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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone, I'm Alisha.
Halloween is a time for celebration in the USA. It's become the second most popular holiday in the nation over the years. Halloween is known for its oftentimes scary costumes, elaborate parties and events, horror film festivals, and its many Gothic trappings. This holiday was a latecomer to the US, not really becoming popular until the early twentieth century. Today, it's one of the most anticipated holidays in the USA!
Halloween is very much associated with scary costumes and things that are wonderfully creepy. Do you know what holiday dressing up in scary costumes was likely borrowed from?
We’ll show you the answer at the end of this video.
People in the USA typically carve pumpkins into scary jack o' lanterns, decorate their houses to look as creepy as possible, and wear elaborate costumes to celebrate this holiday. These aspects of Halloween, according to some, have their roots in various Celtic and European myths, legends, and cultural traditions. Today, popular horror films have also influenced the cultural traditions that surround Halloween. The monster movies of the early twentieth century are significant contributors to the look and feel of modern Halloween celebrations in the USA!
Trick or treating started at the beginning of the twentieth century to curb the vandalism and destruction that once characterized this holiday in the USA. Today, Halloween is a night when the streets are full of families getting treats from their neighbors, and vandalism and other problems are rare.
Some families and social groups set up elaborate haunted houses and invite people to go through for free or for a donation. Hayrides and other nighttime events are also very popular in rural areas. Check the local theaters and TV stations around Halloween and you'll find plenty of scary stuff to watch, too!
Over the years, Halloween costumes in the USA have become more varied. Some people, particularly younger participants, forego the dark Gothic theme of the holiday and dress up as characters from adventure movies, literary figures, or even historical figures.
And now here's the answer to the quiz.
Do you know what holiday dressing up in scary costumes was likely borrowed from?
Samhain is considered to be a significant influence on Halloween celebrations, though this is disputed by some scholars. Samhain was—and still is, to some extent—celebrated in Scotland and Ireland. It's associated with the final harvest of the year more than it is with scary ghouls and goblins, though spirits do play a part!
The dressing up was originally done to scare malicious spirits away, or to trick them into thinking that you were one of them to avoid harm.
How was this lesson? Did you learn something interesting?
Is Halloween celebrated in your country? If so, how?
Please leave a comment at EnglishClass101.com
Until next time!


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Friday at 06:30 PM
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Is Halloween celebrated in your country? If so, how?

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Saturday at 07:22 AM
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Hello Daphne,

Thank you for sharing a bit about Halloween in Taiwan. Very interesting!

I hope you get to enjoy the festivities this year.

We wish you the best throughout your studies.

Please feel free to ask us any questions you have here or direct to your teacher in the ‘MyTeacher’ feature.



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Friday at 05:26 PM
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In Taiwan, Halloween is celebrated in every school teaching English as a culture theme.

Everyone knows it is an foreign festival and celebrates it anyway.

In recent years, the city government of my hometown have held Halloween parades.

I didn't join it until last year.

The downtown area was blocked for the parade and thousands of people joined the festival.

It is quite fun actually, with young people dressing creepy costumes and kids wearing cute costumes standing in line for store owners to give away candy.

It's good to know the origin of this holiday and thanks for the lesson!

Tuesday at 01:38 PM
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Hello Lalo,

Thank you for your post and sharing your traditions in Mexico! 😄😄

We love to hear from our students so please continue to post.



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Thursday at 01:15 AM
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I am from Mexico, Guadalajara city. No all in my contry celebrates Halloween, but in Guadalajara it is a tradition, I like give candys to a Little monsters kids, and when I was a child I used to asks candys in Halloween day. I have Heard this is not our tradition, a thousands of times, but it dosn´t care, it mekes happy to a lot of children and it is ok.

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Tuesday at 03:10 AM
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Hello Maman,

Thank you for posting. Many people find ghosts scary, but the characters that scare me the most are the clowns... there's just something creepy about that smile....eeeek! If you are going for scary, there are quite a lot of classics: vampires, ghouls, zombies, and, of course, famous scary movie characters like Freddy Kruger or Jason. I would recommend googling some costumes, but be prepared for a fright! :D

Let us know if you have any questions.



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Tuesday at 08:30 AM
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Wht is the most scary one of halloween???

I mean the scary character of ghost???

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Tuesday at 10:16 PM
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Hi Son,

Thank you for leaving the comment.

If you have any questions, please let us know.:wink:


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Tuesday at 10:04 PM
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:smile:I like Halloween

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Tuesday at 12:36 AM
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Hi Hiro,

Thanks for telling us about Halloween in Japan! It's interesting to hear how popular Halloween is becoming in other countries.



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Sunday at 12:59 PM
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It's getting popular in Japan too but only as a seasonal fun events so far. We know it came from American, so most of us consider, and they dress up in costumes, kids go around for trick or treatings and carve pumpkins into lantans. We, mostly young people, have costume parties here.

I did not know the original so nit was very interesting. One of my family root came from England and so it is even more interesting to imagine some my own ancistors might have been celebrating Samhain back in the Garlic countries!