A Roman Catholic Pope decided on the day Halloween would fall. Halloween is the day before the Catholic religion celebrates All Souls'Day. Catholics can and do celebrate Halloween. Halloween is also Guy Fawkes Day.
Many Catholics celebrate Halloween, but several aren't sure if they should. Several believe that Halloween is evil and dangerous. However, the true origin of Halloween is both Christian and American.
A Pope decided the date of Halloween because All Saints Day is on November 1, Halloween is on the last day of October. The day before this feast was called "All Hallowe'en."
In 998, St. Odilo, who was a great abbot in a France monastery added a celebration on November 2. All Soul's Day was a day filled with prayer for the souls who died. This feast spread through all of Europe. For those in Hell, people banged on pots on All Hallowe'en to let the people in Hell know that they were not forgotten.
In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, thousands of people died from the "black death" in France. During this time, people started to wear costumes on All Soul's Day. Since death was very apparent, Catholics reminded each other of their own mortality. There was an increase in Masses during All Soul's Day. They also used art to express themselves.
People started to dress up in costumes to express the dance of death. For those who celebrated Halloween, they dressed up at night. Americans added Trick or Treating to Halloween.
During the 1500s - 1700s, English Catholics were treated very badly. They had no rights legally, couldn't hold office, had heavy taxes, and it was a capitol offense to have Mass. Sometimes Catholics would fight back. They had a plot to destroy Protestant King James I and Parilament with gunpowder on November 5, 1605. Guy Fawkes was the guy in charge of the gunpowder, but he was captured and hung. This became a celebration in England known as Guy Fawkes Day. They wore masks, visited Catholics, and demand cake and beer. Hence, trick or treat.
Guy Fawkes Day arrived in the colonies with the English settlers. By then King James and Guy Fawkes were forgotten, however, trick or treating was fun and remained. Eventually, it was moved to October 31, the day of the Irish-French Dance of Death.
In America, Halloween became a regular tradition in the 1800s. Europe doesn't celebrate it even though much of the customs came from there.