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Thor

As Halloween approaches, it is appropriate to look back at the Pagan side of the Middle Ages. In some ways, especially in southern and western Europe, the MIddle Ages were the most Christian of any age, but in other ways, especially in northern Europe, it was very Pagan. Halloween, as we know it today, is a melange made in America by immigrants from different European countries. The whole thing began as a minor Celtic Pagan holiday. When the Celts converted to Christianity, the holiday ended, which seems to not have much troubled anyone because it had never been a major holiday. The Roman Catholic Church chose November 1st as the day to honor all the saints. In choosing to make a new holiday on the same day as an ancient Pagan holiday, the Roman Catholic Church acted consistently with its tradition of embracing whatever good they could find in human religions while changing the significations of the celebrations so as to make the Christian. Roman Catholic Christians still celebrate All Saints' Day on November 1st, and the evening before All Saints' Day is All Hallows' Eve. The custom of wearing costumes seems to have come from France, where costume parties were popular. The custom of trick-or-treating comes from England where Protestants celebrated Guy Falke's Day on November 5th by asking Roman Catholics for gifts.