When is Halloween 2017?

What Day Does Halloween Fall | A Brief History of Halloween

Halloween Table
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Halloween always falls on the 31st of October. Here’s a chart that shows on what day of the week Halloween is celebrated—plus, enjoy a brief Halloween history, recipes, crafts, poetry, folklore, and more!

Halloween Dates: What Day is Halloween?

Halloween, traditionally called All Hallows’ Eve, is celebrated on the evening before the Christian holy day of All Hallows’ Day or All Saints Day.

Year Halloween Day
2017 Tuesday, October 31
2018 Wednesday, October 31
2019 Thursday, October 31
2020 Saturday, October 31

A Brief History of Halloween

The origin of Halloween can be traced to the ancient Gaelic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in, which rhymes with cow-in), meaning Summer’s End. This festival celebrated to mark the end of harvesttime and the beginning of the “dark half” of the year. It was a seasonal marker as the ancient Celts bid good-bye to warmth and light as day length shortened.

The ancient Celts believed that the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was at its thinnest during Samhain. This had positive benefits as it was an ideal time to consider the dead, communicate with the deceased, and also to divine the future. However, the Celts also believed that this some spirits (ghosts) could pass through the wall and damage their crops. To mark the event, people would build huge bonfires to burn crops.

See 5 zombie walks to do for Halloween!

In later years, the Irish used hollowed-out, candlelit turnips carved with a demon’s face to frighten away spirits. When Irish immigrants in the 1840s found few turnips in the United States, they used the more plentiful pumpkins instead. See more about the origins of popular Halloween traditions—from witches on broomsticks to bobbing apples.

Following the Roman Empire’s rule over Celt-occupied lands in the 1st century A.D., the Romans incorporated many of the Celtic traditions, including Samhain, with their own. Eight hundred years later, the Roman Catholic Church further modified Samhain, designating November 1 as All Saints’ Day, in honor of all Catholic saints. This day was formerly known as Allhallowmas, hallow meaning to sanctify, or make holy. All Saints’ Day is known in England as All Hallows’ Day. The evening before, October 31, is known as All Hallows’ Eve, the origin of the American word Halloween!

If All Saints brings out winter,
St. Martin brings out Indian summer
.
–Folklore

Halloween Crafts and Ideas

Get into the Halloween spirit with these seasonal crafts!

Pumpkin carving

Halloween Recipes

There are no tricks to making these old-fashioned Halloween treats. Yum!
Candy Apples
Peanut Butter Balls
Oven Caramel Corn
Find our 10 best Halloween recipes here and see more great fall recipes!

Candy apples

Halloween Poems

Wake up your walking dead with these Halloween poems! Perfect for a card.

“Be silent in that solitude,
Which is not loneliness—for then
The spirits of the dead, who stood
In life before thee, are again
In death around thee, and their will
Shall overshadow thee; be still
.”

—From “Spirits of the Dead” by Edgar Allan Poe

“You heap the logs and try to fill
The little room with words and cheer,
But silent feet are on the hill,
Across the window veiled eyes peer.
The hosts of lovers, young in death,
Go seeking down the world to-night,
Remembering faces, warmth and breath—
And they shall seek till it is light.
Then let the white-flaked logs burn low,
Lest those who drift before the storm
See gladness on our hearth and know
There is no flame can make them warm.”

—From “All Souls’ Night, 1917” by Hortense King Flexner

“I spot the hills
With yellow balls in autumn
I light the prairie cornfields
Orange and tawny gold clusters
And I am called pumpkins.
On the last of October
When dusk is fallen
Children join hands
And circle round me
Singing ghost songs
And love to the harvest moon;
I am a jack-o’-lantern
With terrible teeth
And the children know I am fooling
.”

—From “Theme in Yellow” by Carl Sandburg

“Pixie, kobold, elf, and sprite
All are on their rounds to-night,—
In the wan moon’s silver ray
Thrives their helter-skelter play.

Don’t we all, of long ago
By the ruddy fireplace glow,
In the kitchen and the hall,
Those queer, coof-like pranks recall?

Every shadows were they then—
But to-night they come again;
Were we once more but sixteen
Precious would be Hallowe’en
.”

—From “Hallowe’en” by Joel Benton

Happy Halloween, Almanac fans!

Halloween cat and owl

What’s your favorite Halloween tradition? Let us know in the comments below!

Reader Comments

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I'm in Australia!

It's actually 10:39pm right now not 8:38am!

Want more candy?!

Ok so first of all you can bring a big garbage bag and people will think you have a tiny bit of candy because the bag is so bag and it looks like you have barely any. Or you can bring a backpack and trick or treat bag and whenever you get candy in your trick or treat bag you put the candy in the backpack so it looks like you have no candy in your trick or treat bag and people will give you more candy. Or you can impress the peoples giving candy by acting, dancing, singing, doing tricks etc. or you can bring a cute child or pet with a little bag they have to carry for you so you can get a few extra treats! Yay, candy!

what is halloween

nice info

Wrong date for Halloween 2020

Halloween for 2020 will be Saturday 10/31/20. The article has it listed as a Friday which is incorrect due to the leap year.

Halloween 2020

Thanks for catching that! We’ve corrected the date.

Halloween is cool but im

Halloween sounds cool. I'm Muslim so I don't celebrate, but to whoever celebrates, have fun and enjoy!!!!!

What should I do on Halloween

What should I do on Halloween night to bring good luck

You can't do anything to

You can't do anything to bring good luck or bad luck.
Your fate is based on your destiny.

In India we also has similar

In India we also has similar day called Kali Chaudas..

I like halloween.

I like halloween.

As a pagan I would like to

As a pagan I would like to say a Happy Samhain to you all I hope the new year is all that you hope it to be. Thank you for all your information. May the Goddess look kindly on you. Blessed Be and Merry Meet.

My fiance and I ate planning

My fiance and I ate planning a Celtic Hand fasting style wedding for this year's Samhain. Such a very bleseed way to start the new year...

Really we are waiting for the

Really we are waiting for the Halloween Day. Thanks for making it clear that this Halloween Day 2014 falls on Friday which is on October 31st.

Halloween on Friday is more rare days which we see in life.

Wish everyone a
Happy Halloween Day 2014

Haha, comes in fitting of

Haha, comes in fitting of Friday 13th. It's on a Friday. Also if you switch the numbers around you get... FRIDAY 13th! A very demented day :) have a nice halloween!

Happy Halloween!! Won't be

Happy Halloween!! Won't be long and it will be here!!

Most people misunderstand

Most people misunderstand dressing up on Halloween.
The ancient Celtic belief was to dress up as what you would like to be in the coming year, in the hope that your wish would be granted.

Most people don't care

Holidays evolve. Did you read this article?

i like halloween

i like halloween