Halloween is a very old tradition, about 2,000 years old, born as Samhain among the Celts, who believed that the dead returned on November 1, and so would light bonfires, hide behind costumes, and make sacrifices to deities for protection.
The Day of the Dead is older than Halloween, and a tradition indigenous to the Americas. The observance of the return of the dead once occupied the entire month of August, but the Roman Catholic Church was able to squeeze it into November 2 and 3, to coincide with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day
Halloween was born of fear (of the return on earth of the dead, every November 1), and the customs around it involved placating the spirits of the dead for the safety of the living.
The indigenous American tradition was born of celebration, a reunion with those who have walked on, and recognition of death as part of a natural cycle, nothing to be feared. The tradition is much older than the Aztec Empire, which is where the Spanish found it.Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/10/31/indigenous-origins-day-dead-versus-halloween-157611