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Pumpkins, one of the decorations of Hogwarts' Hallowe'en feast

"A thousand live bats fluttered from the walls and ceiling while a thousand more swooped over the tables in low black clouds, making the candles in the pumpkin stutter."
— The Great Hall on Hallowe'en[src]

Hallowe'en, a contraction of "All Hallows' Evening", was a holiday celebrated by both Muggles and the wizarding world on 31 October. Typical festive Hallowe'en activities included trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, and telling scary stories.[1] This applied to the wizarding world also, but with their own magical twist.[2]


The Culture segment of The New York Ghost Sunday edition published on 28 November 1926 had an article on No-Maj's Hallowe'en costume.[3] The Wizbiz segment of the Sunrise Early Edition published on 6 December the same year from the same paper, reported that the holiday saw record breaking sales of No-Maj broomsticks.[4]

At Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, there was a feast every year on Hallowe'en,[2] and the first Hogsmeade weekend of the year usually occurred around the same day.[5] The Keeper of Keys and Grounds grew enormous pumpkins for the feast by magic.[6]


"All anyone knows is, he turned up in the village where you was all living, on Hallowe'en ten years ago. You was just a year old. He came ter yer house an' — an' — 'You-Know-Who killed 'em. An' then — an' this is the real myst'ry of the thing — he tried to kill you, too... But he couldn't do it. Never wondered how you got that mark on yer forehead? That was no ordinary cut. That's what yeh get when a powerful, evil curse touches yeh — took care of yer mum an' dad an' yer house, even — but it didn't work on you, an' that's why yer famous, Harry."
Rubeus Hagrid describing the 1981 attack on the Potters[src]

Voldemort attempting to murder Harry Potter, after murdering his parents

The attack took place on Hallowe'en 1981.[7][8] It happened not even a week after Peter Pettigrew was made the Potters' Secret Keeper. Pettigrew then betrayed the Potters and gave up their location to Lord Voldemort.[9] Having been told half of the prophecy by Severus Snape, Voldemort came to believe his mortal enemy to be Harry Potter.[10]

Voldemort travelled to the Potters' home in Godric's Hollow and murdered James and Lily Potter, whom died protecting infant Harry.[11] When he attempted to murder Harry, Lily's loving sacrifice allowed Harry to live and rebounded Voldemort's Killing Curse. The rebounded curse caused a shred of Voldemort's already mutilated soul to be ripped from his destroyed body.[12]

On 31 October 1984, Greyback and his army attacked Hogwarts. Chiara Lobosca, a student whom Greyback had previously infected with Lycanthropy, spotted Greyback and two werewolves emerging from the Forbidden Forest.[13] She tried to attack them (while in human form), but was easily defeated.[14] Shortly afterwards, Greyback and his two werewolf companions encountered Jacob's sibling, who defiantly stood up to them and briefly held off one of the two werewolves with their spells.

Before Greyback could better coordinate the assault on and hence overwhelm the young pupil, however, he caught the scent of Albus Dumbledore and made a hasty retreat, just before Dumbledore arrived to capture him. The headmaster briefly examined the injured student on the ground and instructed the other one to return to their dormitory while he attended to Chiara, explaining that he would contact the Ministry of Magic and ask them to send an expert from the Werewolf Capture Unit to help to stop Greyback.[15]

In 1985, Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington's 493rd Deathday Party was co-hosted by Sir Nicholas and Erling in the Deathday Ballroom at Hogwarts. Jacob's sibling and Myrtle Warren attended the party and shared a dance.[16]


"There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them."
— Harry Potter on how facing a mountain troll made the trio friends[src]

At some point after taking office in 1990, Cornelius Fudge proposed that the Ministry proposed putting restrictions on how wizards and witches were allowed to celebrate Hallowe'en, presumably in consideration to the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy.[17]

Harry and Ron save Hermione Granger from a mountain troll

On 31 October 1991, the first-year Charms class topic was the Levitation Charm. Later, the Hallowe'en feast was interrupted by the arrival of a Mountain Troll. Harry Potter and Ron Weasley saved Hermione Granger from the Troll in the girls' bathroom.[2] Meanwhile, Quirrell (who let the troll in) headed for the Philosopher's Stone hidden beneath the trapdoor in the third floor corridor — but was stopped by Severus Snape.[18]

Sir Nicholas de Mimsy Porpington's 500th Deathday Party

In 1992, Sir Nicholas's 500th Deathday Party took place in the Deathday Party Hall. It was attended by many ghosts, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger.[19] Ginny Weasley, under the influence of Tom Riddle's Diary, opened the Chamber of Secrets for the first time in fifty years.[20] The Basilisk that was released from the Chamber Petrified Mrs Norris.[21]

In 1993, Sirius Black entered Hogwarts Castle and attacked the Fat Lady when she refused to give him passage to Gryffindor Tower.[5]

In 1994, the Goblet of Fire chose the Triwizard champions — Viktor Krum for Durmstrang; Fleur Delacour for Beauxbatons; Cedric Diggory for Hogwarts; and an unexpected fourth champion, Harry Potter.[22]

In 1999, the Ministry of Magic, now under the administration of Kingsley Shacklebolt,[23] attempted to impose the restrictions previously proposed by Cornelius Fudge. Stamford Jorkins, a Ministry of Magic spokesperson, defended such measures in the Daily Prophet by highlighting how wards at St Mungo's were busier than ever at Hallowe'en, along with him mentioning how a wizard was still in the hospital in 1999 with his head back to front from a Hallowe'en prank gone wrong from the year prior. Other events included a vampire running amok one year and having to be lured away from a Muggle girl with a raw steak, and Celestina Warbeck having a cancel a Hallowe'en concert with Banshees as back-up singers.[17]

Celestina Warbeck vocally disagreed with this proposed legislation, a move that was considered controversial on her part.[24][17] Other British wizards and witches who vocally disagreed included Glinda Crook and Dagbert Pips, who wrote to the Daily Prophet to express their dismay at such legislation.[17] Dagbert Pips was the owner of a shop called Pumpkins R Us, which sold various types of magical pumpkins for the season.[17]


In 2009, Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington held a Deathday Party as usual and invited the ghosts, Peeves[25] and the portraits in the castle to attend.[26] Ronald Weasley and a Hogwarts student, though uninvited, visited the party as well.[25]

Hallowe'en feast

Main article: Hallowe'en feast

Hallowe'en feast

The Hallowe'en feast at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry occurred on the 31st of October every year. The Hallowe'en feast was usually festooned with sweets-filled pumpkins, bats, orange streamers, water snakes, goblets of coloured sweets and all sorts of Hallowe'en-related decorations. There was usually some entertainment at the end, which may have been by the Hogwarts ghosts, who popped out of the walls and did formation gliding.[2]

It was a highly anticipated feast which most Hogwarts students looked forward to every year.[2]

Behind the scenes

  • Hallowe'en is a very important date in the Harry Potter books. Either during or after the feast in the first four books something fateful happens: the troll, the Chamber of Secrets re-opening, Sirius Black's attack on the Fat Lady, and Harry Potter's name emerging from the Goblet of Fire. In the seventh book, we discover that the date, 31 October is significant, as it is the date of James and Lily Potter's death in 1981. Finally, seeing as Neville Longbottom's and Harry's birthdays are, respectively, 30 and 31 July 1980, almost exactly nine months after 31 October 1979, it is likely that both were conceived on or around Hallowe'en. In Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny and Draco time-travel from a Hallowe'en to another to participate in the final fight.
  • Hallowe'en can be also called "All Hallows' Eve" (meaning "All Saints' Eve", as 1 November is All Saints' Day), which shares part of its name with the Deathly Hallows. All Hallows' Eve was the date Harry first cheated death and defeated Voldemort, while the Deathly Hallows helped him cheat death and defeat Voldemort again with the Elder Wand.
  • In Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, certain places at Hogwarts, including the common rooms and the Great Hall, decorated with Hallowe'en decorations in October and early November in real time. The player can help Dumbledore with Hallowe'en decorations during this time to earn house points.


Notes and references

  1. WP favicon.PNG Hallowe'en on Wikipedia
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 10 (Hallowe'en)
  3. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) (see this image)
  4. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) (see this image)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 8 (Flight of the Fat Lady)
  6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 7 (Mudbloods And Murmurs)
  7. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 4 (The Keeper of the Keys)
  8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 16 (Godric's Hollow)
  9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 19 (The Servant of Lord Voldemort)
  10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 33 (The Prince's Tale)
  11. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 17 (Bathilda's Secret)
  12. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 33 (The Death Eaters)
  13. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 1, "Howling Hallowe'en" Achievement - Part 1, Side Quest "The Hallowe'en Feast"
  14. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 1, "Howling Hallowe'en" Achievement - Part 4, Side Quest "The Big Bad Werewolf"
  15. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 1, Side Quest "Hallowe'en Feast"
  16. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 2, "DUELLING DEATHDAY PARTIES" Achievement
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 Daily Prophet Newsletters
  18. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 17 (The Man with Two Faces)
  19. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 8 (The Deathday Party)
  20. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 17 (The Heir of Slytherin)
  21. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 9 (The Writing on the Wall)
  22. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 16 (The Goblet of Fire)
  23. Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Ministers for Magic" at Wizarding World
  24. Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Celestina Warbeck" at Wizarding World
  25. 25.0 25.1 Harry Potter: Magic Awakened - Hallowe'en 2021 special event
  26. Harry Potter: Magic Awakened

External links