2 What does Halloween mean? The word Halloween comes from All Hallow Even, or All Hallows’ Eve.Hallow is an old English word for Saint.According to many historians, All Hallows' Eve was a Christian feast, that was initially influenced by Western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead.Although it is not completely clear how the festival began, it is believed to have Christian roots.Today, particularly in London, the religious aspect is less important.It has become an opportunity for young people to dress up and eat sweets.
3 Tradition Halloween is celebrated on October 31st. This tradition goes back to the 18th century.It involved people visiting different houses and wearing costumes.They used to sing songs in exchange for food.As England has become a less religious country, the customs for all festivals have changed.Halloween is no different.
4 The symbols used at Halloween have developed over time. Symbols and CustomsThe symbols used at Halloween have developed over time.Jack ‘O’ Lanterns were originally used to frighten away evil spirits.In Great Britain, Jack-O-Lanterns are traditionally made from turnips. Carving pumpkins began in America in the 1800s because turnips were very expensive. Pumpkins became a symbol for Halloween in the 1900s.Watching Horror films has become a big part of Halloween. Films like Dracula and Frankenstein are seen as part of the modern idea of Halloween.
6 Trick or TreatingTrick or Treating is the biggest part of Halloween where I live in London.Children from all of the local schools knock on the doors of houses that have Halloween decorations.They ask the question: “Trick or Treat?”Trick means doing something to the house or its owner. For example, throwing water balloons.To avoid having a trick played on them, the owner answers, “Treat”, and gives the children sweetsIn some parts of London, Halloween can be very dangerous. Teenagers throw eggs are at houses and set off fireworks in the street.A few years ago, a law was passed to try and stop people Trick or Treating because of this.
7 CostumesHalloween costumes are normally monsters, skeletons or ghosts.
8 ChildrenThe most traditional aspects of Halloween are enjoyed by children up to the age of about 14.Primary school children often make decorations or costumes in school to prepare for ‘trick or treating’ that night.It is common for them to visit all the houses in their local area.Children are reminded that they should only go to houses that have Halloween decorations in. Lots of people don’t want to be disturbed, so they don’t put up decorations.
9 TeenagersFrom the ages of 13 or 14 up to 18, Halloween is a time to be with your friends at home.Themed house parties are very popular.Often people rent scary films and invite large numbers of people over to their house to watch them.‘Trick or treating’ was made illegal for over 14s because of the damage and trouble that was caused across London. Of course, some areas are worse than others, but generally teenagers caused a lot of trouble.
10 StudentsHalloween is one of the most anticipated nights of the year at Universities in the UK.Practically every student dresses up and goes out to whichever club is hosting the party.The dress code is not normally strict, providing you have followed the Halloween theme.It is very common for large numbers of friends to dress up as a single thing. For example, a big group of pumpkins or the cast of a scary film.University is the best place to experience Halloween so lots of underage people try to sneak in. Security are particularly strict when they know it is likely that lots of minors are looking to get in somewhere.
11 Some of my friends’ opinions “I don’t like Halloween. I don’t like it when strangers come to my house and ask me for sweets.”“Halloween is the best night of the year. I do anything to dress up.”“Of course, there are Halloween parties that can be fun. But, I don’t like the festival.”“The history doesn’t interest me. I just like parties with my friends.”“Every year, the world spends about $6bn on Halloween. I think we should cancel it and spend that money on more important things.”
12 LondonHalloween is one of the few times that London really feels like lots of small towns. ‘Trick or treaters’ tend to stick to their local area.It is common to celebrate Halloween with your friends from school. There are so many schools, so there is always a lot going on.As you get older, it is more common to go out to large clubs in central London.
14 SwanseaHalloween in Swansea is the same as at most other universities in the country.There is a club called ‘Oceana’, which usually holds the Halloween party.The sports teams often choose to do fancy dress as a group. So the football club may go as ghosts and the basketball club go as skeletons.In my first year, everybody in the club got given a skeleton outfit and set a world record for most people dressed as skeletons in a single room.