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Our custom of observing the night of October 31 as Halloween comes from American colonial times, when it was popular to observe Allhallows and All Souls. The colonists gathered at their farm homes to carry on folk customs such as ducking for apples, throwing apple peelings over their shoulders to find the initials of their future bridegrooms, and roasting nuts on the hearth. They discovered that the American pumpkins were excellent for making jack-o'lanterns, so started the traditional carved pumpkin faces that glow at night.
"Halloween- Time for Fanciful Goodies,"
The Iowa Homemaker: Vol. 39
, Article 2.
Available at: https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/homemaker/vol39/iss3/2