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  • 1. Halloween: Tricks, treats and traditions By Vampire Viola
  • 2. What do you know? How old do you think the celebration of Halloween is? What’s your best guess? Do you know where the holiday originated, or how it’s changed over the years? Get ready to find out! Halloween celebrations date back to the ancient Celts. That’s about 2000 years ago! They called it Samhain (sow-en). Halloween isn’t a new holiday, but how did it become what it is today?
  • 3. Haunted Beginnings The Celts lived in modern Ireland, England, Northern France and even parts of Spain. They believed that on the 31st of October spirits (ghosts) came back to visit the living; this is called “haunting.” Some ghosts were good and others were evil (bad). To frighten away the evil spirits, the ancient Celts wore scary masks when they went outside at night on the 31st. Later, in the 800’s, Pope Boniface IV created the holiday All Saints’ Day on November 1st to celebrate the saints and martyrs. Martyrs are people who die defending their religion (Christianity). In English, All Saints’ Day was also known as “All Hallows.” “Hallow” means holy or sacred. The day before All Hallows was called All Hallows Eve (just like Christmas Eve or New Years Eve). Eventually the name was shortened to “Halloween.”
  • 4. Halloween in the USA Immigrants from Europe brought Halloween to the United States, but it wasn’t until the mid 1800’s when Halloween became popular across the country. Little by little, Halloween in the USA began to change. By the beginning of the 20th century, it was no longer a religious holiday, but still a community-centered holiday. People had Halloween parties and there were town parades. Children who dress up in costurmes and ask for candy are called “trick or treaters”
  • 5. Treats and Traditions In the 1950’s Halloween became more focused on young children. The old British Halloween tradition of going from house to house asking for food or money was revived in the form of “trick-or-treating.” This is when children dressed in costumes knock on their neighbors’ doors asking for candy with the phrase, “Trick or treat?!” Americans spend $6.9 billion annually on Halloween candy! Carmel apples and candy corn are traditional Halloween treats.
  • 6. Spooky symbols What are some scary Halloween symbols? Here’s some vicious vocabulary for the season. Pumpkin Mummy Bat Ghost Vampire Black cat Werewolf Witch Haunted House
  • 7. Jack O’Lantern One of the most famous symbols of Halloween is the jack-o-lantern, but why? According to Irish legend, Stingy Jack was a very clever man who tricked the devil several times. When he died the devil punished him. His spirit had to roam the night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal in a carved out turnip to create a lantern (lamp). He became known as Jack of the Lantern. People made their own lanterns like Jack’s to scare away his ghost and other evil spirits. When colonists arrived in America, they discovered that pumpkins were perfect for making “jack-o-lanterns.”
  • 8. Creepy creativity Now people carve pumpkins in all different ways, not just the traditional jack-o-lantern face.
  • 9. Putrid Pop quiz: How old are Halloween celebrations? What was the Celtic holiday called? Where does the name Halloween come from? What does “haunt” mean? How about “scary” and “treat”? Can you name some Halloween symbols? What is a lantern? Do you remember the story of Stingy Jack? What are some traditional Halloweeen treats? Why do people wear costumes at Halloween? How do Americans celebrate Halloween? What are trick-or-treaters?