Hallowe'en in Sweden is a very confused affair. All Hallows Day or Alla Helgons Dag, the feast of all the Saints, in Sweden is more like a season than a single Holiday, and is celebrated between the 31st of October and the 6th of November. It has been celebrated in Sweden since Catholic days, then on the 1st of November (of course), but, as is typical of Swedish Lutheranism, although the cult of Saints was no longer practised, the feast of all the Saints continued to be observed.
In 1772 the day lost its status as a National Holiday, which was not to be brought back until 1953. Even then, the intention was more to provide a public holiday in the late Autumn than to restore the Christian tradition. It was then to be celebrated on the Saturday between October 31st and November 6th. The day is marked as a sort of second class public holiday with the Friday before, which becomes our eve of All Hallows, allhelgonaafton, being a half day.
The celebrations consist mainly of looking after the graves of departed loved ones and placing candles on the graves (like in the picture above), but in recent years the more American Halloween traditions have become popular also in Sweden with children dressing up and trick-or-treating. Therefore, although we call it All Hallows, the celebration is really about 'the Holy Souls' as Catholics would describe them.
The Irish-American Hallowe'en with its witches and pumpkins is making a big impact upon popular culture in Sweden now but of course we have our own native traditions relating to witches that I have already described in my posts for Valborgsmässoafton(St. Walpurgis' eve) and for Skärtordagen (Pink Thursday or Holy Thursday).
Born: 8 May 1861, Received into the Catholic Church: 21 December 1896, Received into the Sodality of Our Lady: 22 December 1896, Entered Society of Jesus: 7 September 1900, Ordained Priest: 28 July 1900, Died 19 February 1933.