The Good Word: Hallowe’en

DIY Pumpkin for Halloween

Learning English isn’t scary. Unless you want it to be…

On October 31st, many celebrate Halloween. The holiday is popular worldwide, especially for monsters who finally get a chance to be themselves.

The origins of Halloween are not entirely certain — some say it is an ancient Christian holiday, while others say that it has pagan roots. At its essence, it seems to be a commemoration of the dead, and cousin to traditions like ‘Toussaint’, ‘All Saint’s day’, and even ‘El Dia de Los Muertos’.

The basic idea of these holidays is to pay homage to the dead, and blur the lines between the living and the dead. America has of course managed to add consumerism and candy to the equation.

Halloween traditions differ for young people and adults, but for both — costumes and disguises are involved. The idea is to amuse or frighten people enough for them to give you candy. Costume parties are common for adults, and sexy or creative costumes seem to be appreciated.

For the ultimate low-budget, do-it-yourself costume, we suggest a white sheet with holes for your eyes. Boom, you’re a ghost. Bonus: you can sleep wherever you want afterwards, especially if you find someone dressed as a blanket. Other popular costumes: witches, goblins, werewolves, warlocks and goblins, and other scary creatures. Donald Trump will surely be a popular costume this year.

halloween two masked men

The mascot or symbol of Halloween is the Jack O Lantern– a carved pumpkin with a light inside. These are displayed in windows or on your front steps to show the Halloween spirit. You should throw them away in early November. They start to smell around Nov. 3rd.

For kids, the ultimate Halloween activity is ‘Trick or Treating’: Kids wearing costumes will walk around town, ring doorbells and shout ‘trick or treat’, meaning — either give me candy or a ‘trick’. Spoiler alert: These kids want candy. Not tricks. For this day at least, kids seem to be running the show.

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