PEARTREE LIFE: Experiencing Languages

Trick or Treat!! Halloween is here...

Halloween, a contraction of All Hallows' Evening, is a celebration observed on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day.
Halloween at Peartree Languages
Today's Halloween customs are thought to have been influenced by folk customs and beliefs from the Celtic-speaking countries, some of which are believed to have pagan roots. This day marked the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter or the 'darker half' of the year. This meant the Aos Sí, the 'spirits' or 'fairies', could more easily come into our world and were particularly active. Offerings of food and drink, or portions of the crops, were left outside for the Aos Sí. The souls of the dead were also said to revisit their homes seeking hospitality.

Mumming and guising has changed to trick or treating
From at least the 16th century, the festival included mumming and guising. This involved people going house-to-house in costume (or in disguise), usually reciting verses or songs in exchange for food. It may have originally been a tradition whereby people impersonated the Aos Sí, or the souls of the dead, and received offerings on their behalf because impersonating these beings, or wearing a disguise, was believed to protect oneself from them.
Jack-o'-lanterns, lantern obtained by carving pumpkins, were traditionally carried by guisers on Halloween in order to frighten evil spirit and it is said to represent a "soul who has been denied entry into both heaven and hell".
In Ireland and Scotland, the turnip has traditionally been carved during Halloween, but immigrants to North America used the native pumpkin, which is both much softer and much larger – making it easier to carve than a turnip.

A typical decoration for Halloween
Nowadays, the modern imagery of Halloween comes from many sources, including Christian eschatology, national customs, works of Gothic and horror literature (such as the novels Frankenstein and Dracula) and classic horror films. Elements of the autumn season, such as pumpkins, corn husks and scarecrows, are also prevalent. Homes are often decorated with these types of symbols around Halloween and it includes themes of death, evil, and mythical monsters. Black, orange, and sometimes purple are Halloween's traditional colors. Because in the Northern Hemisphere Halloween comes in the wake of the yearly apple and pumpkin harvest, candy apples or toffee apples, are common Halloween treats made by rolling whole apples in a sticky sugar syrup, sometimes followed by rolling them in nuts, as well as pumpkin drinks, pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread.

Guising today is called trick-or-treating which is a customary celebration for children. They go in vampires, monsters, ghosts, skeletons, witches, and devils. Over time, in the United States the costume selection extended to include popular characters from fiction, celebrities, and generic archetypes such as ninjas and princesses.
costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy or sometimes money, with the question, "Trick or treat?" The word "trick" refers to "threat" to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. Halloween costumes are traditionally modeled after supernatural figures such as

This habit is not just fun, but also useful! "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF" is a fundraising program to support UNICEF, a United Nations Programme that provides humanitarian aid to children in developing countries. The program involves the distribution of small boxes by schools to trick-or-treaters, in which they can solicit small-change donations from the houses they visit. It is estimated that children have collected more than $118 million for UNICEF since its inception.

Halloween is celebrated at Cardiff Castle and you can
have a Ghost walk as well
Haunted attractions are entertainment venues designed to thrill and scare patrons. This maturing and growth within the industry has led to technically more advanced special effects and costuming, comparable with that of Hollywood films! By day Cardiff Castle is one of Wales' most popular heritage attractions but on the ghost tour, it's celebrated in a completely different way - through the true tales of its many ghostly phenomena, reported by residents, staff and visitors over generations. This year, at Halloween, the site will be silent. The house, the oldest parts of which date back to the early fifteenth century, will be in complete darkness. You can make your way by torchlight through its rooms, staircases and passages to visit the spots where ghosts have been seen, heard and felt over the years: a troublesome poltergeist; a mysterious maiden; a mischievous playful spirit; a cloaked male figure; the spectral coach; and ghostly footsteps. But there are also plenty other things to do in Cardiff if you are looking for a scary and spooky day! For something different this Halloween, try Escape Reality, Cardiff’s newest escape rooms in 6-7 John Street, open everyday, or enjoy a Halloween mini-fiesta like no other with carnival pageantry, giant skull processions, acrobats and dancers - all inspired by day of the dead celebrations (The Depot, Cardiff, Saturday, October 29, from 2pm-10pm). Wear your creepiest costume and experience a night of light, dark and illusion! 

For more information on what to see in Cardiff this Halloween please visit our sister blog page - What's On!
Share on Google Plus

About Peartree Languages

Peartree Languages is a language school located in Cardiff.


Post a Comment