>Halloween, or Hallowe'en, is a shortened version of "All Hallowed Evening,"
>which was the evening preceding November 1, All Saints Day (a Holy Day of
>Obligation) in the Christian (i.e., Catholic) church calendar.
Not just the word--we celebrate a shortened version, I am told.
Many years ago I was riding my bicycle around southeastern Mexico
during the Days of the Dead. The little kids I was talking to (six
and seven year olds didn't mind talking to strange people with a four
year old's vocabulary and comprehension) asked about the celebrations
in the US. The (recently-abandoned) tradition in Detroit of burning
buildings down the night before All Hallow's Eve was in its infancy
so I told them that we celebrated only one night. They reacted the
way American kids would if you told them that some people celebrated
Christmas for twenty minutes and then tossed the tree into the
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