October 31: All Hallows’ Eve (Hallowe’en)

Save mushrooms & the fungus race
That grow till All Hallowtide takes place

History & Lore / Artwork / Activities / Recipes / Resources


Engraving by Thomas Stothard, 1835.

All Hallows’ Eve, the Vigil for All Saints’ Day (aka Hallowmas, November 1), was added by Pope Sixtus IV in 1484 (at the same time, he set the feast of All Saints’ as a holy day of obligation for the whole Church, adding an octave as well). Intended as an evening of devotional watchfulness, All Hallows’ Eve is the gateway into Allhallowtide. The word “Hallow” means “holy” and was once used synonymously with the word “Saint.” Although this vigil was removed from the general calendar in 1955, it’s still a beautiful way to enter into these commemorations of the departed!

Tradition & plantlore highlights:

  • Nutcrack Night
  • Pulling the Kailstock & Kail-Torches
  • Apple-Snap & Bobbing for Apples
  • Carving turnips
  • Boxty Pancakes
  • Kail Brose
  • Colcannon
  • Soul Cakes
  • Fennel-leaved tickseed
  • Last of the fungi

If you’d like to learn more about the history, agrarian traditions, folklore, & plantlore of Allhallowtide, enjoy these free info sheets designed to help you build your Liturgical Year Binder:





References cited:

Blackburn, Bonnie and Leofranc Holford-Strevens. Oxford Companion to the Year. Oxford University Press, 1999.

Ferguson, George. Signs & Symbols in Christian Art. Oxford University Press, 1954.

Gould, Meredith. The Catholic Home: Celebrations and Traditions for Holidays, Feast Days, and Every Day. Doubleday, 2004.

Hone, William. The Every-Day Book & Table Book. Reproduced by Sagwan Press, originally published 1835.

Hutton, Ronald. The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford University Press, 1996.

Roud, Steve. The English Year. Penguin, 2008.

Aleteia: How Italians celebrate All Saints & All Souls.

Catholic Culture: History of All Hallows’ Eve.

Italian Tourism: All Saints’ Day in Italy.

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