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    Halloween: Saints and Sinners!

    By Samantha-Rae Tuthill, AccuWeather staff writer
    October 24, 2012, 9:01:58 AM EDT

    Why is Halloween filled with spirits, saints, and sinners? Here's the scoop on pumpkin day, courtesy of The Old Farmer's Almanac.

    Halloween was a popular pagan festival of the dead (Samhain). The ancient Celts celebrated the new year on November 1. They believed that the souls of the dead returned to Earth the night before.

    Samhain is Gaelic for “summer’s end,” a day to bid good-bye to warmth and light as day length shortens.

    In an attempt to replace this festival, the church moved the celebration of All Saints to November 1. This is the day when all of the saints are honored, especially those who did not have a day of their own. This day was formerly known as Allhallowmas, hallow meaning "holy" or "holy person." 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!

    Are you Carving Pumpkins—or Turnips?

    Originally, the Irish used hollowed-out, candlelit turnips carved with a demon’s face to frighten away the 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 History of Carving Pumpkins.

    Credit: Susan Valladao; Carved by Mike Valladao

    Halloween Crafts

    Get into the Halloween spirit with these seasonal crafts! See how to make:
    A pumpkin seed necklace
    Pumpkin Spice Mix
    • Really cool carved pumpkin designs
    Native American corn husk dolls
    Apple heads

    Halloween Recipes

    There are no tricks to making these old-fashioned Halloween treats. Yum!
    Candy Apples
    Caramel-Covered Apples
    Peanut Butter Balls
    Oven Caramel Corn
    Popcorn Balls
    Find more ideas for Halloween recipes.

    Get Baking!

    Halloween and fall gets us in the mood for baking. Win the new, best-selling Everyday Baking cookbook from The Old Farmer's Almanac—plus, a 6-piece, high-quality, Made-in-the-USA bakeware set to serve up some of the 118 scrumptious recipes. Enter Giveaway here.

    Full Hunter's Moon

    October's full Moon, on Monday, the 29th, should shine bright for those trick or treaters!  See your full Moon phases, best days by the Moon, and more on this Full Hunter's Moon Guide.

    Are you mobile? Check our the Almanac's Full Moon Finder app to see your daily Moon and enjoy folklore.

    And have a spooky, All Hallow Eve, lit by our magical Moon!

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