The Story of Halloween
2,000 years ago, the Celts lived in Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France. Every year they celebrated New Year's Eve on October 31st with a festival called "Samhain". The Celts dressed in animal heads and skins for this festival, and their priests, the Druids, built huge bonfires. October 31st marked the end of the summer and the beginning of winter and the Celts believed that on that day, the ghosts of the dead returned to Earth. The Celts thoudh that the Ghosts helped the Druids to predict the future.
In about 43 AD, after the Romans conquered the Celts, two Roman festivals, Feralia and Pomona Day were combined with the Celtic Samhain festival. Later in the 7th century, when Christianity reached the land of the Celts, the Pope made November 1st All Saint's Day. This celebration is also called All Hallows or Hallowmas. The night before it became known as All Hallow's Eve, which later changed to Halloween.
In the United States, in England and many other places around the world, people have lots of fun on Halloween. They make Jack-o-lanterns (pumpkin heads). How? They make a scary face on a pumpkin, put a candle inside and put it in the window. Children dress up as wiches and ghosts and go trick-ortreating. Some of them knock on their neigkbours' door and run away. Others stay and get a treat. Children also go to parties and play lots of games, like "apple bobbing" or treasure hunt. Moreover, the people decorate their houses with black cats, ghosts and skeletons.
So, Halloween is a thrilling mixture of fun and fear!