The origins of the nameThe festival of Hallowe'en has its roots in Celtic and Roman traditions. Over 2,000 years ago the Celts in Britain, Ireland and parts of France celebrated Samhain to mark the beginning of winter. When the Romans invaded, they merged this with Feralia, their celebration of the passing of the dead. As Christianity spread, the Church tried to replace these pagan feasts with official Church holy days. One of these was November 1. It was called All Saints Day, or "All Hallows", and October 31 was known as "All Hallows' Eve", and then Hallowe'en.
Hallowe'en traditionsIn the past there was a tradition called "souling". Poor people went around houses asking for food. In exchange, they promised to say prayers for the dead. People no longer go souling, but the habit has been transformed into a modern Hallowe'en game for children in America, who dress up as ghosts, witches and monsters and go around people's houses, asking for sweets. This game is called “Trick or Treat’.
WitchesHallowe'en wouldn't be fun without witches. Witches have always been part of popular folklore. Shakespeare's play "Macbeth" opens with three witches. A witch was someone - usually a woman - who had special powers and had dealings with the devil. The American town, Salem, in the state of Massachusetts, is famous for the "witchcraft trials", which took place there in 1692.
PumpkinsThe pumpkin has become a symbol of Hallowe'en. People empty a pumpkin, cut a face into the side, and put a candle inside to make a lamp. It's known as a Jack O' Lantern, from an Irish legend about a man called Jack, who made a deal with the devil.
AnimalsBlack cats, frogs, mice and spiders are just some of the animals associated with Hallowe'en. Generally, the more unpleasant the animal, the stronger the Hallowe'en connection. Nocturnal animals like bats are particular favourites, and if, as is the case with vampire bats, they like drinking blood, they are high on the Hallowe'en list.
Answer these questions:
Where can you find the roots of Halloween?
What celebration is November 1st?
What do children do today on October 31st?
What is a Jack o'Lantern?
Which animals are associated with Halloween?
Now watch this webcast done by an American teacher, a friend of mine, for you. You will learn about candies for Halloween.
how many candies does she mention?
which do you like best?
Are any of them sold in Argentina?
and some games for Halloween:
http://www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish-central-magazine-halloween.htm#links, click on word games and spelloween.
and Lastly a song:
with a quiz:
I hope you enjoy it!!