Almost all cultures around the world have days during which they honor those who have died, and pray for those souls that have not yet reached heaven. Although many of these holidays have assumed a secular attitude, the original, supernatural tone of these days still colors the celebrations. Halloween, or All Hallow's Eve as it was once known, has become a day for children to don costumes, trick-or-treat for candy, and play pranks. Outside the United States, however, people in many countries still set aside a day to honor and pray for the deceased. ""Halloween and Commemorations of the Dead"" looks at the different customs from around the world, including Halloween, All Souls' Day, Day of the Dead, Tomb Sweeping Day and the Ghost Festival.
Roseanne Montillo earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Emerson College in Boston. She has an M.F.A. in creative writing and a B.F.A. in writing, literature, and publishing. Montillo currently works as a freelance writer, proofreader, indexer, and Italian translator.