Halloween is the holiday for English speaking countries and we read an absorbing text and talked about it in the classes.
I prepared an absorbing text for every language level and we talked about it in the classes. The students whose children live in the USA or the UK shared experiences with us about Halloween celebration.
Besides Halloween, there are two more Celtic holidays celebrated around the date of Nov. 31st. Here you go:
The Celtic Roots of the Holidays:
- Halloween (Předvečer všech svatých) – 31.10.
- All Saints‘ Day (Slavnost všech svatých) – 1.11.
- All Souls‘ Day (Dušičky) – 2.11.
All Saints‘ Day and All Souls‘ Day are similar, but they are two different celebrations. On All Saints‘ Day there’s a call to live as saints, to remind us how we should live. On
All Souls‘ Day, we’re talking about all souls and asking God’s mercy for them.
Halloween is celebrated on October 31st. It was originally a pagan holiday that honored the dead. Halloween refers to „All Hallows Evening“ and dates back to over 2000 years ago. All Hallows Evening is the evening before All Saints Day. Christians created this holiday (All Saints Day) to convert pagans and celebrate it on November 1st. The Catholic church honored saints on this announced day.
Halloween culture dates back to the Druids, a Celtic culture in Ireland, Britain and Northern Europe. Roots lay in the feast of Samhain which was the Celtic holiday on October 31st to honor the dead.
It was the Irish who brought the tradition of the Jack O’Lantern (=pumpkin) to America. The practice of carving Jack-o‘-lanterns goes back to the Irish legend of Jack, a lazy but shrewd farmer who tricked the Devil into a tree and didn’t let him down unless the Devil agreed to never let Jack into Hell. The Devil agreed, but when Jack died, he was too sinful to be into Heaven, and the Devil didn‘t let him into Hell. So, Jack carved out one of his turnips, put a candle inside it, and endlessly wandered the Earth for a resting place. He was called as Jack of the Lantern, or Jack-O‘-Lantern. Nowadays the typical Jack-o‘-lantern is a pumpkin.
Stuart Carapola, New Yorker, USA (LIVELY EXPERIENCE)
On Halloween we wear costumes and go trick or treating, so we walk around the neighborhood and ring people’s doorbells, and when they answer the kids go „trick or treat!“ and the people in the house give them candy. A lot of people go to Halloween costume parties, too.
Trick or treating – an American tradition from the 1930s, but its origins lie in medieval Europe. Halloween pranksters used „Trick or treat“ first as the slogan who successfully extracted candy fruit from Reno residents. In return the youngsters offered protection against window soaping.“
Great Britain (UK)
Throughout Britain, Halloween is a traditional celebration where children’s games are played such as bobbing for apples in containers full of water, telling ghost stories and the carving of faces into hollowed-out vegetables such as turnips. Children usually decorate the faces with an illuminated candle with a lantern displayed on window sill to ward off any evil spirits. The current use of pumpkins is a relatively modern innovation imported from the United States.