Days and days past, I’m not a child any longer. But I still remember that Halloween, 31st October 2001. That was Saturday. I went to study English with an American girl named Debby as usual. We had 5 students altogether. Before that week, Debby had already told us to learn something about Halloween ourselves. On that day, Debby spent an hour describing this American festival for us, such as “trick or cheat”, pumpkin and even, she took a pumpkin with her. First she took out a finished pumpkin lantern. That was really beautiful and ugly, we liked it so much. Then she taught us how to make a pumpkin lantern by ourselves. We each held a small knife, learnt to cut and draw something on that pumpkin. Finally, we made it and put a short candle into it. That was truly happy. And the most surprising thing was that the lantern was a present for that day’s super student. Who will that be? My god! That was me! Do you know how excited I was then? I held it, jumping and shouting. That was the most unforgettable day to me. And I will not forget it, never!
When the harvest moon rises on October 31, little hobgoblins, spooky ghosts, ghoulish witches and gremlins — their young faces hidden behind grotesque masks — will go forth to frighten friends and neighbors and to threaten them with "Trick or Treat ".
Halloween (AII Hallows Eve) as the name implies, is a nighttime holiday, the one night in the year when the child's world turns to pure fantasy. Children take all the lead parts while parents and other adults play the supporting roles. Encouraged by teachers and merchants and the remembrance of the good time they had the earlier year, children (from 3 to 11 years old) start preparing their costumes and Halloween decorations weeks ahead. Although parents help the children very much prepare the costumes, on Halloween they must pretend to be frightened by the masked visions that suddenly appear. There will be little witches in long black dresses with tall-pointed hats and magic broomsticks to carry them over the rooftops — to a neighbor's house in the next block. Ghosts in sheets run with tell-tale sneakers and half socks showing; and terrible pirates with skull and cross-bones painted on their three-cornered hats. Some carry jack-o'-lanterns but all carry bags or UNICEF boxes marked "Trick or Treat", which fill up very fast.
Teenagers have their fun playing tricks that sometimes get rather rough. They throw eggs or tomatoes at passing motorists , mark up windows and windshields with hard-to-erase candle wax, roll pumpkins down long hills, carry away porch furniture and garbage can covers, engrave graffiti on fences, or do whatever bad things occur to them as they go around looking for ways to "let off steam". Police officers are alert but they only arrest those caught doing real damage. In most communities there are school dances or block parties to help redirect the energies of the youthful pranksters. Business firms offer prizes for the best costumes and recreation directors help plan the party
y, but the young people themselves take charge of the entertainment and the decorations — a necessary part of Halloween. Dried corn stalks, pumpkin faces, and piles of apples create the harvest atmosphere; and cutouts of witches on their brooms, goblins, ghosts and black cats symbolize the witchcraft aspect of the holiday. The freshments — apple cider, popcorn and pumpkin pie, and witches made of spicy ginger cookies — also carry out both themes.
There is an occasional adult Halloween Dance in a bright orange and black setting, with paper-made black cats, witches and grinning skeletons floating above the dance floor. But Halloween has become mainly a young people's holiday — and the younger the child the more exciting he finds it.
One story about Jack, an Irishman, who was not allowed into Heaven because he was stingy with his money. So he was sent to hell. But down there he played tricks on the Devil (Satan), so he was kicked out of Hell and made to walk the earth forever carrying a lantern.
Well, Irish children made Jack's lanterns on October 31st from a large potato or turnip, hollowed out with the sides having holes and lit by little candles inside. And Irish children would carry them as they went from house to house begging for food for the village Halloween festival that honored the Druid god Muck Olla. The Irish name for these lanterns was "Jack with the lantern" or "Jack of the lantern," abbreviated as " Jack-o'-lantern" and now spelled "jack-o-lantern."
The traditional Halloween you can read about in most books was just children's fun night. Halloween celebrations would start in October in every elementary school.
Halloween is a western festival. It’s on Oct.31th. It’s a happy time for children because at night they put on the masks to attend the party. After the party, they knock at someone’s door and say: “trick or tread”. It means if you don’t give me the candies, I will play trick on you! At last kids can get enough candies for one year.
Halloween means Hallows' Evening. It is the evening before All Hallows' Day (now called All Saints'Day) , a Christian holiday, celebrated on the November 1st.
History traces Halloween back to the ancient religion of the Celtics. The Celts were the ancestors of the present-day Irish, Welshand Scottish people. In the 5th century BC, in Celtic Ireland, summer officially ended on October 31st. On the November 1st, Celtic peoples celebrated the festival of Samhain,which marked the beginning of winter and the Celtic New Year. Celts thought the division between the natural world and the supernatural world became very thin and all time and space was abruptly suspended on October31st, and then the spirits of the died would come back and move freely looking for living bodies to possess.
Halloween is for the "All Hallow's Evening". However, due to various reasons, Halloween has become the year's most popular and oneof the most popular festivals, and many players with great enthusiasm to celebrate this holiday.
Halloween in the October 31, in fact, praise and autumn festivals like Beltane is the festival of spring like the praise. Of ancient Gaul, Britain and Ireland priest - druid to have a grand festival praise of autumn, from October 31 beginning at midnight the following day, November 1 continued all day. In their view, that night they are a great Death - Salman to that year were all summoned the ghost of dead people, these evil spirits are subject to care for the Livestock Health and punishment. Of course, as long asthe thought of such a gathering of ghosts, it was enough to make fools of those simple-minded understanding of the heart bile war.So they lit the sky of the bonfire, and close surveillance of these evil spirits.
Halloween witches and ghosts everywhere to say is just the beginning. So far in Europe, there are some isolated areas where peoplebelieve it is true. Ancient Rome in November 1 there is also a holiday, which is used to pay tribute to their goddess of Bo Mona. They bear ribs roasted nuts and apples before the bonfire. Our own Halloween seems to be a holiday by the Romans and the druid's holiday blend made of. Halloween activities in the original is very simple, and mostly in the church carried out. However, in the whole of Europe, it is regarded as a Halloween enjoy slapstick, Jiangguigushi and a good opportunity to scare each other. So peoplewill no longer be used to praise this Autumn Festival, but it becomes supernatural, witches and ghosts festival.
Halloween is an autumn holiday that Americans celebrate every year. It means "holy evening," and it comes every October 31, the evening before All Saints' Day. However, it is not really a church holiday, it is a holiday for children mainly.
Every autumn, when the vegetables are ready to eat, children pick large orange pumpkins. Then they cut faces in the pumpkins and put a burning candle inside. It looks as if there were a person looking out of the pumpkin! These lights are called jack-o'-lanterns, which means "Jack of the lantern".
The children also put on strange masks and frightening costumes every Halloween. Some children paint their faces to look like monsters. Then they carry boxes or bags from house to house. Every time they come to a new house, they say,"Trick or treat! Money or eat!" The grown-ups put treat-money or candy in their bags.
Not only children, but most grown-ups also love Halloween and Halloween parties because on this day,they can disguise themselves as personages or ghost as their imaginations will lead them. This bring them the satisfaction of being young.
halloween has always been a holiday filled with mystery, magic and superstition. it began as a celtic end-of-summer festival during which people felt especially close to deceased relatives and friends. for these friendly spirits, they set places at the dinner table, left treats on doorsteps and along the side of the road and lit candles to help loved ones find their way back to the spirit world.
today's halloween ghosts are often depicted as more fearsome and malevolent, and our customs and superstitions are scarier too. we avoid crossing paths with black cats, afraid that they might bring us bad luck. this idea has its roots in the middle ages, when many people believed that witches avoided detection by turning themselves into cats. we try not to walk under ladders for the same reason. this superstition may have come from the ancient egyptians, who believed that triangles were sacred; it also may have something to do with the fact that walking under a leaning ladder tends to be fairly unsafe. and around halloween, especially, we try to avoid breaking mirrors, stepping on cracks in the road or spilling salt.
but what about the halloween traditions and beliefs that today's trick-or-treaters have forgotten all about? many of these obsolete rituals focused on the future instead of the past and the living instead of the dead. in particular, many had to do with helping young women identify their future husbands and reassuring them that they would someday--with luck, by next halloween!--be married.
in 18th-century ireland, a matchmaking cook might bury a ring in her mashed potatoes on halloween night, hoping to bring true love to the diner who found it. in scotland, fortune-tellers recommended that an eligible young woman name a hazelnut for each of her suitors and then toss the nuts into the fireplace. the nut that burned to ashes rather than popping or exploding, the story went, represented the girl's future husband. (in some versions of this legend, confusingly, the opposite was true: the nut that burned away symbolized a love that would not last.) another tale had it that if a young woman ate a sugary concoction made out of walnuts, hazelnuts and nutmeg before bed on halloween night, she would dream about her future husband. young women tossed apple-peels over their shoulders, hoping that the peels would fall on the floor in the shape of their future husbands' initials; tried to learn about their futures by peering at egg yolks floating in a bowl of water; and stood in front of mirrors in darkened rooms, holding candles and looking over their shoulders for their husbands' faces.
other rituals were more competitive. at some halloween parties, the first guest to find a burr on a chestnut-hunt would be the first to marry; at others, the first successful apple-bobber would be the first down the aisle.
of course, whether we're asking for romantic advice or trying to avoid seven years of bad luck, each one of these halloween superstitions relies on the good will of the very same "spirits" whose presence the early celts felt so keenly. ours is not such a different holiday after all!
halloween's origins date back to the ancient celtic festival of samhain (pronounced sow-in).
the celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now ireland, the united kingdom, and northern france, celebrated their new year on november 1. this day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. on the night of october 31, they celebrated samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. in addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the druids, or celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. for a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.
to commemorate the event, druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the celtic deities.
during the celebration, the celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. when the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.
by a.d. 43, romans had conquered the majority of celtic territory. in the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the celtic lands, two festivals of roman origin were combined with the traditional celtic celebration of samhain.
the first was feralia, a day in late october when the romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. the second was a day to honor pomona, the roman goddess of fruit and trees. the symbol of pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on halloween.
by the 800s, the influence of christianity had spread into celtic lands. in the seventh century, pope boniface iv designated november 1 all saints' day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. it is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. the celebration was also called all-hallows or all-hallowmas (from middle english alholowmesse meaning all saints' day) and the night before it, the night of samhain, began to be called all-hallows eve and, eventually, halloween. even later, in a.d. 1000, the church would make november 2 all souls' day, a day to honor the dead. it was celebrated similarly to samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. together, the three celebrations, the eve of all saints', all saints', and all souls', were called hallowmas.
Children in costumes race from house to house asking for treats. A carved pumpkin， called a jack-o'-lantern， grins from a porch as the children pass. According to legend， jack-o'-lanterns protect people in their homes from ghostly spirits.
It's all part of the fun on Halloween! The roots of Halloween stretch back thousands of years and borrow customs from several parts of the world.
WHAT IS HALLOWEEN?
Halloween is a holiday celebrated on October 31. By tradition，Halloween begins after sunset. Long ago， people believed that witches gathered together and ghosts roamed the world on Halloween. Today， most people no longer believe in ghosts and witches. But these supernatural beings are still a part of Halloween.
The colors black and orange are also a part of Halloween. Black is a symbol for night and orange is the color of pumpkins. A jack-o'-lantern is a hollowed-out pumpkin with a face carved on one side. Candles are usually placed inside， giving the face a spooky glow.
DRESSING IN COSTUMES
Dressing in masks and costumes is a popular Halloween activity. Costumes can be traditional and scary， such as a witch's pointy hat and black gown. Costumes may also have a modern flavor. Many children dress up as movie characters or a favorite superhero.
But Halloween is not just for children. Many adults enjoy showing off their costumes at Halloween parties!
Once in costume， children go from house to house saying "Trick or treat!" In the past，children might play a "trick" on people who did not give treats. They might pelt houses with eggs or old tomatoes， or play other pranks. Today， children's cries of "Trick or treat!" are usually rewarded with candy.
One of the oldest Halloween traditions comes from the ancient Celts， who lived in western and central Europe long ago. The Celts celebrated a holiday called Samhain on October 31. After sunset that day， people believed that spirits of the dead would rise and walk the earth. The Celts made offerings of food and drink to keep the spirits away.
Beginning about 2，000 years ago， the Roman Empire conquered many Celtic peoples. But Celtic traditions， including Samhain， remained strong in areas such as Ireland and Scotland， even after the Roman conquest.
The Roman Catholic Church tried to replace Samhain in 835 with All Saints' Day， a day to honor saints of the Church. The eve of All Saints' Day is October 31. It is called Allhallows or Hallowmas by the Church.
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