In ancient times, pagan festivals were organized at the end of October in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. People dressed up and celebrated in the beautiful English nature. Nowadays, there are many people, especially young, that have popular Halloween costume parties; in various cities you can also find fireworks, bonfires, and parades for the occasion; houses and shops are decorated with images of witches and carved pumpkins.
A very interesting fact about Halloween and this period in the UK is that on the 5th of November there is a very important national celebration, Guy Fawkes Night, also called the Bonfire Night: in 1605 King James I, king of both Scotland and England at that time, had miraculously survived an attempt on his life in London; the aggressor was precisely Sir Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot. The plan was to blow up the House of Lords.
People then celebrated the survived King with bonfires, and it is now an English State Commemoration. Many are a bit against Halloween, because during the last years it has eclipsed in a way the usual Guy Fawkes Night celebrated only some days after. They say that’s a US celebration that is now spreading around the world, but that’s a bit ironic because Halloween has its roots in England. I think that it’s a great thing to preserve both celebrations, and the fact that they are so close is only a good thing, because then they have two near celebrations to look forward to; it’s important to remember both. And I don’t think one can eclipse the other, that’s to different things and celebrations that will continue to be honored and remembered.