On October 31, Americans celebrate
Halloween. Halloween means "holy" (hallow) "evening".
This is the evening before the Christian holy day of All Saints Day. On All
Saints Day, Christians remember the saints. But Halloween is even older than
Before Christianity, people in Europe
believed that on October 31 ghosts of dead people came back. To scare the
ghosts, people dressed like devils and were very noisy. They also made big
fires to keep the ghosts away. Later, people did not believe in ghosts, but they
kept the day of Halloween for fun.
Immigrants came from Europe to America
and brought with them the custom of Halloween. Halloween has some strange
symbols. One symbol is the jack-o'-lantern in the window. The jack-o'-lantern
is to scare the ghosts. People cut the pumpkin, throw away all of the inside,
and cut a face in it. Then they put a candle inside of it. Jack-o'-lanterns
usually look scary, too!
Today, in the United States, Halloween
is very popular with children. They wear masks and special costumes. They want
to look like skeletons and ghosts. Then they go from house to house and say,
"Trick or treat!" People give them candies, cookies, or fruit. When
people give nothing, the children sometimes play tricks on them.