Halloween originated in ancient Britain, where an ancient society of people called the Celts celebrated a holiday called Samhain, meaning "end of summer." The Celts held bonfires and enormous feasts to celebrate the fall harvest and the beginning of winter. They believed that spirits and other magical creatures roamed Earth during this time.
Then in 835 C.E., Pope Gregory IV decided to designate November 1st as a day to remember all Christian saints. It was called All Saints Day or All Hallows' Day. So October 31st was called All Hallows' Eve, later shortened to Hallowe'en.
Halloween gradually became popular throughout Western Europe. It combined elements of Samhain, other traditional harvest festivals, the celebration of dead saints and ancient pagan beliefs about spirits roaming Earth. People placed food outside their homes on Halloween to feed the spirits and keep them from entering. This was the beginning of trick-or-treating! Carving pumpkins and dressing up in ghoulish costumes was also meant to scare away the dead. On October 31 there are loads of Halloween traditions. If you go to a party, expect stuff like:
◆ Scary, fancy costumes
◆Making pumpkin lanterns
◆Trick or treating
◆Bobbing for apples
◆Telling ghost stories Before reading:
1. Do you know which date Halloween is on?
2. What do people use to make a jack-o’-lantern?
3. What kind of costume will you wear this year?
1. What do the colors orange and black stand for?
2. Where did Halloween start?
3. What do kids say when they ask for candy? Class activity:
1. Design a Halloween costume by yourself.
2. Tell ghost stories to your classmates.