Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween



Halloween, the time of pumpkins, candies, ghosts, witches and much more, is annually celebrated on 31 October.


That's the night before All Saints Day. Its origins date back thousands of years to the Celtic festival of Samhaim or The Feast of the Sun, a most significant holiday of the Celtic year. This day marked the end of summer but also the season of darkness as well as the beginning of the New Year on 1 November.

Druids in Britain and Ireland would light bonfires, dance around them and offer sacrifices of animal and crops. The fires were also intended to give warmth to the households and to keep free from evil spirits. Through the ages these practices changed.

The Irish hollowed out turnips, placed a light inside to keep away the bad and stingy Jack. As the legend says, Jack was a man who tricked the devil and after Jack had died he was allowed neither in heaven nor in hell. With a lantern in his hand he began to search for a resting place on Earth. This was the original Jack-o-Lantern. Since Halloween came to America from Ireland (Scotland and Wales) people used pumpkins because they were bigger and easier to hollow out than turnips.

During the centuries the cultures have added their own elements to the way Halloween is celebrated.

Children love the custom of dressing-up in fancy costumes and going from door-to-door yelling "Trick-or-Treat". Adults instead join spooky parties which are nearly held all over the cities and villages on that special evening. A spooky decoration, games and "frightening food" are nuts and bolts for a Halloween party your friends won't soon forget.

Ulrike Schroedter wrote the text.

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Word of the Month

Holy

(adj): Sacred, divine, blessed.


Holiday: a holy or festive day; a day off, vacation (also sacred)


Expressions: Holy Cow! Literally true in India.

Ex: Holly Mackerel! Delicious, healthy and full of mercury.

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