TRICK OR TREAT? It’s Halloween! (English Break 9)

halloween.jpegHello and welcome back to your 2-minute English Break.

It’s that time of the year!

TRICK OR TREAT? It’s Halloween!

Whether you celebrate this festivity by dressing up as a ghost, a witch, a vampire or any other spooky creature, or you just hand out sweets to the kids that come trick-or-treating to your door, you may want to know some interesting facts about this pretty bizarre holiday.

Are you freaked out already? Well, you shouldn’t be!

Halloween has very down-to-earth beginnings.

Here are some facts:

 1.Originally, you had to dance for your “treat.”

The trick-or-treating tradition dates back to the European practice of “mumming” (playinapantomime). Poor people would go door to door dancing in exchange of coins. This practice caught on, and later became the tradition we are familiar with today of kids dressing up and going round the neighborhood to collect candies.

2. Jack-o’-lanterns were once carved into turnips, beets and potatoes — not pumpkins.

Thejack-o’-lanterncomes from an old Irish tale about a man named Stingy Jack who was cursed to roam the earth forever with only a burning coal for light which he put into a turnip as a lantern. The Irish carved scary faces into turnips, beets and potatoes to scare away Stingy Jack. Only when this tradition was brought over to the US, people started carving pumpkins instead, because they were easier to find.

3.Halloween is more Irish than St. Patrick’s Day.

Halloween was originally a Celtic festival.  The Celts believed the ghosts of the dead walked the Earth on this holiday, so people would dress up and leave “treats” out on their front doors to ward off  the spirits’ anger.

These are some facts, but there is one more thing for you to know… English is full of words and sayings related to this holiday. Some of them are in the text above, you can see them in bold. Here are some more words and idioms for you to play with. Match them with their definition.

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If you want to learn more fun facts about Halloween, or you want to know more about English language in general, don’t hesitate and send us an e-mail at Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo.

Thank you for your time and…jump in English Language with us!

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English Break, lesson 7: Cambridge Young Learners English Test

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English Break, lesson 5: false friends

English Break, lesson 4: when i walk to the beat of my own drum

English Break, lesson 3: waiting for the open day!

English Break, lesson 2: a surprise from Malta

English Break: ecco la prima lezione