Can you believe it's the last week of October, and this Thursday is Halloween? Wow! Where did the month go? So how did Halloween ever come about?

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

According to Wikipedia:

Halloween, a contraction of "All Hallows' Evening"), also known as All Hallows' Eve,is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day. It initiates the triduum of Hallowmas, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers.

Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. The word "trick" refers to "threat" to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. The practice is said to have roots in the medieval practice of mumming, which is closely related to souling. John Pymm writes that "many of the feast days associated with the presentation of mumming plays were celebrated by the Christian Church."These feast days included All Hallows' Eve, Christmas, Twelfth Night and Shrove Tuesday. Mumming, practised in Germany, Scandinavia and other parts of Europe,involved masked persons in fancy dress who "paraded the streets and entered houses to dance or play dice in silence."