Dla tych z Was, którzy interesują się kulturą krajów anglojęzycznych postanowiłam stworzyć serię artykułów dotyczących świąt, zwyczajów i ciekawostek. Artykuły te będą pisane po angielsku z uwzględnieniem różnych poziomów zaawansowania. Po każdym z nich znajdziecie mini quiz sprawdzający zrozumienie przeczytanego tekstu. Życzę przyjemnej zabawy z językiem! :)
Halloween is celebrated on the 31st October. The word Halloween comes from All Hallows' Evening also known as Hallowe'en or All Hallows' Eve, which can be translated as All Saints’ Day.
Halloween originates from the ancient Celtic tradition connected with the festival known as Samhain. Samhain was celebrated at the end of the harvest season. It was believed that on the 31st October the worlds of the living and the dead meet each other.
The activities people participate in on the occassion involve: bonfire making, dressing up, throwing fancy dress parties, trick-or-treating, playing tricks, visiting „haunted houses” and carving jack-o-lanterns.
Fancy dress parties
The idea of dressing up as witches, devils, skeletons, deaths, mummies, etc. and wearing weird masks results from the fact that in the past it was the very way of appeasing the dead not to do any harm to the alive. Today, people put on strange costumes, go to parties, visit cemeteries, make bonfires and tell frightening stories.
Trick or treat?
This is the most popular game among kids. Children dress up as well and visit their neighbourhood. They go from house to house screaming: trick or treat?! This is the way they ask for sweets and candies and whether they are not given any, they play various tricks on their neighbours and their possessions.
Another activity is carving out faces in pumpkins and putting the lights inside. These are called jack-o-lanterns. This name comes from an Irish folktale about a man nicknamed Stingy Jack. According to the legend, Stingy Jack invited the devil to have a drink with him but didn’t want to pay the bill. He tricked the devil to turn into a coin so Jack could pay for the drinks. By means of the silver cross Jack was carrying by himself, the devil wasn’t able to return into his previous self until Jack freed him. However, before freeing the devil, Jack manager to set a deal with the devil: he will not be bothered by the devil for a year and his soul will not be taken by the devil when he dies. After a year, Jack deceived the devil the second time and the devil had to promise not to bother Jack for ten more years. When Jack eventually died, he was not allowed neither to heaven nor to hell. He had to walk through the earth carrying a carved turnip with a candle inside to light his way. The custom was brought by the Irish immigrants to the USA and there carving pumpkins became more popular.
Welcome to the Halloween Quiz! Let’s see how much have you found out!
1. What does Halloween mean?
A. All Saints’ Day B. All Souls’ Day C. trick-or-treating
2. Who were the first who introduced Halloween?
A. Americans B. the British C. Celts
3. When was Halloween originally celebrated?
A. in the late summer B. in the early spring C. in autumn
4. Which of the given activities aren’t practised during Halloween?
A. making a fire B. chasing witches C. trick-or-treating
5. Which of them are popular Halloween costumes?
A. witches and monsters B. princesses and dwarves C. Disney characters
6. How can you explain ‘trick or treat’?
A. misbehaving or candies B. screaming loud or candies C. misbehaving or treating well
7. What are jack-o-lanterns?
A. turnips B. pumpkins C. tomatoes
8. Where does this custom come from?
A. Ireland B. England C. the USA
9. What does ‘stingy’ mean?
A. honest B. mean C. generous
10. Where did Stingy Jack end up after death?
A. heaven B. hell C. earth