Hallowe’en is on the evening of October 31st.
- It is festival that celebrates ghosts, monsters, and the undead. This is because it was believed, a long time ago, that on this night souls and spirits from the other world could enter into this world. Good food was laid out for positive spirits, while costumes were worn to scare or disguise one’s self from evil spirits.
- It has been celebrated in the UK for a couple of hundred years, and has spread to other English-speaking countries. Recently it is also celebrated in many other countries, although as more of a day for dressing up and eating sweets, rather than anything scary.
- Activities at Hallowe’en include: dressing up in costume; guising (now often called ‘trick-or-treating’); carving jack-o-lanterns (lanterns made from pumpkins); bobbing for apples; and watching scary movies. Dressing up and getting sweats both come from the old traditions.
- Quite a few people say that Hallowe’en has become too sanitised (too clean): in older times people would dress up as scary things, and children would go out at night with only their friends as company. Adults would try to make the outside of the house look scary. Now, people dress as all sorts of silly things, and kids go out during the day, with their parents. ‘Trunk and treating’ – in which parents park cars next to each other and hand out candy – is perhaps the worst example of a ‘safe’ Hallowe’en.
- The day after Hallowe’en is All Saints Day, an important day in the Christian religion.