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فصل 02

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CHAPTER TWO

Halloween

Halloween is celebrated on 31 October. It is an exciting event in the United States and in Great Britain. Every American calendar has Halloween marked on it. Halloween has ancient Celtic origins. On the Celtic calendar Samhain was the last day of summer and the last day of the year, 31 October.

The Celtic priests, called Druids, practised religious rituals and magic on Samhain. They also predicted the future.

On this day the Celts made big fires and dressed in scary costumes. They wanted to frighten the evil spirits. They dressed as ghosts, skeletons and witches. They believed that ghosts came out of their tombs on the night of 31 October.

Samhain also became a harvest festival after the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 AD. Christian practices replaced pagan practices. The Christians called 1 November All Hallows’ Day, the day of All Saints. The evening of 31 October was called All Hallows’ Eve. This became Halloween.

At Halloween American children in elementary schools take their costumes and masks to school. Typical Halloween costumes are the witch, ghost, skeleton, monster, vampire or alien. Young people have fun making their own costumes, but some prefer to buy them. In the afternoon the children put on their costumes and have a Halloween party at school. Schools are decorated with pumpkins, ghosts, witches and bats.

It is a popular tradition to make jack o’lanterns out of pumpkins. People put them in front of the windows of their homes. The jack o’lantren is of Celtic origin too. There are funny Halloween games such as ‘bobbing for apples’. Favourite Halloween foods are candied apples, nuts, liquorice, popcorn and pumpkin pie.

American teenagers have a Halloween party in the evening.

The party is usually in the school gymnasium and everyone wears a costume and mask. The best costume usually wins a prize.

In the 19th century Irish immigrants took their Halloween customs to the United States. They introduced the custom of ‘trick-or-treating’. American and British children and teenagers go ‘trick-or-treating’ on Halloween evening. They go from house to house in their costumes and ring doorbells. When the door opens they shout, ‘Trick or treat?’ People usually give them sweets or money. If not, the children play a trick! They write on windows with soap or spray shaving cream on cars and people!

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