Hello! Hello! Hello everyone and happy Halloween! This video is a fun video to learn English: idioms, phrasal verbs and also a lot about the culture of Halloween.
Do you believe in ghosts? Is your boss a Vampire in disguise? Does one of your old friends look like a total zombie? I answer many of these questions in my most recent peppy video. EXTRA QUIZZES COMING SOON! Visit this page often!
The Tradition of Halloween
It’s a time of year in North America and many other countries where people like to put on a costume. For children it’s a time to make the rounds of their neighbourhood and say ‘trick or treat’. They then go around and ask for candies and if they don’t get any they might just play a trick on the resident who refused to give them something. There is an air of mystique as nobody knows who anybody is behind the mask.Likewise, adults also love to go to costume parties so that they can put on a mask and at the same time pretend that they are someone they aren’t.Costumes range from simple masks to very elaborate and authentic. In fact, there are many stores now, even department stores that either sell or rent costumes as it has become big business.
So where did Halloween come from? Did it just pop out of nowhere several hundred years ago or is their some chain of events that led up to its beginning?
The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the other world became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family’s ancestors were honored and invited home while harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. In Scotland the spirits were impersonated by young men dressed in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces.
The word Halloween is first attested in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even (“evening”), that is, the night before All Hallows Day. Up through the early 20th century, the spelling “Hallowe’en” was frequently used, skipping the “v” and shortening the word. Although the phrase All Hallows is found in Old English(the feast of all saints), All-Hallows-Even is itself not attested until 1556. The imagery of Halloween is derived from many sources, including national customs, works of Gothic and horror literature (such as the novels Frankenstein and Dracula), and classic horror films (such as Frankenstein and The Mummy).Elements of the autumn season, such as pumpkins, corn husks, and scarecrows, are also prevalent. Homes are often decorated with these types of symbols around Halloween. Halloween imagery includes themes of death, evil, the occult, magic, or mythical monsters. Traditional characters include ghosts, witches, skeletons, vampires, werewolves,demons, bats, and black cats. The colours black and orange are associated with the celebrations, perhaps because of the darkness of night and the colour of fire, autumn leaves or pumpkins. So with all of these modern symbols of creatures and monsters from Frankenstein to Dracula added on, what is so appealing about halloween! For this, we have to go further back in time to the time of ancient Rome and Greece where wearing masks was also part of yearly festivities.
Well now that you have a little background about the tradition of Halloween, let’s match that up with how it fits into a modern context. Enjoy the video and the interactive video quiz at the end to help you remember what I teach in the video! Bye for now!