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Halloween is a holiday celebrated in the United States mostly by children. It falls on October 31, a day earlier than All Saints’ day in Poland. Often schools have parties or small haunted houses for children who dress up in costumes ranging from witches to ghosts, typical for Halloween, to astronauts, football players and even robots. Traditionally, when evening falls, children dress up in their costumes and go out in their neighborhoods with their parents to go „trick-or-treating". This means that they go from house to house knocking on doors asking for candy and other such treats. When someone answers the door children say „trick-or-treat". They hope to get sweets, but in recent years dangerous pranks have begun to replace the chocolates and carmel-coated apples.

The history of Halloween begins with the Catholic Church. The name „Halloween" comes from All Hallows Day, and was a day in honor of saints. Of course in Poland, this holiday is known as All Saints Day and is observed on November 1, but in Ireland in the 5th century BC, October 31 was the considered the last day of summer. Perhaps it is from this day that Americans get their Halloween. Indeed there is a large Irish population in the United States, and it is believed that it was they who brought the Halloween tradition to the United States in the 1840s.

So how did the tradition of wearing a costume begin? All Hallows Day was to observe the returning of spirits of those who died during the previous year. The spirits would mix with the living. As the living did not want to be possessed by these spirits, people would dress up in frightening costumes and parade around the village making as much noise (and even destruction) as possible in an attempt to frighten off the spirits. To this day, the most popular costumes worn at Halloween parties are usually connected with warding off evil, such as witches, ghosts, goblins, and other demonic creatures.

Trick-or-treating is thought to have originated in Europe several centuries later by Christians who, on November 2, would go from village to village begging for cakes in a tradition known as souling. Upon receiving these cakes, people would promise to recite prayers on behalf of the deceased.

One popular icon of Halloween is that of the Jack-o-lantern. This is simply a pumpkin which has been carved out and has a frightening looking face carved on to it. Inside a candle is placed and then lit. Jack-o-lanterns are then placed in people’s windows at night on October 31. Again, this is an Irish tradition. Legend has it that a wild drunkard named Jack had played several tricks on the devil. When he died, Jack was not permitted into heaven, nor was he permitted into hell for all the tricks he’d played on Satan. The devil then gave Jack a single burning coal so that he could find his way through the dark. In order to keep the coal burning as long as possible, it was placed inside a squash of some kind. The tradition survives as the Jack-o-lantern. The evil faces on the Jack-o-lanterns no doubt reflect the same purpose as the costumes: to ward off evil spirits. Many people today, especially cult members and devil worshippers regard Halloween as the ultimate „evil" holiday. For many teenagers and young people it is a day to play pranks on their friends and neighbors. Some pranks, such as lighting fires or vandalism, are often destructive. Don’t be surprised if you wake up on the morning of November 1 and find the tree in your front yard covered in toilet paper, your mailbox sprayed with shaving cream, or a Jack-o-lantern smashed all over your driveway.
Happy Halloween!

• to fall on - przypadać
• to haunt - nawiedzać
• to range - obejmować zasięgiem
• witch - wiedźma
• treat - tu: w znaczniu poczęstunek
• prank - głupi, złośliwy żart
• to consider - rozważyć
• to possess - posiadać
• an attempt - próba
• to ward off - odstraszyć
• goblin - gnom
• to beg for - prosić o coś, żebrać
• on behalf of - w imieniu
• pumpkin - dynia
• to carve - wyciąć
• legend has it - legenda głosi
• drunkard - pijak
• to permit - zezwolić
• squash - (AmE) ogólna nazwa warzyw typu: dynia
• no doubt - bez wątpienia
• worshipper - wyznawca, czciciel
• to smash - rozbić
• driveway - podjazd
Box reklamowy - zainteresowany?
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