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!

Total votes: 531

Discussion

Do you celebrate Halloween?

Comments

RuthHuancaCOART's picture
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RuthHuancaCOART 29 October, 2015 - 15:11

sorry I not celebrate Halloween, because in Peru on October 31 a great celebrity is the day of criole song
Creole.

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Lalosgf's picture
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Lalosgf 29 October, 2015 - 15:09

This text was very interesting because it describes how is halloween and I learned a little about this celebration en United Kingdom

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Gabriela_15's picture
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Gabriela_15 29 October, 2015 - 15:09

I ussually don´t celebrate Halloween. But I celebrate the day of the all saints. In Peru, we celebrate tha criolla music day.

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bluecat's picture
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bluecat 29 October, 2015 - 14:40

I celebrate Halloween, but in Spain is not a very important party because we celebrate the Saint´s Day

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bluecat's picture
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bluecat 29 October, 2015 - 14:40

I celebrate Halloween, but in Spain is not a very important party because we celebrate the Saint´s Day

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FioRela15's picture
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FioRela15 29 October, 2015 - 14:07

Yes, I celebrated Halloween when I lived in Lima. Now, I live and study in Tacna, and I am very busy. But, I like it a lot. When I was in Lima, I went trick or treating only in the store and I never went to a party.
I always went with my mother and my brother. I put on a mask. Then, I arrived at my house and I ate all the candy. Finally, I watched a horror film. :)

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BrisaRojas's picture
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BrisaRojas 29 October, 2015 - 14:06

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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Sandra_3MSC's picture
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Sandra_3MSC 29 October, 2015 - 14:02

Yes. Since I was 7 years old I went to ask for candies with my sister ,and now I celebrate Halloween with my friends, because we love it. We always dress up as monsters and we go to Halloween parties each 31st, October and finally we often go to the cinema to see horror movies.

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Tris's picture
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Tris 29 October, 2015 - 13:58

I don´t celebrate halloween, because it isn´t a custom for me . I just celebrate the day of all saints , but in my country some people celebrate this day because they want to enjoy this day, for me this day is interesting because I like its history but I think that I can celebrate criolla music day. This day is very interesting becuase criolla music represents our culture.

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Yamile24's picture
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Yamile24 29 October, 2015 - 13:53

I do not celebrate hallowen, because my family and I celebrate criolla music day, we make a great lunch and listen to criolla music, but I like to celebrate hallowen because I like to dress up and I go trick-or-treating.

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LEITO's picture
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LEITO 29 October, 2015 - 13:52

Sorry, I do not celebrate Halloween; because in Peru we celebrate Criolla Music Day. The people dance criolla music and eat tipical food.
The people in Peru don't like so much Halloween.

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Jaenmy04's picture
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Jaenmy04 29 October, 2015 - 13:52

The article is very interesting and entertaining, but I don´t celebrate halloween. Because it has a bad origin for me.

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Luis04's picture
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Luis04 29 October, 2015 - 13:52

For my part, I didn't celebrate Halloween when I was small, but now I do. I go out with my friends on that day,We go to Solari Plaza which is a store and play video games, we buy candy, and sometimes we dress up as ghosts, monsters, super heroes, vampires,etc. and so I spend the day of Halloween, a very entertaining and fantastic with my best friends..... :D ... ¡ HAPPY SCARY HALLOWEEN ¡

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michael311's picture
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michael311 29 October, 2015 - 13:51

In Peru, some people celebrate Halloween.they have Halloween parties.But I don´t celebrate Halloween, because I don´t like it.I celebrate criolla music day.
In Peru, some children go "trick or treating. we celebrate Criolla Music Day, people dance with their family and friends.
Also we eat the typical foods of our country like Ceviche, Rice and duck, etc.

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Chica_Explosiva's picture
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Chica_Explosiva 29 October, 2015 - 13:46

the text is very well, because the information is very very interesting for my, but the halloween is very bad for my, because I dont believe in those things

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Arialixa's picture
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Arialixa 29 October, 2015 - 13:44

I never celebrated Halloween with my family and friends, but now, I will to celebrate with my best friends Halloween.
I will to dress a costume of prisoner with some friends.

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MARCreally's picture
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MARCreally 29 October, 2015 - 13:42

I'm from Peru, children celebrate Halloween, but adults celebrate the day of criolla song like me.

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MABEL13's picture
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MABEL13 29 October, 2015 - 13:27

No, because in Peru is celebrated the day of criolla music. But, some children require sweet from house to house.

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Nicoll19's picture
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Nicoll19 29 October, 2015 - 13:26

I live in Peru, and in my country celebrating Halloween is not a tradition, but I like halloween parties, because they are fun and interesting. :D

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AlessandroCT45's picture
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AlessandroCT45 29 October, 2015 - 13:24

In my city, we celebrate the day of the creole music, this is a party very popular ,because is the day of the typical music of Perú; also some people celebrate Halloween, in halloween the kids go to trick or treat and the teens go the parties, It´s very interesting celebrate the two parties.

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