"I look at Halloween and Samhain as two different holidays. Halloween is a secular celebration of fall, full of kids (and high schoolers) asking for candy, and adults going to parties and probably drinking too much. It's a time of year for dress up and to enjoy 'being scared' if that's your thing. I think it's a healthy outlet for sexual repression too, that's why you see so many 'Sexy Witch' costumes out there.
"Samhain is a completely different holiday. It's an actual religious observance dedicated to honoring the gods, the change of the seasons, and for acknowledging the thinness of the veil between the worlds. For me (like many of you I'm sure) it's a time to honor those that have passed before me and to be near them once more. I tend to celebrate Samhain before Halloween, this year I'll be celebrating and ritualizing on the weekend before the 31st.
"If a ritual on the 31st is necessary, I wait until the trick or treating stops. It's not like it lasts until midnight."
-- Jason Mankey, 2011-10-21