Observance of Halloween faded in the South of England from the 17th century onwards, being replaced by the commemoration of
the Gunpowder Plot on November 5. However it remained popular in Scotland, Ireland and the North of England. It is only in
the last decade that it has become popular in the South of England again, although in an entirely Americanized version.
The custom survives most accurately in Ireland, where the last Monday of October is a public holiday. All schools close
for the following week for mid-term, commonly called the Halloween Break. As a result Ireland is the only country where children
never have school on Halloween and are therefore free to celebrate it in the ancient and time-honored fashion.
The custom of trick-or-treating is thought to have evolved from the European custom called souling, similar to the wassailing
customs associated with Yuletide. On November 2, All Souls Day, Beggars would walk from village to village begging for "soul
cakes" - square pieces of bread with currants. Christians would promise to say prayers on behalf of dead relatives helping
the soul's passage to heaven. The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient
practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits at the Samhain. See Puck (mythology).
In Celtic parts of western Brittany. Samhain is still heralded by the baking of kornigou. Kornigou are cakes baked in
the shape of antlers to commemorate the god of winter shedding his "cuckold" horns as he returns to his kingdom
in the Otherworld.