Boo! Happy Halloween! It’s time to get scary and eat your favorite candy. I just love this holiday. Do you know what Halloween is and where it came from? Let’s take a quick look at where ‘Halloween’, or ‘All Hallows Eve’, came from as well as learning some relevant new vocabulary.
Many will argue about where exactly this holiday came from, but within Christian tradition it was once a day to celebrate and honor the saints, and a time to pray for those who hadn’t reached heaven yet.
The holy day spread across Europe and traditions started being established. One of those traditions was to ring bells for the souls who were stuck in ‘purgatory’ (a state of punishment). There was also the baking of ‘soul cakes’ that were handed out by children going from door to door to see their neighbors. These were offerings for prayers for those who were in purgatory.
This action is perhaps where today’s ‘trick-or-treating’ tradition comes from. Trick-or-Treat is an observed tradition in many countries, and sees kids dress up in costumes and go door-to-door saying, “Trick-or-Treat!” In return, the children get some kind of candy (US) or sweets (UK). Costumes are worn in all shapes, sizes, and styles. Children and adults wear all kinds of costumes, from vampires to cats, and super heroes to food items.
For Halloween some people will also decorate their homes and front yards, turning them into spooky and scary spectacles. Perhaps there will be a skeleton to greet you at the front door, or maybe a fake graveyard displayed in front of someone’s home. Many associate witches, vampires, ghosts and werewolves with this holiday as they can all be terrifying creatures of the night.
The main food item associated with Halloween, besides candy, is the pumpkin. Many people will carve their pumpkins into scary faces and often turn the pumpkin flesh into a dish, like pumpkin pie.
This all might seem super weird to someone who has never celebrated Halloween before, or perhaps has never even heard of it. Does your country celebrate this holiday? How does it differ from the way we celebrate it in America? Are you scared of Halloween?
Tell us about how you mark Halloween. How did it go and what did you do? What costume did you wear? Can’t wait to hear about your creepy and spooky Halloween night!