handwörterbuch des deutschen Aberglaubens", which was written by swiss scholars in the 40ies and is an encyclopedia of superstition, and also claims celtic roots of All Hallows Day, and claims, the church moved that festival to the 1. of november because of these older heathen traditions. He also wants to erase the reference to the Encyclopedia Britannica, which also claims celtic roots of H (see there). So in my view, this is all part of a bigger discussion about 19th century views versus 21 century views in Volkskunde, but while Bakulan is not at all generally wrong, he/she is in no way a Halloween expert, quoting just one source that fits his view. But from his/her point of view, it is just obvious, that there CANNOT be a celtic tradition, because all these other references to germanic traditions were also invented/fake/abused. I asked him for other sources, that show that the view of H. is a consensus in Volkskunde, but Bakulan did not deliver, claiming in a arrogant way, that he/she studied Volkskunde, he/she is right, etc. Dunno if all this helps here, but as there seem to be very few german sources on Halloween, it would be also interesting for the german article if the dispute could be solved finally, and the question, whether H. has celtic roots, could be answered to everyones content, with respectable, modern, scientific sources one can then put in the article(s) as references (someone else on the talk page also claims that H. has no celtic roots, but in his case, its about a religious backround, he has a religious webpage claiming H. is a christian festival, and everything typical for H. has a christian backround). -- (talk) 01:11, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

I agree with most what the IP introduced here. However I have to add that I dont want to dismiss anything about the "neoceltic aspects" of halloween. There might be some. I havent found any. Have you? I have given evidence about the generic consensus in Volkskunde in German speaking countries, which clearly dismisses any claim of a continuity since the Iron Ages for ANY phenomenom. It is clear from what I read and have experienced, that the English speaking world does not follow this consensus as strictly as Germans do. However if one looks on e.g. "Halloween: an American holiday, an American history Von Lesley Pratt Bannatyne", it i very clear, that Hallowmas and christian superstitions and commercial aspects provide much more evidence to nowadays Halloween than stories about a continuity to original Samhain. A good compromise, how a Scholar with a background in both worlds (German and English) has treated controversial subjects, is Erik Midelfort award winning work about Witch Hunting. He ruled out any continuity of witchcraft between pagan and christian times and showed that witch hunting was formost a MODERN phenomemem. Its like Santa Claus, hes much more Coca Cola than celtic. We can and should use the same approach for Halloween based on modern sources, when we leave out most claims of Samhain having a direct connection to nowadays halloween.This is appciation of Undue weight. As it has been showed, one should focus on the actual, nowadays aspects. Bakulan (talk) 07:39, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Having looked at the German wikipedia entry; "Halloween was initially celebrated in Ireland, and irish immigrants (1830) introduced to the U.S.". So basically Halloween is a modern creation in Ireland, which was then transported to the U.S in the magic figure 1830 that keeps cropping up. It would appear the Germsns dismiss anything prior to this. So when exactly did Halloween start? We know it was rife in 1785 Scotland at least, does it not go back much farther than that?.KiwiJeff (talk) 18:10, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Bit problomatic, Halloween as a word is first recorded in the 16thC, but some of the traditions associated with Halloween go back to Middlea ages. Shakespear records trick or trating on a halloween (well actual Hallomass) in 1593. So its imposible to say when it started, espcialy as we are looking at a series of sperate tradition (some of which in this country have been hijacked by Guy Falkes night) that have over the coourse of at least (and remeber this is only when they were first recorded, not when they first happend) 500 years.Slatersteven (talk) 10:29, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Yep. The eldest data describe customs around Hallowmass and not about nowadays Halloween. The start and the basic roots are christian and not celtic or pagan. The whole Pumpkinstory (which is as well basically christian) is not very old. 1830 is however the best date to integrate influences from the Celtic Revival in combination with the strong Irish emigration to the US. Here we find the first traces of nowadays halloween. Thats the reasoning behind this date. BTW.: I suggest to have a look on "Zeitschrift für Volkskunde 97. Jahrgang 2001, II. Halbjahresband, its only about Halloween and provides alleuropean data. The peer reveiewed contributions include authors all over europe, some write even in English. Authors comprise Patricia Lysaght, Dublin; Martine Segalen, Paris,; Nicoletta Diasio, Strasbourg; Fabio Mugneini, Siena; Josefina Roma, Barcelona; Ane Ohrvik, Oslo; Agneta Lilja, Uppsala; John Helsloot, Amsterdam; Bernhard Tschofen, Wien; Gabriela Muri und Ueli Gyr, Zürich; Heinz Schilling, Frankfurt am Main; Alois Döring, Bonn; Sabine Doering-Manteuffel, Augsburg. Best regards Bakulan (talk) 13:00, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
This is getting a little too murky. To say that things like trick or treating, horror flicks and pumpkin carving are relatively recent (within 50 to 500 years) I agree with. I don't think anyone disputes that. The Christian influence goes back much futher, into the early mid-ages perhaps. But to say "Celtic" or pagan aspects only got involved in 1830 is not supported by scholars. Sure, NEO-Celticism of the 19th century shaped how we look at Halloween, but scholars (and Hutton is only one; there are more) agree that the date had prehistoric pagan significance before Christians got involved. I really don't see what the big issue is here. If you, Bakuman, want to say NEO-Celtic influence is relatively new, that's great. A lot of neo-Celticism was bunk. But to say "the start and basic roots are Christian" is wrong, too. The root is pagan, with significant Christian influence, and over the ever-changing centuries ever more influence by other social, cultural and commercial factors. Eastcote (talk) 13:11, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
This article is not about the "generic consensus in Volkskunde" concerning witchcraft, Santa Claus or Queimada. Perhaps you could start another article on Volkskunde, if there isn't one already. As you say, "the English speaking world does not follow this consensus as strictly as Germans do", and we are relying on English-speaking scholarship which does tend to support a pre-Christian origin, although heavily influenced by Christianity. It appears the "Volkskunde" point of view is a uniquely German-language-country view, and as such might merit mention in a separate section of the article, but this content should not be in the lead. Eastcote (talk) 13:29, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
I'd agree with much of this..."The root is pagan, with significant Christian influence, and over the ever-changing centuries ever more influence by other social, cultural and commercial factors." Much broader in scope, as opposed to a rather simplistic, black and white viewpoint hasn't taken in all the various elements and influences over centuries.KiwiJeff (talk) 07:58, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Volkskunde or european ethnology is a field where Irish, French, spanish, Norwegian, and other scholars write in German peer reviewed Journals about the all European experiences with Halloween. Maybe you should try to widen your perspective. Bakulan (talk) 14:23, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Bakulan, according to you, it sounds like anything celtic was just invented, or we just know nothing about the celts, its just romantic reconstructionism. But we have a large article about the celts [10], so they might have existed, and they might have celebrated festivals, correct? So now there seem to be sources, claiming that there was an autumn festival, correct? And that festival might have included ideas of the souls of the dead returning to the living, which in my view, would be enough to see traces of a tradition, that ends up as Halloween Specials on TV with horror flicks. No? -- (talk) 21:27, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
According the German article you mentioned, most claims of esoteric continuity of celtic traditions have to be diismissed as they are not being backed by archeological facts. The celts might have had festivals some thousand years ago. Why bother? Actually, Halloween in continental Europe exists as living tradition since 20 years. The remarkable success of the Halloween invasion is much more interesting than any dream about continuity and is itself a strong counterproof of your claims. Bakulan (talk) 23:35, 8 November 2010 (UTC)


Maybe it is a semantic problem? No one states, that "Halloween", in a modern way, or a neoceltic way, was celebrated prior to, lets say, 1830. But the big dispute, I think, is about Frazer, who quotes "traditions" of "Halloween"/Samhain - a celtic festival celebrating summers end, winters beginning, with big fires, celebrating the return of the cattle to the villages, and which, according to Frazer (and other sources?) was (still) celebrated in the early middle ages around 800 . And which he also calls Halloween. He claims sources for that - christian synodes, which wrote about that, old, festival. And this festival included also the idea, that the souls of the dead were thought to return to the villages of the living, and it included wearing costumes to frighten away evil spirits. According to Frazer/Golden Bough (source is online [11]). And he also quotes similar festivals under slightly different names, like on the Isle of Man, which left traces until today. But of course, that festival was not called Halloween - until the church moved All Hallows Day (which was invented, I think, around 600/7700 ) from May to the first of november, because it wanted to include the older heathanish festival into something similar, new and christian. Thats why it was called Hallow E'en, according to Frazer. Now was Frazer totally wrong on this (he was a scientist, not a neopagan hippie freak) - or were the people wrong, that used his book, and others, to invent all this neoceltic stuff. And if he was wrong, what did he missinterpret? And were celtic traditions really totally erased after the christianization of Ireland? Difficult to imagine that, the process of christianization was a process, not a single event, were everyone stopped believing in their religion (whatever that was) one day, and went to church the next sunday, I would guess. So, what about Frazer? [12] -- (talk) 21:12, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Frazer lived from 1854 till 1941. His research is just oldfashioned. Using his research which is deep in the continunity trap is as outdated as quoting Eduard Suess on alpine geology. Now frazers beliefs in continuities can be easily argued against. All Saints and Hallowmass originated around the 7th century and is connected to christian thinking about the afterlife and the community of saints all over Europe. If Samhain was behind it, why start in the 7th century, and not earlier, why is halloween only present in some english hillybilly regions and not in the major former celtic dwellings and holy places like the Hochdorf Chieftain's Grave? The claim of Samhain being a base for Halloween is as questionable as a saurier clan haveing survived since the jurassic in Loch Ness. Its much easier to reconstruct a sort of receltification of Halloween after 1830 by homesick Irish in the states, the same reason as for the sucess of Queimada (drink) by galicians in Madrid after 1950. Bakulan (talk) 23:27, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
I do not doubt the Queimada research, or the invention of irish traditions by irish emigrants (like the strange Octoberfests in the US, that are celebrated by Americans with german roots). But this dispute is about Halloween. Above, you say, celts might have celebrated something a thousand years ago, why bother. But that is the point here, isn't it? And why the 8th century? Because right then, the All Hallows festival introduced prior in Italy (around 600, I think I read), (was) spread to the rest of europe. In Germany, it finally arrived 835, introduced by Ludwig der Fromme. Before that, there was not a global celebration for all Hallows, they had own days each in the chrsitian year, but then became just too many. So there was All Hallows Day created, and celebrated May (23., I think). And then, it is moved by the church to the beginning of november. Why? Maybe people celebrated something else at that date, that did not fit the church, and could not be ended totally? I think you or the scientists you quote, argue from some kind of ideological perspective, like, there must'nt by any continuity, because so many other continuity claims were wrong. But Frazer quotes older documents, he says, the first evidence for the celtic festival is from the 8th century, because christian synodes at that time write about this festival. Are his sources wrong, then, or did he make them up? I read nothing about this in the Frazer article, it just states, that his conclusions (magic -religion -science as an evolution) are not the present scientific standard. But that does not say, his sources were wrong. What about this [13] -- (talk) 04:10, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
I said around 7th century, right? This translates into the timespane 600-700. The scientists I quote just argue since the archeolocical record provides no hidden pagan continuity, there was none. change of habits happened within the local (christian) folklore and can be easily explained that way. If youre not able to cope with the historical time frame and want to believe your private speculations, so be it. Writing an article about a folklore phenomenom requires more. Bakulan (talk) 06:54, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Whoa, son. "English hillbilly regions?" What are you smokin'? Whether Halloween has existed in Germany for only 20 years is really irrelevant. Lots of stuff happened in other countries more than 20 years ago. Sounds like any research you don't like is "old-fashioned", and if something isn't evident at Hochdorf or some other place east of the Rhine, then it is just plain "outdated" "receltification" that can be "dismissed". Pretty POV in the face of present-day scholarship in the UK and the USA that DOES see a connection with the pagan past. Eastcote (talk) 00:08, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Having scrolled down the page and waded through some of the elongated comments, Bakulan is becoming more ridiculous and trying to rewrite history; reconstructing the development of Halloween in his own eyes and overlooking swathes of scholary information and regional customs.Bostonian Mike (talk) 19:55, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Frazer II

Hmm I do cite modern peer reveiwed research. They do research about Halloween as a modern phenomemom (last 20 years east and west of the rhine and the origins in the US) and just mock about the passion for continuity you come up with. If you call Frazer present day scholarship, and take speculations about the Gaul word fur Summer being a proof of Samhain, you probably assume as well that trick and treating is a pagan habit. The terminus technicus is cadging custom, nothing peculiar and surely not pagan. Bakulan (talk) 06:46, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
I sugget to have a look on Wilhelm Mannhardt: "His work was a forerunner of James Frazer's; like Frazer, his theories have subsequently been heavily criticised." Yep,and the critism was especially about the passion for continuities. Bakulan (talk) 07:16, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, I think I didn't read anything about a continuity of Heischebrauch, thats true, but noone claimed that it was a pagan habit. All I read was a continuity that includes celebrating an autumn festival in one way or another ("bringing the cattle home from the meadows and starting big fires", versus todays "cooking Halloween recipes and watching Horror movies or dancing in a spooky Halloween themed disco") that happens at the beginning of november and includes memes, like "the dead souls return", "people wear costumes" (but out of different reasons), its a festival about death, the dead. In modern Halloween tradition, its also not popular to light big fires, and also divination on Halloween is not very common, as far as I know. So you are right on that - that autumns festival changed of course, even the religion connected with it changed. Your point is, I believe from what you say, that the need, the wish for continuity is something dubious or ridicolous. And I would even agree to that, I find Neopaganism much more anti-enlightenment, anti-rational than christianity, and I think its a bad way of coping with a modern society. But thats all not the point, it is a different question: "Why do people feel the need for a continuity, and whats problematic about that". We are discussing the question "Are there pagan/celtic/ancient roots of Halloween, of which traces survived in the contemporary festival". Your answer is "no, not at all", mine would be that contemporary Halloween is a patchwork of many things like rests of the celtic stuff, newer christian stuff, new romantic stuff, and 20th century stuff. Like the english article says, or the Encyclopedia Britannica. And the Coligny Calendar is an archeological proof, that there was something being celebrated in autumn, that probably is that Samhain the coffee-table-books talk about. I mean its really obvious, the 19th century "celts" or Neopagans want, that there was this continuity. Now people like you don't want, that there is this continuity. That could be made clearer in the article also, who has what interest in that tradition/non-tradition. Apart from that, there is (little) archeological evidence, and there are some sources that are interpreted in one way or another. Isn't there an expert for the early middle ages or religion history/ethnology here at Wikipedia? -- (talk) 11:05, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm a theologian. Does that count? First of all, the idea that Halloween can be traced back to a pagan Celtic festival of the dead was popularized by Frazer but Anglo-Saxon texts never mention a pagan Celtic festival on or around the 1st of November. Bede - the "Father of English History" and a very good source for every historian - notes that the natives call all of November Blod-monath because surplus livestock was slaughtered. From the Middle Ages through to the 19th century there is no sign in England that the 31th of October and/or the 1st of November had any meaning except as the eve of All Saints' Day. Compare: Jacqueline Simpson and Steve Roud, A Dictionary of English Folklore (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000) --Noctuus (talk) 13:51, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
is'nt Beded talking about teh Pagan Anglo-Saxons and not the Celts? Moreovr teh Celts did not only live in England.14:18, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
So you think the island was empty when the Anglo-Saxons arrived? :D Who were the ancient Britons then, and doesn't Kent take its name from the Cantiaci?--Noctuus (talk) 15:04, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Forgive me but are not talking about an Anglo-Saxon origin for Halloween but a Celtic one. The Cantiaci were not Anglo Saxons, they were of the Beglic linguistic group of the Celts. So I fail to understand the point you are making. Are you saying that because the Anglo-Saxons did not celebrate a Celtic Festival, and the Celts of England did not then no Celts did? Slatersteven (talk) 16:22, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Now but the Anglo-Saxons must have had contact with the people they conquered. So how can you claim any kind of tradition - not to speak of continuity - of Halloween from the the Celtic times to the present day when you have no (primary) sources? Bede didn't write a history of the Anglo-Saxon people but a "Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum" beginning with with Caesar's invasion in 55 B.C, and he never mentions a pagan Celtic festival of the dead. So in England it's the same story as in Europe as a whole. No signs of such a festival thus no continuity, just speculation. What you can be sure of is, that the Anglo-Saxons did no Halloween, nor did the English (at least not up to the 19th century). It's the same story in all those countries. What about the French, the Germans and so on and so forth? --Noctuus (talk) 17:46, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
The Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (in English: Ecclesiastical History of the English People) so yes he is talking about the Anglo Saxon. It’s a history of the English church and (mainly) its conflicts with the Roman branch of Christianity. Its not a history of England (and certainly not of the pre-roman England that the book does not even cover. I would also (again) point out that the Celts also existed in Ireland and Scotland, thus Bede (who does not have much to say (if anything) on those people) cannot be used as a source for that area of the world. Also he largely ignores those areas of mainland Britain till under Celtic rule at the time of writing such as Dumnonia and the Welsh Kigdoms. Slatersteven (talk) 18:39, 9 November 2010 (UTC): First neither divination nor costumes nor big fires nor a Almabtrieb or a holiday that deals with alls souls or the afterlife are a proof of any celtic or prechristian heritage per se. : * I have provided quality sources that claim the passion for continuity without any proof as being oldfashioned and not mainstream research. My personal opinion is not as important, even if I agree with the basic concept.
Bede ignores nothing that's what he and his work is famous for. And be sure, if ever Christians had tried to hijack any pagan Celtic festival, Bede would have been the man to note it. So he's an excellent -- and the only source.--Noctuus (talk) 19:20, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Bede is not the only source. The 10th century Tochmarc Emire which describes "Samhain, when the summer goes to its rest"; and the 12th century Serglige Con Culaind, which states the Samhain festival in Ulster lasted "the three days before Samuin and the three days after Samuin and Samuin itself. They would gather at Mag Muirthemni, and during these seven days there would be nothing but meetings and games and amusements and entertainments and eating and feasting." Eastcote (talk) 03:15, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Compare Samhein with the Last Supper. Details of the role and way to festivate the Last Supper have been violently disputed and are major differentiators of various christian churches. But there is proof of a certain longterm continuos developement. Compare this evidence with the faint hints about any actual connection between samhain and halloween.
  • We dont need an expert for history, this is about Folklore respective European Ethnology. Try to read a Dublin Scholar like Patricia Lysaght (2001) 'Halloween in Ireland. Continuity and Change'. Zeitschrift Fur Volkskunde, 97 :189-200 for a start.Bakulan (talk) 12:53, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
This is all going on far too long, and we are all repeating ourselves. And someone needs to stop messing with the topic headings and the order of the posts. Bakulan -- NO ONE here is saying there is direct continuity of today's Halloween traditions (trick-or-treating, costumes, etc) back into a dim, distant, wished-for Celtic past. No one here says that. You say there is no connection at all. Like the IP says, the question you are asking (or the battle you are fighting) is a different one than what the rest of us are talking about. I think we agree there are a lot of wishful-thinking fluffy stuff written about Halloween (Llewellyn publications for instance). That is not scholarship, and I don't think anyone here is saying it is. But you are arguing there is no connection at all with the prehistoric significance of the day, which goes against serious scholorship which says there was a pagan observance of some kind round-about 1 November. As the saying goes, you are trying to "throw the baby out with the bath water". Anyone who argues for a pagan root for Halloween is not saying today's Halloween is a totally pagan inheritence. The article as currently written points out the loose connection to the pagan past, but also points out that "the name 'Halloween' and many of its present-day traditions derive from the Old English era". Of course it could be better written (I'm not sure what the "Old English era" is exactly, since I equate "Old English" with Anglo-Saxon). And there is a lot of weasel-wording (e.g., "It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks.") Certainly, let's clean up the article. But let's not deny a root in the pagan past, when scholars do in fact find such a pagan root (such as Hutton who I cited before, and who I keep refering back to because I happen to own the book). Again, the root is pagan, with significant Christian influence in the middle ages, and over the ever-changing centuries ever more influence by other social, cultural and commercial factors. Eastcote (talk) 12:54, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Old english is not pagan. Hallowmass was a longterm christian holiday. Nowadays use with all the commercial skeletons e.g. is based on present event culture and or nowadays pseudoceltic or pseudopagan influences. Frazer and other continuists are completely unuseable to explain the present role of Halloween. Lets explain Halloween how it is festivated nowadays and be very careful about any allegation to an ancient past which dont hold water. Bakulan (talk) 13:01, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, as I said, this is all getting very repetitive. Read what I had to say more fully, please. Eastcote (talk) 13:05, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Are you trying to differentiate betweeen e.g. Frazers important role as early researcher about halloween (like Phlogiston theorists about Energy) and the actual explanation of Halloween in nowadays science? I think that would help all sides. Bakulan (talk) 14:51, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Professor Bettina Arnold Co-Director, Centre for Celtic Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee claims a celtic origen for Halloween two yeas after your source was published.Slatersteven (talk) 16:25, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm, think you googled and found a toastmaster speech where she as well asked for more alcoholic beverages and begged all participiants not to turn around in the nicht. Try to come up with papers which do not copy and past frazer and found a place in a decent journal or book. Bakulan (talk) 17:18, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
This one? [14] -- (talk) 17:54, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Thats the one.Slatersteven (talk) 18:22, 9 November 2010 (UTC)


a) What about a compromise something along these lines, Begin with "The origins of Halloween lay in the christian holiday All Saints Eve. The holiday was first commemorated in springtime and within the 8th century shifted to first of November. Various scholars, especially in the 19th and ealry century saw All Saints Eve as an attempt of the Christian Church to inherit previous pagan and celtic traditions as the pagan Celtic festival of Samhain or rites around the Roman Goddess Pomona. The alleged celtic Samhain festival however might have been influenced already by Christian traditions as the earliest undisputed sources about Samhain are not older than the eleventh century AD. Austrian scholars as Editha Hörandner and Josef Moser see a predominantly Christian respectively secular heritage Halloween with no connection to the ancient celts. Hörandner (page 29 ff) and other especially german Scholars however states a sort of "strong demand for continuous traditions" against all scientific evindenceand a nonexistance of any connection to the actual ancient celts." while others (...) Bakulan (talk)
No. Your proposal is a statement from one point of view. It basically says, "This is how Halloween really began, but many deluded people believe wrongly, and there's proof they are wrong." That's not balanced. Eastcote (talk) 18:12, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm, but why do you assume the claim "The origins of halloween are obscure" as being balanced? The origin and very existing of Samhain is much more in doubt than the development of All Saints. A possible use of Halloween as a sort of follow-up on previous (pagan) traditions is a viable compromise. Bakulan (talk) 21:17, 10 November 2010 (UTC)


Would it be possible to email some of the scientists quoted on this page, and to ask them, what they think of the arguments of the respective "opponent side"? Like Bettina Arnold, or Maier? What brought me to this whole Halloween topic/discussion, what raised my couriosity, and fascination also (and what really entertains me), is mostly the fact (besides that I generally enjoy Halloween), that we have reputable scientists on each side, claiming their view is "the truth", citing sources, etc. So each side claims to be right, but its all second-hand knowledge, it seems (or third-hand in our case here), and I cannot imagine, that this kind of dispute doesnt also happen at scientific congresses, in publications, at universities, and so on. Taking into account the (global) importance of the Halloween date, and the passion, with which this topic is being discussed here, I come to the conclusion, that we cannot fully solve the dispute here. And, I mean - its not our job, is it? Its beoming more and more OR, it seems, and there are people being paid for answering this kind of questions. They should discuss it among themselves, and then present their compromise to us. Just an idea by -- (talk) 17:12, 10 November 2010 (UTC) (if you do not find it helpful, just remove it)

I suggest just to read Hörandner. She states that the origins of Halloween are not too important. Acccording her its much more interesting, that the media reports about Halloween (the biggest part mention and confirm the celtic / pagan continuity) and the actual rites are not in line. Hörandner has collected interesting facts about how Halloween is practiced. Halloween has its biggests (european) success in Kindergarten and primary schools, for adults in night clubs, restaurants and shopping centers. It is not at all practiced in the framwork of a cult o with any religious aspects. Its as well rather funny and peculiar from a ethnologists standpoint that nearly nobody seems to take concern about the fact that three years old kids are confronted with death, vampyres, skeletons and mummies. Bakulan (talk) 17:39, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Looking at the lengthy length of this page, I doubt that "that the origins of Halloween are not too important". But I understand your point, or the general thinking behind it. Contemporary Halloween, commercialization, media reflection, or social implications are, of course, also very interesting, and much more important today (I noticed, for example, that in Germany, many kids with an immigrant/turkish backround go around trick-and-treating - its a kind of pop/TV-festival, in which they can take part, its neither islamic nor christian, just fun to them. They even rang at my bell on this Halloween, saying "we come, because its Halloween" - and I had no sweets :( - I had just not expected that, otherwise I would have bought some). But still, this conflict here is about the roots. And I, personally, think, you just totally overestimate the "danger" of proven celtic roots/continuity. It's a postmodern world. For most people its just a spooky detail, some pagan hippies might smile, some strong catholic believers might raise eyebrows - so what?! This is an encyclopedia, and it should deliver knowledge - not educate people in one way or another ("continuity is good/bad for you"). And the kids are confronted with ghosts, vampires and skeletons on TV every day anyway. They seem to enjoy it, especially guising that way. The daily news on tv, wars, violence - thats what makes them afraid. Our reality. (Sorry for the little chat) -- (talk) 18:00, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Hörandner is quite a good read in that respect. Its not at all normal, that people dont mind to have minors confronted with death and afterlife. Kindergartens do not always have skeletons present in the entrance, do they? The broad and harsh (german) debates in case of von Hagens Plastinates or the display of crucifixes in schoolrooms do not apply when it comes to Halloween. Thats something special and worth while elaborating on. As well halloween seems to come out of a genuine demand, it is demand driven. According Hörwandner, first homespun and then commercial doorstep Halloween dekorations have acommunicative aspect, they are used to signify that those who put themuop have understood halloween (and have sweets available). However never interrupted ancient celtic roots of halloween are not a danger, they are just non existant. Volkskunde has plain and abundant evidence of similar retrofitting, from the near nonexistance of scottish tartans before the 19th century till the reintroduction of bavarian costumes and norwegian bunad in the same age. Bakulan (talk) 21:20, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Her book has not arrived here yet, unfortunately. But, anyway - I see a difference between, lets say, Skeletor, and the disgusting von Hagen stuff, which I would not connect with Halloween in any way. However, its also a 20th century/western phenomenon to expell death from reality, especially childhood, while in other centuries (and still today in the countryside), death was much more integrated in reality. Children who grow up on a farm, (still) witness the slaughtering of animals, for example. Town kids have sweet pets, and eat denaturized burgers, and become vegan when they are teens, and see tv documentations about meat-production. But thats really a whole different discussion... -- (talk) 22:40, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Compromise wording

I’m going to propose my compromise wording again and ask only for comments on that, do you agree or disagree with it. I will also suggest a compromised lead.

Body of article

"There is disagreement over a proposed Pagan origin for Halloween. Some such as Bernhard Maier say that Halloween is part of the 19th and 20th centuries’ Celtic revival and has no link to older Celtic festivals. Whilst others (for example Nicholas Rogers) Suggest a Celtic or Pagan continuation from the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, whose original spelling was Samuin (pronounced sow-an or sow-in)".[1]. “


“it has been claimed that it has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain, or other pagan festivals. However this is disputed and that it is based on the Celtic Revival in the 19th century around All Saints' Day.”

So is this an acceptable compromise.?Slatersteven (talk) 17:05, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

I miss the clear evidence about Halloween as Hallowmass being a christian holiday for the most timeof its existance. I would suggest to use Walpurgis Night as role model and leave the disputeed aspects out. Bakulan (talk) 17:18, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Actualy its not a christian holiday Hallowmas is the day after. There is mention that halloween's name is a derivative of All-Hallows-Even with a link the the artciel about All Hallows Day (the chrisitan festival). So the link is in fact made.Slatersteven (talk) 18:50, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, (Christian) holidays used to begin at sunset the night before. They still do in many a respect. That's why they ring in the Sunday on a Saturday night and all the rest of it.--Noctuus (talk) 03:51, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

I would suggest to collect wordings for each relevant, scientific position that has (had) impact on the discussion, including Frazer, Hörandner, Hutton, Rogers, so that each position is presented in one or two sentences, and put in context, with the most modern presented as the present stage of the discussion, and explaining also that dispute between German/European and Angloamerican views. But not to leave anything out - put it in context. By the way, thats what I suggested also for the german article. Or Slaterstevens compromise, but I think it's a liitle bit too short, compared to this disc. page with all the arguments. -- (talk) 17:33, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I agree we need to look at the sources we are using, in context, and determine if we can what the "general scholoarly consensus" happens to be. My concern is that the view espoused by Bakuman and his sources is a view limited to debate among German folklorists, and we might be giving it too much weight by putting it in the lead on equal footing with the more mainstream view. It should certainly have some mention in the article, but not in the lead, and as a minority view. In general, I think if there are different scholarly positions on an issue, in order to be mentioned in the lead then both should have roughly the same proportions of scholarly adherents. I'm just not sure how "accepted" Bakuman's views are by scholars, and whether they are influenced by politics, i.e., is it a specifically German backlash against the Nazi mis-use of folklore to justify itself, as was alluded to by an earlier post. Eastcote (talk) 19:49, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

OK so can we at least say that the new main text paragraph is acceptable, at least for now?Slatersteven (talk) 19:52, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Nope. "A view limited to debate among German folklorists" - sorry, Eastcote has to prove such assumptions beyound his personal POV. Try to provide sources. There is no need for speculations about a pagan or roman root of halloween as being taken for real. Bakulan (talk) 20:06, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
So are you objecting to any mention of claims that Halloween has a Celtic root? Perhaps you would like to propose an alternative text?Slatersteven (talk) 20:16, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Something like "The Celtic Revical after 1830 led to assumptions of an alleged continuity between halloween since celtic times. Some assumed a relationship to the purported Samhain tradition. James Frazers speculations about such connectiona are repeatedly quoted in various sources." could be used. One should be rather careful about any assumption that an ancient Samhain festival which couldbe used as role model for Halloween really existed. Bakulan (talk) 20:49, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
No. But why not something a la "The 'Zeitschrift für Volkskunde 97. Jahrgang 2001' concludes, that... Hörandner says, that... Maier finds, that ..." ? So we put the existing views by scientists against each other, and let the question open/the reader decide. I do not see that we come to another solution after all this. -- (talk) 20:56, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Whilst that may agree with what some of the sources say it does not agree with others. We can no more assume that Halloween is pagan then we can to assume it has no connection. You wording clearly has POV issues (for example to keep it neutral we would also have to say "Others have speculated that there is no pagan or Celtic influence and have assumes that any such connections are the product of 19th and 20th century romanticism"). Also the 'assumption' about a Celtic link whilst they may first appear in the 1930's are not just a product of the 19thC and nor are they the product of just Fraiser (who is dismissed even by those who support some kind of Celtic festive survival).Slatersteven (talk) 20:58, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
We can not assume that Halloween has any celtic root without giving due weight to the fact that most costums between 700 and 1830 around the fest were foremost christian folklore. Any allegation of samhain has to clarify that claims of Samhein as the "Celtic New Year" started not earlier than the 18th century. Bakulan (talk) 21:06, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Thats not true, first hand source: Coligny calendar... -- (talk) 21:49, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Nope. Just try to read the entry about the Calendar story. (talk) 22:18, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, I did that, of course: Julius Caesar in The Gallic Wars states (Caesar, DBG 6.18) that days, months, and years start with a dark half followed by a light half., and so on. What was your argument exactly here? -- (talk) 01:22, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Nor does my proposed text, it makes no claim for the truth of eitehr possition, its just states that both possitions exsist and allows to reader to make up their own mind. Aslo (usgion your logic) we would have to also point out that the counter claim is a product of the 21st centurey. Also we do not know that most of the observancies were chrisitan folk lore, that is the point the claim is they are not.Slatersteven (talk) 21:11, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Why use Rogers coffee table book ? I undrstood you got it on your shelf. Does he quote anything scientific about Halloween which was published after Frazer? Bakulan (talk) 21:32, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Becasue hes a historian and accademic? Becasue he provideds a usefull overview of the pagan claism?21:46, 9 November 2010 (UTC)Slatersteven (talk)
Usefull overview. Hmmm. Anything academic about halloween,maybe a paper or two? (talk) 21:53, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
We don't only use accademic sources here on wikipedia, besdies how do you define an accademic source if its not one writen by a proffesor of history with Ph.D. (Toronto) MA., (Oxford) BA., (Oxford)? How is he not an accademic?Slatersteven (talk) 22:07, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Does Rogers have published anything about Halloween in a journal ? A coffe tabkle book written by an academic stays coffeetable. (talk) 22:18, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

This is leading to nothing. I suggest returning to Slaterstevens compromise wording, and expanding it a bit with 3, 4 more reputable/prominent pro/contra "celtic origin" voices, qouted with their names. Bakulan and Noctuus might word the "contra"-voices. -- (talk) 22:21, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Here are a few sources. Current and reputable.

  • "Samhain, 1 November, was a major festival which marked the opening of winter in early medieval Ireland... [T]here seems to be no doubt that the opening of November was the time of a major pagan festival which was celebrated, at the very least, in all those parts of the British Isles which had a pastoral economy. At most, it may have been general among the 'Celtic' people. There is no evidence that it was connected with the dead, and no proof that it opened the year, but it was certainly a time when supernatural forces were especially to be guarded against or propitiated; activities which took different forms in different regions. Its importance was only reinforced by the imposition upon it of a Christian festival which became primarily one of the dead..." Ronald Hutton, Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain, Oxford Univ. Press, 1996, pgs. 360-370.
  • "In not a few cases festivals that in the Middle Ages were Christian in nature had been pagan in origin... ...[T]he Church successfully fused celebrations that had originated in the distant pagan past with Christian religious rites so that native peoples were permitted to continue, under Christian colors, their traditional customs. Thus many medieval holidays that were ostensibly Christian in character in fact commemorated ancient fertility rites as well as Christian tradition. For example, the feasts of All Saints (November 1), Candlemas (February 2), May Day (May 1), and Lammas (August 1) were part of an ancient cycle of agricultural feasts... Halloween and All Souls' Day are excellent examples of the merging of Christian and pagan traditions." Robert T. Lambdin & Laura C. Lambdin, Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature, Greenwood (July 30, 2000), pgs 189-195.

*"Samhain is a revival of the ancient Celtic holiday of that name. As many folklorists have noted, this Celtic holiday appears to be the origin of the modern Halloween." Ethnologies, Volume 20, Folklore Studies Association of Canada, 1998, pg. 131

  • "Samhain was the New Year's Day of the Celts, celebrated on 1 November. It was also a day of the dead, a time when it was believed that the souls of those who had died during the year were allowed access to the land of the dead. It was a time when spirits were believed to be wandering, The festival was also related to the season: by Samhain, the crops should be harvested and animal brought in from the distant fields." Jack Santino, Halloween and Other Festivals of Death and Life, Univ Tennessee Press; 1994, pg. xv.
  • "The greatest festival in Ireland was known as Samain. In terms of the modern calendar it was celebrated on the first of November, but the preceding night was perhaps the most significant period of the festival. Samain marked the end of one year and the beginning of the next." T.G.E. Powell, The Celts, Thames & Hudson Ltd:London, 1985, pg. 144.
  • "Samhain, the greatest Celtic festival, marked the beginning of the year, celebrated on the night of October 31st, now Hallowe'en. " Frank Delaney, The Celts, Little, Brown & Co., 1986, pg. 87.

Eastcote (talk) 01:05, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

What about a compromise something along these lines, similar to Slaterstevens' suggestion, but with a different beginning. Begin with "The origins of Halloween are obscure....etc. The name itself is first attested from 16th century Scotland....etc. While many scholars see a connection with the pagan Celtic festival of Samhain, heavily influenced in the Middle Ages by the Christian festival of All Saints (insert support A here), others find no connection with ancient paganism at all and see the celebration derived entirely from Christian tradition (insert support B here). Eastcote (talk) 04:16, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Like it Eastcote, broad in scope, balanced, and also neat and concise. It pushes neither POV, and the support links can expand on the theories.KiwiJeff (talk) 13:56, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Seems the passion for continuity is overwhelming - as Hörandner found out. We could do it like the BBC did - First we easily rule out any suggestion about pagan roots based on +- modern sources, but we end with a caveat for the revisionists (which is based on the Frazer etc outdated stuff). Hutton, Rogers and Roud deny the celtic continuity. Eastcotes quotes prove nothing except the passion for continuity. Wether Samhain was festivated for the dead or is just about years end, is a major difference for any alleged continuity and still under dispute. Samhain as well did not turn up an Wales or Scotland nor in any other celtic region, the very festival of Samhain might as wellbe inspired by Christian lore, as the earliest secured mentioning of Samhain is already in Christian Times. The Coligny Calendar doesnt mentione Samhain, only Samos (summers end). Ireland however observed All saints predominantly in the early parts of the year, the switch to November took a while. Bakulan (talk) 06:37, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Additional Quote: [15] According Stefan Moser, Director of the Keltenmuseum in Hallein any connection of celts and Halloween is a plain myth without any credibility. Bakulan (talk) 07:26, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

You dismiss Rogers as a "coffee-table-book", and quote a Newspaper?! Also, I might translate a bit from the article: "Dass Halloween auf das keltische Samhain-Fest zurückgehen soll, sieht Stefan Moser ebenfalls kritisch. Nachweislich habe es das Fest erst im ersten Jahrhundert nach Christus gegeben, es sei daher streng genommen gar kein keltischer Brauch mehr. Zudem gebe es auch keine Anhaltspunkte, dass es mit Totengöttern zu tun" - "That Halloween has roots in the celtic-Samhain-festival, is seen critically (!) by S. Moser, as that (Samhain) festival is proven to exist only since the year 100 (!), so it could not be a celtic custom anymore (why?). Additionally, there aren't any clues it has to do anything with death-gods (who claimed that!?)". -- (talk) 10:11, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Eastcotes wording looks good to me. -- (talk) 10:11, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Part of the problem here, Bakuman, is that you want us to only believe the sources that support your point of view. That's POV-pushing. We are trying to achieve balance. Your article from the BBC, by the way, quotes hand-picked portions of Hutton and Rogers (and I assume Roud as well, but I haven't read Roud), and ignores what they say in full about Samhain. Neither Hutton nor Roud claim Samhain was any kind of festival of the dead, but both see Samhain at the pagan "root" of Halloween. I believe this is the current "mainstream" view, and should thus appear first in the summary, while the view that Samhain had nothing whatsoever to do with it appears to be the "new wave" and thus appears second. Eastcote (talk) 12:17, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
OK, please see the difference between me POV pushing and the BBC doing it - as the BBC seems to be in line with my POV, I keep on the good work.... Concerning the newspaper, it quotes Dr. Stefan Moser who is director of one of the major celtic museums in Europe. Hes quite right that there is only one rather disputed proof of Samhain around 100 AD (the Coligny calendar), fyi the later 1100 AD reports about samhain are already deep in the Christian area. He categorically rules out any connection between the celts and nowadays Halloween, insofar your claim about mainstream misses target. Bakulan (talk) 12:38, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Firstly the BBC source dos not deny continuity, it says that some deny it. It also goes on to say that "Either way, what we can be sure of is that the modern celebration of Hallowe'en is a complicated mix of evolved (and evolving) traditions and influences." It does not pas judemtn either way on the argument (as we should not). As to the refutations by the three authors. Rogers does say that " a chronology that contradicts the widely held view that the November date was chosen to Christianize the festival of Samhain." that dies not however refute the idea that halloween traditions are pagan in origon, just that the church never took over a pagan celibration. Roud talkls about differing areas having differing holy days, again nothing about the idea that some of the traditions not being pagan throw backs. Hutton says that there was no panceltic festival of Samhaini, but agaoin doe not say that there is no pagan links to ellements of Halloween, and if you look you will see that many halloween traditions are indead (origioanly) regional in nature.Slatersteven (talk) 12:58, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

The new compromise works for me, but thats a moot point I think.Slatersteven (talk) 12:45, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

I dont agree with the motion moot point neither with the compromise. The suggested compromise a) does assume halloween does have obscure roots. Not the case, the etymology and the origins are clear and very well known (All Saints Eve). b) it mentions Samhaim as an established and confirmed celtic fest with connections to nowadays halloween. Thats not the case in various aspects. Samos is not Samhain, the coligny calender might assume there was a sort of New year (which todays halloween is not), some later (1100 AD and post 1830 AD) sources about samhain tell about a connection to the afterlife which might already be inspired by christian traditions. Be aware that the BBC doesnt go so far to mention pagan traditions among those who influenced nowadays Halloween, its just "different". Bakulan (talk) 13:03, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
The linked article (also on the BBC) says “Samhain has been celebrated in Britain for centuries and has its origin in Pagan Celtic traditions. It” and goes on to add “Later, when the festival was adopted by Christians, they celebrated it as All Hallows' Eve, followed by All Saints Day,…” [[16]] So the BBC are saying that Samhain is a major Celtic festival and that Halloween is descended from it.Slatersteven (talk) 13:10, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
One hint: The christian tradition to have a holiday start on the eventing of the day before is based on a confirmed elder tradition, its the jewish one as you can see at Shabbat. thats a proven continuity. But in both respects you mention, the BBC is wrong about basic facts. Try to find anyone with the credibility and position of Moser in an actual musuem or live research facility dealing with the celts claiming the continuity. Bakulan (talk) 13:23, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Bakuman, if the BBC is "wrong about basic facts", why were you using them to support your position? This has gotten way too convoluted and endless, and has become argument for the sake of argument. Let's work the compromise and be done with it. Eastcote (talk) 13:33, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I think there is now a general consensus for the change. We appear to have one user objecting to this.Slatersteven (talk) 13:41, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't think I'm okay with this. –Whitehorse1 13:46, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
The compromise or the sugestion that there is general consensus?Slatersteven (talk) 13:50, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I think we might just be replacing bad with bad. –Whitehorse1 14:25, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
So what about the proposed text do you disagree with?Slatersteven (talk) 14:52, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

One thing that might be worth watching out for is confirmation bias. –Whitehorse1 13:37, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

  • @Eastcote: I'm having trouble finding your Ethnologies article--fulltext of the publication doesn't seem to be on jstor, muse, nor did my online search help much. :( It looks like the cite is missing author/title. Is vol 20 the 'Special Issue: Wicca' one? Google did show a snippet-view, I'm presuming you weren't using that, a pointer to where to find it would be great. Thanks! –Whitehorse1 14:25, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
The libary?Slatersteven (talk) 15:26, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
No, sadly I was using the snippet view. If the overall issue was about Wicca, please toss it out, and shame on me. The other references I have on my shelves, so I can vouch for them. -- Can you go into where you perceive confirmation bias? I want to avoid it myself, if possible. Eastcote (talk) 16:44, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Lurking on the horizon as a risk to all of us myself included, as an unconscious unintended consequence of good faith non expert ad hoc research. –Whitehorse1 19:04, 11 November 2010 (UTC)