Columbus Day is a national holiday in many countries in the Americas and elsewhere which officially celebrates the anniversary ofChristopher Columbus' arrival in and discovery of America, which happened on October 12, 1492.
The landing is celebrated asColumbus Day in the United States, as Día de la Raza ("Day of the Race") in many countries in Latin America and as Día de la Hispanidad and Fiesta Nacional in Spain, where it is also the religious festivity of La Virgen del Pilar. It is also celebrated as Día de las Américas (Day of the Americas) in Belize and Uruguay, as Discovery Day in the Bahamas, as Día del Respeto a la Diversidad Cultural (Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity) in Argentina and as Giornata Nazionale di Cristoforo Colombo or Festa Nazionale di Cristoforo Colombo in Italy and in the Little Italys around the world. These holidays have been celebrated unofficially since the late 18th century and officially in various countries since the early 20th century.
Halloween, or Hallowe'en (a contraction of All Hallows’ Evening), also known as All halloween, All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve, is a celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day. It begins the three-day observance of All hallow tide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.
It is "widely believed" that many Halloween traditions originated from the ancient Celtic harvest festival Samhain, and that this Gaelic observance was Christianized by the early Church. Samhain and other such festivals may have also had pagan roots. Some, however, support the view that Halloween began independently of Samhain and has solely Christian roots.
Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related guising), attending Halloween costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing and divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories and watching horror films. In many parts of the world, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows' Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular, although elsewhere it is a more commercial and secular celebration. Some Christians historically abstained from meat on All Hallows' Eve,a tradition reflected in the eating of certain foods on this vigil day, including apples, potato pancakes and soul cakes.