Find out some more about the traditional festival of Halloween.

Instructions

Do the preparation task first. Then read the article and do the exercise.

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.

Download

Discussion

Tags

Comments

Even Halloween is a famous festival in my country,but I don't celebrate this festival because I don't like the dark things.

This is an interesting topic for me. I am from Korea. I know that the Halloween is getting popular among young people. I have seen many young people dressing like a monster, witches or animals. Personally, I haven't celebrated or participated in any Halloween parties so far in Korea. Since I work at an international school in China and my son, 4 years old, is studying where I work, I will have more chances to participate in such a party with my son.

hello ,I'am from tunisia I like holloween really it's a great festival , every year we celebrate halloween in night clubs where we can enjoy it with friends

Hello everyone,
Firstly İ am from Turkey. this festival not celebrate in my country.Perhaps you can just see to festival at some bar or night clup in Turkey. And many people dont know Hallowen in my country.
Secondly , I think hallowen is very fun celebration. I wish we want to celebrate :) .

I am from China, nowadays more and more companies celebrate Hallowe'en in China. I think it is a way to relax from everyday's work. But in the family, we do not celebrate this festival.

I have never celebrated Halloween, because i come from Vietnam where there isn't Halloween festival. Although i have lived in Germany for 2 year but i missed twice to join it. I and my girl friend arrange the Halloween this year together. We are going to disguise two beautiful witches. In Germany i like October-fest that is a beer festival. We wear the traditional dress and go to the fest. There we can play adventure games. We eat nothing there because it is so expensive!

I am from Cambodia. I never celebrate this festival before,but I also want to join it someday. I think Halloween will be popular in my country,because I see some of my friend tried to make up like vampire last year. And this year I will join them

Hello! I am from Romania. I think Halloween is a great festival for all the people.It is great for us because it is a reason to cheer us up. I had never been in a party Halloween . But this year I want go. In my country we celebrate Halloween in every year on 30 October.The people go in club , they wear scary clothes. In schools children also celebrate Halloween. They prepare pumkins in schools with teacher.Here in Romania pumkins are a symbol of Halloween. My favourite festival in my country is Easter. Thake you!

in my country (Afghanistan), we celebrate two Eids. Eidul fiter and Eidul Adha. each Eid is celebrating for 3 days.

We dont celebrate Halloween there in Kazakhstan,but our head class teacher teachs us english(I am not sure if I caklled it right and if there is such thing in english-speaking countries, but it is a teacher who takes care of us taking apart in events, and solves problems like fighting, bad abilities at some subjects,bahaviour issuies and other stuff), and she wants us to know more about USA and UK culture so we have a little class celebration and do presentations about such festivals as a Guy Fawckes Day, Cristmas etc

Pages