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


  1. Hi Roberta,
    When I was young, no-one really celebrated Halloween much in the UK but these days it's much more popular. Some children go trick or treating and dress up. Some teenagers use it as an excuse to throw eggs at buildings and things! It's still nowhere near as popular as in the US though and I've never had anything come to my house where I live in a village.
    Lindsay (Cambridge)

    1. Hi Lindsay,
      in Italy nobody even knew what Halloween was until a few years ago...
      Now every child or teenager celebrates it! On October 31st many children come to my door trick-or-treating!!

  2. that's a cool notice!! Now I know what Halloween means!!! Tanks

  3. It sounds a great idea to travel into foreign culture especially on Halloween so it's great. affordable jfk parking deals