Let's learn more about Halloween!
Halloween is celebrated on the 31st October every year. The tradition originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts.
In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints. Soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain.
The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, apple bobbing, wearing costumes and eating treats.
Trick-or-treating is a Halloween ritual where children in “scary” costumes travel from house to house, asking for treats with the phrase "trick or treat". The "treat" is usually some form of chocolate or sweets.
The Celtic people used to carve faces into pumpkins and put candles in them. The light shining out through the carved faces scared away evil spirits. It also showed the way to their homes for the good spirits and for travellers.
Apple bobbing is also called bobbing for apples. It's a game that is traditionally played on Halloween. The game is played by filling a large basin with water and putting apples in the water. Because apples are less dense than water, they will float to the surface. Players then try to catch an apple with their teeth without using their arms.
The Celts believed wearing costumes would intimidate and ward off ghosts or any other evil spirits. This tradition is still carried on today but has become more “Americanised” due to scary Hollywood films. This has resulted in people dressing up as zombies or witches.
Today, our English Language students are celebrating the holiday by having a Halloween party; including apple bobbing, sharing treats and learning about the history of the traditional holiday.