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.

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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 31st 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 (1st November).
  • Halloween is also sometimes called All Hallows' Eve, 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 (the time when fruit and vegetables are collected). 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 (an orange, football-sized vegetable) with the inside removed and a nose, eyes and mouth 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 or monsters. You can buy a costume from a shop or you can make your own costume 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 cover your face in 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 on the night of Halloween. Young children usually go trick or treating with parents or with 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 October 31st. Interestingly, you needed to be over 18 to see  'Psycho' at the cinema in 1960. Now the film has a ‘15’ rating.

Happy Halloween!

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Discussion

Do you celebrate Halloween?

Comments

Sansa's picture
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Sansa 3 November, 2017 - 10:45

Happy Halloween everyone . we don't celebrate Halloween in are country , but I'v red some article about it anyway I need your help my friends . I have to talk about Halloween in my English class at school so I need an easy text about Halloween cause some of my classmates can't understand English . please answer me as soon as possible , Thanx

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SLMT 3 November, 2017 - 05:12

In my country,Myanmar,Halloween is not celebrated widely.Until 20s century,Halloween is a word which people in my country have never heard about it.21s century,people used to know about Halloween in Myanmar.These years,Halloween is usually celebrated in some clubs, pubs and shopping malls.But it is not widely celebrated like in Britain or US.There’s no trick or teat ,Halloween decoration of houses in my country yet.But I think Halloween will be more popular and widely celebrated in my country next years.

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akabane001 30 October, 2017 - 14:18

we don' t celebrate halloween but through many US films , I think they are very interesting with the unique costumes such as : witch, mommy, vampire, ect. So scary ! HAPPY HALLOWEEN, everyone !

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Ira675 10 October, 2016 - 08:53

My family do not celebrate Halloween,becouse we live in Russia, but I and my friends watch horror films, tell different scary stories

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AliceZ 2 November, 2015 - 11:51

We do not selebrate Halloween in China. Even I want to, it's very interesting. But we have no time, there are lots of homeworks at school, we even don't have time to play after school! I don't like Chinese school, but I can't change my teacher, so I was super boring now, wish you guys have a good time! :)

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alex25 31 October, 2015 - 23:32

Yes, each 31st October I celebrate Halloween. In the Halloween I go walking with my friends in the center of my city, for the night. It is very fun. Also I and my friends get candies for some peoples. And finally go to the home of a friend for the morning. The Halloween is very fun for me.

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Anelitatali 29 October, 2015 - 23:53

Of course, at my house with my cousins and Friends celebrate hallowen, it is fun, because we collect Candy, i also celebrate with all my family the day of all saints

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Katherin1724 29 October, 2015 - 23:10

Not .because Hallowen for me is not very good, but I normally celebrate the day of the all saints with my family . I normally visit the cemetery in the afternoon.

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BrisaRojas 29 October, 2015 - 23:06

I do not celebrate Halloween, because that day I am very busy selling flowers and only in my family we celebrate the day of Criolla Music, but I like to watch horror movies.
Normally in Peru the children celebrate Halloween, but also there are people celebrate the day of Criolla Music.
I believe that we must respect the beliefs of others.

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pabloplomo 29 October, 2015 - 17:16

in my village a lot of familys celebrate halloween and the juth house celebrate a party four the kids

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JudiJTCoarT 29 October, 2015 - 15:50

In Peru, it usually celebrate the day of the Creole song, although in some places if Halloween is celebrated.

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luzbel2002 29 October, 2015 - 15:49

Soo in love with Halloween! I love those witch and ghosts things, but in our country, We celebrate with my friend and my family is fantastic :)

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PandajuanCoarTacna's picture
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PandajuanCoarTacna 29 October, 2015 - 15:49

I don't celebrate halloween, because I usually celebrate the criolla festivity with my family in this day

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Diari 29 October, 2015 - 15:42

I do not usually celebrate Halloween because i don't like the masks and the witches. But I celebrate the day of the saints

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marycoartacna 29 October, 2015 - 15:41

No, but in my house to celebrate the day of criolla song, but my I should celebrate it, because I like scary things.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

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Lalosgf 29 October, 2015 - 15:36

This text was very interesting because it describes how is halloween and I learned a little about this celebration in United Kingdom but I prefer Musica de la canción criolla's Day because I am peruvian and I am proud of it

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FiReHacK's picture
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FiReHacK 29 October, 2015 - 15:32

Not because I am from Peru and here is the day of the folk songs, and only see horror movies in the evenings.

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Melodycoart 29 October, 2015 - 15:30

Yes, i celebrated halloween because is fun . on halloween I will an amusement park with my friends and then we're going to see a horror movie until the middle of the night.

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Anngie_123's picture
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Anngie_123 29 October, 2015 - 15:28

I hardly ever celebrate Halloween, because It's not interesting for me. But in my family ,we celebrate Criolla Music Day, because is tradiction in Peru.

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coronel's picture
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coronel 29 October, 2015 - 15:15

The HALLOWEEN party is not very interesting for my, becouse I am not struck. I prefer the feast of the creole song.

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PerfectLS's picture
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PerfectLS 29 October, 2015 - 15:14

Well, I live in Peru but in the same day, we celebrate "DÍa de la canción criolla". Some kids or teenagers celebrate this. I think we can celebrate this or maybe two.

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