Find out some more about the traditional festival of Halloween.

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Halloween is a popular festival in many countries all over the world, and every year it seems to get bigger. It's getting dark earlier and it's starting to get cold. Christmas is still a long way away. We need something to cheer us up and take our minds off the fact that winter is nearly here. Find out some more about the traditional festival of Halloween.

The origins of the name

The festival of Halloween has its roots in Celtic and Roman traditions. Over 2,000 years ago the Celts in Britain, Ireland and parts of France celebrated Samhain to mark the beginning of winter. When the Romans invaded, they merged this with Feralia, their celebration of the passing of the dead. As Christianity spread, the Church tried to replace these pagan feasts with official Church holy days. One of these was 1 November. It was called All Saints Day, or 'All Hallows', and 31 October was known as 'All Hallows' Eve', and then Halloween.

Halloween traditions

In the past there was a tradition called 'souling'. Poor people went around houses asking for food. In exchange, they promised to say prayers for the dead. People no longer go souling, but the habit has been transformed into a modern Halloween game for children in the US, who dress up as ghosts, witches and monsters and go around people's houses asking for sweets. This game is called 'Trick or Treat'.

Witches

Halloween wouldn't be fun without witches. Witches have always been part of popular folklore. Shakespeare's play Macbeth opens with three witches. A witch was someone – usually a woman – who had special powers and had dealings with the devil. The American town Salem, in the state of Massachusetts, is famous for the 'witchcraft trials', which took place there in 1692.

Pumpkins

The pumpkin has become a symbol of Halloween. People empty a pumpkin, cut a face into the side and put a candle inside to make a lamp. It's known as a jack-o'-lantern, from an Irish legend about a man called Jack who made a deal with the devil.

Animals

Black cats, frogs, mice and spiders are just some of the animals associated with Halloween. Generally, the more unpleasant the animal, the stronger the Halloween connection. Nocturnal animals like bats are particular favourites, and if, as is the case with vampire bats, they like drinking blood, they are high on the Halloween list.

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Hello
I'm Ha, I come from Viet Nam. We don't have Hallowe'en day but we have Tet day.This is a traditional festival of us. We buy foods to prepare to party in new years, buy new clothes for children and give new money to wish lucky to children and old peoples. in the first day in new year, we go to join party together to wish lucky for everyone.

i would like to celebrate it..i often see such festivals on T.V....b here in mauritius it is not celebrated....there are some parties but children are not interested...all they do is connected with electronics...that is sad to see that this new generation is so different with the old one...they don't know what is fun with friends;i mean real friends not elctronic ones....it is such a pity.:(

The favorite festival in my country is Tet Festival or Vietnamese Lunar New Year. It takes place around 3 days of the Lunar New Year from 1st to 3rd January. People usually decorate the house, re-paint the wall, buy lot of new things, children often are bought new clothes, and given the lucky money. The young people wish the older people live longer. During the Tet, having a lot of folklore games such as chicken fight, sing the folklore song, visit the neighbor, play chess, .... A lot of foods are also given with especial tasted and beautiful,...
Welcome you visit to Vietnam.

I am from Ukraine. We don"t celebrate Halloween. But children who study English do.

my country syria and all arab counties do't celebrate hallowen
we celebrate muslem days

Hi!
I'm from myanmar and this festival is not held widely in our country. Anyway it's interesting.

hi,i'm from iran and  im too intrested in history,specialy history of ancient times please give a lecture about history of romans impire.

I like the Halloween but here in Brasil,isn't very celebrated,have some english school that make it,but i think that in USA,is great,i would to know one day.

Hi I've heard about Halloween but I never celebrate it .As I understand it' a day  of horror .True or not

Hi! I need more information for Halloween please because I have a project. Thank you!

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