Halloween is one of the most popular holidays in the year for kids. It's almost as popular as Christmas in some parts of the country. But did you know that Halloween actually started as a religious holiday?
Roman Catholics celebrate All Saints' Day on November 1st each year. As far back as the 5th century BC, people in Ireland believed that the night before (Oct. 31) the spirits of those that died during the year wandered the earth in search of a living body. They named the night "All Hallows Eve" which means "holy".
Of course, those that were still living did everything possible to scare the spirits away. Many of the villagers would dress up in ugly costumes and parade the streets making as much noise as possible to appear unsuitable for a spirit.
In the 1840s the custom of Halloween was brought to America. Irish immigrants who left their country because of the potato famine brought the tradition with them.
Trick-or-treating came from a custom where cakes were made for the wandering "souls" on Halloween. People went begging for these "soul cakes" from town to town. It was believed that the more cakes the beggars got, the more prayers would be said for the dead relatives of the person who gave out the cakes. The more prayers said, the faster a soul could get to heaven.
JACK O'LANTERN BEGINNINGS
Jack o'lanterns have a strange story behind them, too! According to Irish folklore, a man named Jack tricked the devil into climbing a tree. After the devil was high in the tree, Jack carved a cross in the tree's trunk and trapped the old devil. A deal was made between the two. If the devil would never tempt Jack again, he'd let him come back down to earth.
When Jack died, so the story goes, he was too evil to get into Heaven and the devil wouldn't let him into Hell either because of the trick he had played. Instead, Satan gave Jack a small flame to light his way in the darkness. He is said to have kept it in a turnip so it would last longer.
"Jack o'lanterns" were still turnips when the Irish came to America. But because pumpkins were easier to get, the immigrants used those instead!
Read the text ‘Halloween History’. Then answer the following questions:
Zijn de volgende beweringen goed (G) of fout (F)?
Katholieken vieren ‘Allerheiligen’ op 31 oktober.
Mensen gingen zich verkleden om de geesten te verjagen.
Mensen uit Groot-Brittannië brachten de traditie naar Amerika.
Trick-or-Treat was oorspronkelijk voedsel voor ‘dwalende zielen’
Jack had het lampje in een koolraap.
Halloween Safety Tips Student News Net staff
Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids. And to help make sure they have a safe holiday, the American Academy of Pediatrics has come up with some helpful hints for trick-or-treaters as well as adults.
ALL DRESSED UP:
Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags for greater visibility.
Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives.
When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for those with a label clearly stating they are flame resistant.
Make sure flashlights have fresh batteries.
Teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost.
THE ART OF TRICK-OR-TREATING:
Kids should stay in groups when trick-or-treating and always stick to the route approved by their parents or guardian.
Stay on well-lit streets and always walk on the sidewalks. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the farthest edge of the roadway, facing traffic. Only go to houses that have a porch light lit and never go into a stranger’s house or car for a treat.
Be sure to obey all traffic rules. Only cross streets in groups at crosswalks and don’t assume drivers see you.
Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers, then parents can do the cutting. Under parents' supervision, children ages 5 to 10 can join in the fun. Votive candles are safest for candle-lit pumpkins.
Lighted pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended.
HOME SAFE HOME:
To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should clear away anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
Wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
Plan and review with your children the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when kids should return home.
A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.