Government offices and businesses are open as usual and public transit services run on regular schedules. If you drive around in late afternoon or evening, it is important to keep a careful lookout for children who are unaccustomed to being out on the street after dark. If they are wearing dark costumes or masks, they may be less easy to see than normal. They may also be excited and dart out unexpectedly from between vehicles or behind bushes.
Halloween is a tradition celebrated on the night of October 31, most notably by children dressing in costumes and going door-to-door collecting sweets, fruit, and other treats. Apart from this trick-or-treating, there are many other traditional Halloween activities. Some of these include costume parties, watching horror films, going to "haunted" houses, and traditional autumn activities such as hayrides, some of these even haunted hayrides.
Halloween originated as a Pagan festival among the Celts of Ireland and Great Britain with Irish, Scots, Welsh and other immigrants transporting versions of the tradition to North America in the 19th century. Most other Western countries have embraced Halloween as a part of American pop culture in the late 20th century.
Halloween is celebrated in most parts of the Western world, most commonly in the United States, Canada, the UK, Republic of Ireland, and with increasing popularity in Australia and New Zealand, as well as the Philippines. In recent years, Halloween has also been celebrated in parts of Western Europe, such as Belgium, France and Spain.
The term ''Halloween'', and its older spelling Hallowe'en, is shortened from All-hallow-even, as it is the evening before "All Hallows' Day" (also known as "All Saints' Day"). The holiday was a day of religious festivities in various northern European Pagan traditions, until Popes Gregory III and Gregory IV moved the old Christian feast of All Saints Day from May 13 to November 1. In Ireland, the name was All Hallows' Eve (often shortened to Hallow Eve), and though seldom used today, it is still a well-accepted label. The festival is also known as Samhain, Calan Gaeaf to the Welsh, Allantide to the Cornish and Hop-tu-Naa to the Manx. Halloween is also called ''Pooky Night'' in some parts of Ireland, presumably named after the pica, a mischievous spirit.
Many European cultural traditions hold that Halloween is one of the liminal times of the year when spirits can make contact with the physical world and when magic is most potent (e.g. Catalan mythology about witches, Irish tales of the Sidhe).