[ hal-oh-muhs, -mas ]
/ ˈhæl oʊ məs, -ˌmæs /
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the feast of Allhallows or All Saints' Day, on November 1.
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Origin of Hallowmas

1375–1425; late Middle English; short for Allhallowmas
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is Hallowmas?

Hallowmas is an older name for All Saints’ Day, a Christian holiday in honor of all the Christian saints.

It originated as a holiday of the Catholic Church, but it is also observed by some other Christians.

The day after All Saints’ Day is All Souls’ Day, a Christian holiday of solemn prayer for all dead persons.

Other names for the day include Allhallows and Allhallowmas. The night before was known as Allhallows Eve, which is where the word Halloween comes from.

When is Hallowmas?

Hallowmas is always observed on November 1.

Where does Hallowmas come from?

The first records of the name Hallowmas come from around 1400. It’s short for Allhallowmas, which is first recorded before 1100. The name Allhallows is even older, first being recorded before 1000. The obsolete noun hallow means “holy person” or “saint.” The ending -mas means “Mass” and is used in the names of other Christian holidays, notably Christmas. The name All Saints’ Day has been used since at least the 1570s.

Like many Christian holidays, the observance of All Saints’ Day—and its date—are thought to have been influenced by preexisting religious traditions. Many historians believe that the observance of All Saints’ Day was situated on November 1 in Britain and Ireland to coincide with (or replace) the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, observed on or around November 1.

Under Christianity, some of the traditions of Samhain were incorporated into All Saints’ Day. Many of these customs were brought by immigrants to the US, where Halloween has been influenced by and has incorporated elements from several cultures. One cultural celebration with some notable parallels with Halloween is Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead), which coincides with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day (likely due to the influence of Christian European colonizers and missionaries in Mexico and Latin America).

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What are some synonyms for Hallowmas?

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

What are some words that often get used in discussing Hallowmas?

How is Hallowmas used in real life?

Hallowmas is now commonly known as All Saints’ Day. It’s primarily observed by Catholics, but it is also observed by some other branches of Christianity. Outside of Christianity, it is perhaps best known for its relation to Halloween.

Try using Hallowmas!

True or False?

Another word for Hallowmas is Allhallows.

How to use Hallowmas in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Hallowmas



/ (ˈhæləʊˌmæs) /

archaic the feast celebrating All Saints' Day

Word Origin for Hallowmas

C14: see Allhallows, Mass
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012