It’s October the 31st, andacross Britain and the USA, thousands of children are dressing upas monsters, ghosts and witches and going to their neighbours’houses to ask for sweets or to play tricks on them if they refuse.Many houses have lanterns made from pumpkins in their windows.
These lanterns have frightening faces cut into them.What is thereason for all of this? It’s Halloween!
To an outsider, this mayseem a strange festival, but it is a very popular one and animportant part of the culture in Britain and the USA. But how didit start? The holiday once had a religious significance.
Novemberthe 1st is All Saint’s Day, and October the 31st was believed to bea day when all the spirits came back to the world of the living.
Inmodern times, this has changed to be a day when children dress upas monsters, ghosts and witches. Once they are dressed up childrengo to their neighbours’ houses.
They knock on the door and shout‘Trick or treat!’ Good neighbours, of course, give ‘treats’.
Theseare usually sweets or chocolates. Bad neighbours, however, may givenothing.
If so, then the children play a ‘trick’ on them. This maybe a simple practical joke.
However, naughty children may dosomething worse, like throwing rubbish in the neighbour’s garden.Nowadays, of course, most neighbours always give a treat.
Afterall, it’s fun for the children. Another tradition is to makelanterns from pumpkins. First, the inside of the pumpkin isremoved. Then, a face is cut into the pumpkin, traditionally asmiling, devil face.
Finally a candle is placed inside, and thelantern is put at the front of the house to keep evil spirits away.There are many traditional games on Halloween, but the most commonis ‘apple-bobbing’.
It’s simple to play. Several apples are putfloating in water. Children then have their hands tied behind theirbacks.
They then have to try to pick the apples out of the waterusing only their mouths. Of course, people get very wet and it isvery funny to watch.
practical joke： 恶作剧