Find out some more about the traditional festival of Hallowe'en.

Magazine - Hallowe'en

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Hallowe'en

Hallowe'en 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 Hallowe'en.

The origins of the name

The festival of Hallowe'en 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 November 1. It was called All Saints Day, or "All Hallows", and October 31 was known as "All Hallows' Eve", and then Hallowe'en.

Hallowe'en 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 Hallowe'en game for children in America, 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

Hallowe'en 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 Hallowe'en. 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 Hallowe'en. Generally, the more unpleasant the animal, the stronger the Hallowe'en 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 Hallowe'en list.

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Hi i am from Venezuela, i like this History in my country not many people celebrate Halloween but is good for the children.

I   think hallowe en   is a fantastic day.I saw many move about hallowen day  
 

hello,i come from Thailand actually.  I wholy like all these listening,provided by British Council, and I like improving my skill in listening,but sometimes i need to hear that more than once to right exactly know the meaning without writing whole down. so i need advise to become expert in listening, i mean how to know the meaning whole those things in one listening time and answer all the questions correctly. ?
Could you mind giving any suggetion? Thanks.

Hello Xanaraz.Yeah, it's true but i love halloween.I want to wear witch costumes or other monsters costums.

Hello.I'm from Azerbaijan.But in Azerbaijan doesn't celebrate Halloween.I love halloween
 

think of mine i don't love it or like it

hello maryusa :
for what do you want celebrate halloween . you have the great nowrooz celebrate .
araz from tabriz

Hi everybody, I'm from Hungary and the Halloween celebrating is getting spread very fast in my country. Almost past ten years related to that holiday the number of pumpkins festival is grown. Besides, much more holiday have been implemented from USA.
Viktória

I'm from Mexico and we do celebrate Halloween actually is very interesting .People set offers to their dead relatives in these offers people place   food their relative used to like .halloween is a huge Holliday

Hello, I'm from Indonesia. I think it's cool. Because in my country, everyone not do it :) And i know Hallowe'en filled with mistic's story and trick or treat  :D hahaha
And a pumpkin with scared face ~Jack O'Lantern  O.o" 

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