Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of "All Hallows' evening"), also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints Eve is a celebration observed in many countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day. 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.
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.
Today's Halloween customs are thought to have been influenced by folk customs and beliefs from the Celtic-speaking countries, some of which are believed to have pagan roots. Jack Santino, a folklorist, writes that "there was throughout Ireland an uneasy truce existing between customs and beliefs associated with Christianity and those associated with religions that were Irish before Christianity arrived". 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 typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, which comes from the Old Irish for 'summer's end'."
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- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 8 spears fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
- 2 (6-ounce) fresh salmon fillets