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One story about Jack, an Irishman, who was not allowed into Heaven because he was stingy with his money. So he was sent to hell. But down there he played tricks on the Devil (Satan), so he was kicked out of Hell and made to walk the earth forever carrying a lantern.
Well, Irish children made Jack's lanterns on October 31st from a large potato or turnip, hollowed out with the sides having holes and lit by little candles inside. And Irish children would carry them as they went from house to house begging for food for the village Halloween festival that honored the Druid god Muck Olla. The Irish name for these lanterns was "Jack with the lantern" or "Jack of the lantern," abbreviated as " Jack-o'-lantern" and now spelled "jack-o-lantern."
The traditional Halloween you can read about in most books was just children's fun night. Halloween celebrations would start in October in every elementary school.
Days and days past, I’m not a child any longer. But I still remember that Halloween, 31st October 2001. That was Saturday. I went to study English with an American girl named Debby as usual.
We had 5 students altogether. Before that week, Debby had already told us to learn something about Halloween ourselves. On that day, Debby spent an hour describing this American festival for us, such as “trick or cheat”, pumpkin and even, she took a pumpkin with her. First she took out a finished pumpkin lantern.
That was really beautiful and ugly, we liked it so much. Then she taught us how to make a pumpkin lantern by ourselves. We each held a small knife, learnt to cut and draw something on that pumpkin. Finally, we made it and put a short candle into it. That was truly happy. And the most surprising thing was that the lantern was a present for that day’s super student. Who will that be? My god! That was me!
Halloween is an autumn holiday that Americans celebrate every year. It means "holy evening," and it comes every October 31, the evening before All Saints' Day. However, it is not really a church holiday, it is a holiday for children mainly.
Every autumn, when the vegetables are ready to eat, children pick large orange pumpkins. Then they cut faces in the pumpkins and put a burning candle inside. It looks as if there were a person looking out of the pumpkin! These lights are called jack-o'-lanterns, which means "Jack of the lantern".
The children also put on strange masks and frightening costumes every Halloween. Some children paint their faces to look like monsters. Then they carry boxes or bags from house to house. Every time they come to a new house, they say,"Trick or treat! Money or eat!" The grown-ups put treat-money or candy in their bags.
Not only children, but most grown-ups also love Halloween and Halloween parties because on this day,they can disguise themselves as personages or ghost as their imaginations will lead them. This bring them the satisfaction of being young.
Children in costumes race from house to house asking for treats. A carved pumpkin， called a jack-o'-lantern， grins from a porch as the children pass. According to legend， jack-o'-lanterns protect people in their homes from ghostly spirits.
It's all part of the fun on Halloween! The roots of Halloween stretch back thousands of years and borrow customs from several parts of the world.
WHAT IS HALLOWEEN?
Halloween is a holiday celebrated on October 31. By tradition， Halloween begins after sunset. Long ago， people believed that witches gathered together and ghosts roamed the world on Halloween. Today， most people no longer believe in ghosts and witches. But these supernatural beings are still a part of Halloween.
The colors black and orange are also a part of Halloween. Black is a symbol for night and orange is the color of pumpkins. A jack-o'-lantern is a hollowed-out pumpkin with a face carved on one side. Candles are usually placed inside， giving the face a spooky glow.
HOW HALLOWEEN GOT STARTED
One of the oldest Halloween traditions comes from the ancient Celts， who lived in western and central Europe long ago. The Celts celebrated a holiday called Samhain on October 31. After sunset that day， people believed that spirits of the dead would rise and walk the earth. The Celts made offerings of food and drink to keep the spirits away.
Beginning about 2，000 years ago， the Roman Empire conquered many Celtic peoples. But Celtic traditions， including Samhain， remained strong in areas such as Ireland and Scotland， even after the Roman conquest.
The Roman Catholic Church tried to replace Samhain in 835 with All Saints' Day， a day to honor saints of the Church. The eve of All Saints' Day is October 31. It is called Allhallows or Hallowmas by the Church.