In October many shop windows in Britain turn orange and black, with pumpkins, witches, broomsticks and cats. What do young people do to celebrate Halloween? Read this article to find out.

Flying witches, pumpkin lanterns, trick or treat ... What do you know about Halloween? Here are some Halloween facts to get started.

  • Halloween is celebrated on 31 October. This isn’t a public holiday in Britain.
  • Halloween is the night before the Catholic festival of All Saints and the pagan Celtic festival of Samhain (1 November).
  • Halloween is also sometimes called All Hallows’ Eve or All Hallowtide and can also be written Hallowe’en.
  • Halloween colours are orange and black. Orange is related to harvests because the end of October is the end of the harvest. Black is related to death.

In the UK Halloween traditions are very much alive and popular, especially amongst kids and teenagers. We looked at some of the most common.

Pumpkin lanterns

These are pumpkins with the inside removed and eyes, mouth and a nose cut into one side. A candle is placed inside the empty pumpkin and the light creates a scary face effect. In the past people used potatoes or turnips to make lanterns but nowadays pumpkins are more popular. They are easier to cut and you can buy them in supermarkets. People use pumpkin lanterns to decorate their homes at Halloween. Do people actually eat their pumpkins? Yes, they do! Pumpkin soup and pumpkin curry are very popular meals at this time of year.

Apple bobbing

To play this game, lots of apples are placed in a large tub or bowl of water. The competitors have to take a bite from one of the apples without using their hands. To make this more difficult, the competitors have their eyes covered with a scarf. You are not allowed to use the sides of the bowl to help you bite the apple. This game often involves getting very wet so it's a good idea to bring a towel!

Apple bobbing may be related to the ancient Roman festival of remembering the dead, which was also in October. The Romans remembered the goddess of trees and fruit, called Pomona. When they came to the UK, about 2,000 years ago, they continued with this tradition.

Dressing up

People of all ages dress up on Halloween. The most popular fancy dress costumes include witches, vampires, ghosts, skeletons, zombies and monsters. You can buy a costume from a shop or you can make your own one at home. It’s easy to make a ghost costume from an old white sheet or wear black clothes to look like a witch. You can even paint ‘blood’ dripping from your mouth using bright red tomato ketchup to look like a vampire! What would you choose? Rachel, 14, from Liverpool says, ‘If you go trick or treating it’s best to dress up as a witch. You don’t need a bag for the sweets – you can just use your witch’s hat!’

Trick or treating

Children dress up and then visit the houses in their neighbourhood asking for a ‘trick or treat’. The neighbour gives them sweets or money as a ‘treat’. If there is no treat, the children play a trick on the neighbour, for example they might throw soap at the window. Some people think that playing tricks is unkind but luckily there is nearly always a treat. This custom is imported from the USA and is more popular with young people than with adults. The police in some parts of Britain give out ‘No trick or treat, please!’ posters for people to display on their door if they don’t want to join in. Young children usually go trick or treating with parents or an older brother or sister.

Halloween parties

If you are in Sheffield, in the north of England, at the end of October you can go to Fright Night. What is Fright Night? People in Sheffield say it’s ‘Britain’s Biggest Halloween Party’ and it attracts about 40,000 people each year. There are activities for kids, teenagers and adults including a fancy dress catwalk, urban dance, a monster in the fountain and a zombie garden, as well as the traditional apple bobbing and a competition for the best pumpkin lantern. If you don’t have a big Halloween party in your area, some people have parties at home or at youth clubs where they dress up and play scary games or tell ghost stories.

Watch a horror film

Not in the mood for a Halloween party? Older teenagers that aren’t helping their younger sisters and brothers to trick or treat sometimes watch a scary film with friends either at home or at the cinema. Any film with the words ‘Halloween’, ‘Vampire’, ‘Dead’ or ‘Zombie’ in the title is probably going to be quite scary.

In the UK films are divided into categories depending on whether they are for children, teens or adults. ‘U’ films are suitable for all ages, ‘15’ films are for people aged 15 or over and ‘18’ films are for adults only. Many cinemas in the UK show old black-and-white, classic horror films such as Psycho on the night of 31 October. Interestingly, you needed to be over 18 to see Psycho at the cinema in 1960. Now, though, the film has a ‘15’ rating.

Happy Halloween!


Do you celebrate Halloween?


CoolPink's picture
CoolPink 15 October, 2015 - 18:24

In our country does not celebrate Halloween but because the town where I live small, we launched an initiative and is now celebrated. All bars are arranged in the spirit of Halloween and monsters and there is a special café in which you can go to get a mask. Upon completion of collecting all the candy they eat in 5 minutes.

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ScattyLittleWarrior's picture
ScattyLittleWarrior 15 October, 2015 - 16:08

Soo in love with Halloween! I love those witch and ghosts things, but in our country, Slovakia we don´t celebrate Halloween much. We celebrate day of our dead family, we go to cemetery and thing of them.

That means: no ghosts, no witches, no Halloween. :(

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IloveallinConan's picture
IloveallinConan 21 November, 2014 - 12:07

In Vietnam, not have Halloween. Halloween, you read the detective stories such as Conan is great. That's my opinion for you Halloween.

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Teatowel's picture
Teatowel 10 November, 2014 - 23:21

Hellos peoples of the Englishness, my names teatowel and I live in Atlantis, in atloontis, we cealabreate holowoon in da water. I Romany soalabrate its with my friends and we goo track or toooooting around the beybourhood. I normally eat losses od ogre slime.

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azul's picture
azul 26 October, 2014 - 20:47

I´m Lucia
I celebrate hallowen because I love going to my friends house to house saying "trick or treat"
It´s a fun party|

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greeneyes's picture
greeneyes 26 October, 2014 - 17:06

In Halloween I go with my friends to ask treak or tread. Normaly I fall to sleep in my friends´ hause

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santaspascuaplins 26 October, 2014 - 16:28

I´m Alma.
I celebrate halloween.
In halloween i go to my village whith my friends. We put on a costume for halloween and we go from house to house saying "Trick or Treat"to all the neighbours. We have a lot of fun.
I love halloween.I can't wait for that day to come.

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adorable1407's picture
adorable1407 26 October, 2014 - 15:20

In my country, Halloween is becaming more and more popular. But I don't celebrate it. But everyone how does...enjoy! :)

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hanies1904's picture
hanies1904 26 October, 2014 - 02:30

We can celebrate Halloween in my country but most of the families don't like it so they don't celebrate it. But the children usually buy Halloween things to play trick on each other.

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pitufa's picture
pitufa 25 October, 2014 - 20:26

Hi Ofelia,I´m Nerea .
I like Halloween because I usually go dress up of a zombie or a gothic . I also like because I meet friends and we visit houses of neighbours and we asking ``Trick or treat ´´ .

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gordii's picture
gordii 25 October, 2014 - 16:19

Hi Ofelia
I celebrate halloween with my friends.I like to celebrate halloween because i go with my friends to ask for sweets,and we do a party in a friend house.
I really love halloween!

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didisusy's picture
didisusy 25 October, 2014 - 11:34

Hi I'm Diana Ofelia. Ilike halloween but I usually go to Santander or Galicia because because there are three holidays, then I do not celebrate

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pitufito's picture
pitufito 25 October, 2014 - 11:29

hi Ofelia , i´m Elisa.
I like Halloween because ask Candy.With my Friends .
I also like to drees . This year I will disguise witch.
I love Halloween

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happy2002's picture
happy2002 24 October, 2014 - 16:52

Hi Ofelia i´m Estrella
I celebrate halloween with my friends.
On the halloween night, my friends and me dress like terrifying characters like zombies, witches, vampires... and then we make trick or treat in our town. it is a very funny night!!

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GDI15's picture
GDI15 7 November, 2013 - 20:29

Hi Ofelia, i'm Lucía.
I like halloween because I meet my friends and it was very funny. I stay at friend's home every night. I love this day because you scared people.

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Apg3's picture
Apg3 6 November, 2013 - 19:50

In my country (Spain) some people celebrate Halloween, in Halloween my friends and me organised a party with films and funny games

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Lau's picture
Lau 6 November, 2013 - 18:30

When I was little, I used to dress up, but now I don´t do it.
Some people in my country don't celebrate Halloween, but I celebrate with my friends. We go to the houses asking for a ‘trick or treat’ and people give us candy.
We didn't made pumpkin lanternsthis year, we just saw a horror film and ate a lot of snaks. We had a lot of fun :)

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