Halloween is being celebrated around the world today. A globally marked observation, the event is dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.

There was a time that Halloween was celebrated in Pakistan too, especially amongst the entertainment circuit as parties were hosted and celebrities/socialites used to gather in the creepiest of attires and appearances to mark the festivity. Seems like the scene is a bit 'off' this year might be because of the covid-19 pandemic.

Halloween has been around for more than a thousand years. Originally a religious observance, it became increasingly secular over the centuries until its religious trappings all but disappeared.

Halloween is a celebration observed in many countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day. The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago, mostly in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1.

It begins the observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed. 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.

One theory holds that many Halloween traditions may have been influenced by ancient Celtic harvest festivals, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain, which may have had pagan roots.

Some scholars hold that Samhain may have been Christianized as All Hallow's Day, along with its eve, by the early Church. Other academics believe, however, that Halloween began solely as a Christian holiday, being the vigil of All Hallow's Day.

Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, attending Halloween costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories, as well as watching horror films.

In many parts of the world, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows' Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular, although elsewhere it is a more commercial and secular celebration. Some Christians historically abstained from meat on All Hallows' Eve, a tradition reflected in the eating of certain vegetarian foods on this vigil day, including apples, potato pancakes, and soul cakes.