Allhallows Eve

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Sometimes All Hallow Even.

Origin of Allhallows Eve

First recorded in 1550–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is Allhallows Eve?

Allhallows Eve is a traditional name for what has become known as Halloween—the holiday on October 31 that’s essentially a celebration of spooky and scary stuff, like ghosts, witches, monsters, and haunted houses.

The name Allhallows Eve refers to the night before Allhallows, the Christian holiday better known as All Saints’ Day. Although Halloween is a secular (nonreligious) holiday, its name and some of its traditions have roots in Allhallows. It’s not common for people to call Halloween Allhallows Eve. When they do, it’s usually to make it sound a bit old-fashioned or just to use a different term for fun. Occasionally, Christians used in reference to the fact that the next day is All Saints’ Day.

Observations of Allhallows Eve hundreds of years ago certainly looked a lot different than modern Halloween celebrations, but many of the current customs are rooted in old traditions. Wearing costumes, carving jack-o’-lanterns, and trick or treating all derive from earlier practices.

Example: Ah, Allhallows Eve, the spookiest night of the year, when spirits roam free and ghouls lurk in dark corners, blowing out candles in jack-o’-lanterns.

Where does Allhallows Eve come from?

The first records of the word Allhallows Eve come from around the 1550s—right around the same time as Halloween. Halloween is sometimes spelled Hallowe’en, reflecting the fact that its name comes from a shortening of Allhallows Even, in which even means the same thing as eve—the evening or day before a holiday (as in Christmas Eve). The word hallow is used in reference to the saints honored on All Saints’ Day (hallowed means “holy”).

Many of the traditions associated with Halloween are thought to originate in Samhain, a holiday celebrated by the ancient Celtic inhabitants of the British Isles. Samhain was celebrated during harvest time, on or around November 1, which was the first day of the Celts’ year. It was a time of year when it was believed that the threshold of the spirit world was opened for spirits to pass through and haunt the living. People marked the occasion by wearing costumes and lighting bonfires for protection. Under Christianity, some of these traditions were incorporated into All Saints’ Day (Allhallows) and the night before—Allhallows Eve. Many of these customs were brought by immigrants to the U.S., where the holiday has been influenced by and has incorporated elements from several cultures to become what it is today.

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What are some other forms related to Allhallows Eve?

  • All Hallow Even (alternate name)
  • Allhallows Even (alternate name)

What are some synonyms for Allhallows Eve?

What are some words that share a root or word element with Allhallows Eve



What are some words that often get used in discussing Allhallows Eve?


How is Allhallows Eve used in real life?

Allhallows Eve is another name for Halloween, but most people just call it Halloween.


Try using Allhallows Eve!

True or False?

Allhallows Eve is celebrated on November 1.

How to use Allhallows Eve in a sentence