This time of the year is my favorite. The trees change colours to yellow, red, orange and magenta pink. It is starting getting darker, and the shops tempt with candle smell to get inside and be cozy. Starbucks offers pumpkin spice coffee just this time of year. This is also the time for ghost stories and tours to haunted places in town. And finally the best, kids and adults wear costumes and go trick or treating.
Where does Halloween come from?
Halloween or All Hallow’s Eve is one of the oldest holidays dating from the 5th century BC, and has pagan and religious roots. It was the Gaelic harvest celebration, called Samhain. They celebrated it at the end of the growing season and at the beginning of winter in Celtic England, Ireland, and Scotland. Many Celts believed the barriers between the natural world and the supernatural world vanished with Samhein and that the dead could walk among the living. People were lighting fires, dressing in animal costumes, and telling each other’s fortunes. Later, the holiday changed because the Catholic Church turned November 1st into a religious holiday called “All Saint’s Day” what now we call Halloween.
First American Halloween Parties
American colonists brought Halloween to the United States. All Hallow’s Eve became a time for “play parties”, which were private parties thrown to celebrate the harvest. Many dressed in costume and told scary stories.
Today, Americans spend about $6 billion annually on Halloween costumes and candy, second only to Christmas. It looks like mass media and marketing took over Halloween. The shops tempt with scary movies, books, costumes and decor, which made the celebrations very commercial. Lot of people decorate their front yard with scary items, like skeletons, vampires, witches, and spiders. Some houses look like haunted houses, full of spider nets and ghosts. It is fun time filled with pumpkin carving, dressing up, and receiving candy. Americans have a tremendous sense of humour in choosing the costume. You can meet an alien abduction costume, and a kid sitting on a toilet disguise. They dress whole families up. Today, I met a family dressed as dalmatians. Even the dogs have their Halloween costumes.
Happy Halloween everybody!
ghost – the soul of a dead person, a disembodied spirit imagined, usually as a vague, shadowy or evanescent form, as wandering among or haunting living persons (duch)
haunted – inhabited or frequented by ghosts (nawiedzony)
trick or treat – a children’s Halloween custom, in which they call on neighbors, using this phrase, and threaten to play a trick if a treat is not given (cukierek albo p
pagan – one of a people or community observing a polytheistic religion, as the ancient Romans and Greeks (pogański)
roots – going back to the origins of a style (korzenie)
supernatural – of, relating to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal (nadprzyrodzony)
vanish – to disappear from sight (zniknąć)
tell somebody’s fortune – tell somebody’s destiny (przepowiedzieć przyszłość, wróżyć)
All Saint’s Day– in the Christian church, a day commemorating all saints (Dzień Wszystkich Świętych)
harvest – the season when ripened crops are gathered (żniwa)
take over – seizing control (przejąć)
carve – to cut (a solid material) so as to form something (rzeźbić)