Sunday, 29 September 2013

Travelling into foreign cultures - Halloween

If we want to learn English we have to understand the culture of the places where it is spoken.
It's October....

Halloween is an annual holiday celebrated on October 31st
It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holy day of All Saints. The term derives from “All Hallows Eve” that means “eve of All Saints’ Day”.

Originally Halloween was a pagan festival, people thought that the living and the dead, came in contact on that night. Like most pagan festivals, long ago it was absorbed into the festivals of the expanding Christian church, and became associated with All Hallows Day, or All Saints Day, which fell on November 1st. The celebration of Halloween survived most strongly in Ireland. It was the end of summer festival, and was often celebrated in each community with a bonfire to ward off the evil spirits. Children would go from door to door in disguise as creatures from the underworld to collect treats, mainly fruit or nuts.  

Carving turnips as ghoulish faces to hold candles became a popular part of the festival, which has been adapted to carving pumpkins in America. Nowadays this festival is celebrated in many western countries as the U.K., U.S.A., Canada, New Zeland and Australia. 
 Halloween celebrations in the United Kingdom include parties where guests arrive in a costume. Other people gather together to watch horror films, either at home or at a cinema.
  Some children go trick-or-treating. This means they dress up and go to other peoples' houses, knocking on the door for sweets or a snack. Those who do not give out a treat may be tricked with a joke. 


Today school dances and neighborhood parties called "block parties" are popular among young and old people. More and more adults celebrate Halloween. They dress up as historical or political figures and go to masquerade parties. In larger cities, costumed children and their parents gather at shopping malls early in the evening. Stores and businesses give parties with games and treats for the children. Teenagers enjoy costume dances at their schools. 

And what about you? What do you usually do for Halloween?

Click on this link to see 
 The Best Websites For Learning About Halloween:

Some activities from my students' blog

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Travelling through books

You don’t have to go far away to have new experiences.

“Not all of us can travel the whole globe, but just making travel a priority—even to a new place a day's drive away—can be eye-opening.”

Mark Twain

You can even travel ....staying at home!

 “Reading is like travel, allowing you to exit your own life for a bit, and to come back with a renewed, even inspired, perspective.” Laurie Helgoe 


"Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere."  
Mary Schmich

"Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are."  
Mason Cooley         

"It is not true we have only one life to live…if we can read, we can live as many lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish."   
S.I. Hayakawa


                READING IS...


What is reading for you? 
 Do you feel like travelling when you' re reading?