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A lot of ignorant posters here.|
Halloween began 2000 years ago in Ireland, England, and Northern France. It was a celebration marking their New Year's Eve. New Year's was November 1st. This day marked the beginning of winter, a time that was associated with death.
On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.
Pope Boniface IV introduced 'All Saint's Day' on May 13, to replace Samhain. Pope Gregory III moved All Saint's Day to November 1st, making October 31st 'All Hallow's Eve'. All Hallow's Eve eventually became shortened to 'Hallowe'en'.
November 2nd, called 'All Souls Day', was a day set aside for commemoration of the dead (This is the reference to Qing Ming which is often cited).
Trick-or-Treating began with the poor, in the 15th century. During the All Soul's Day festival, in England, people would beg for 'Soul Cakes'. These were little squares of bread with currants in them. They would be given these soul cakes in return for a promise to pray for the families' dead relatives. This practice was known as 'Going a-souling'.
Going a-souling was eventually taken up by children, who would go door to door, receiving ale, food, and money.
During the Irish Potato Famine, in the 1848, millions of Irish people emigrated to the United States. They took their traditions of Hallowe'en, called 'Oidche Shamna' (NIght of Samhain), with them.
There you go, people. The origins of Hallowe'en, in a nutshell. I use this in a ppt that I show my university students each year. It is not an "American" festival, nor is it a "European" festival. It is a pagan festival stemming from the Celtic tribes.
If you feel that other cultures shouldn't celebrate their festivals while in China, perhaps the Chinese ought to stop celebrating THEIR festivals, like Spring festival, and Mid-Autumn Festival, when they emigrate to other countries. After all, as you keep telling us, ad nauseum ... "When in Rome" ...