Trick or Treat – Halloween’s Just Around the Corner
For those of you who didn’t know, Halloween is just a few days away! Halloween is a particularly interesting holiday with activities that call for costume parties, trick-or-treating and jack-o’-lanterns. Say what? Yes, that’s right there are special words connected to this holiday that need some explanation for those of you who didn’t grow up with this tradition.
Halloween – This word is at least 250 years old, and is derived from a Scottish term, All Hallows’ Eve which means “the evening before All Hallows’ Day”. All Hallows’ Eve took place the night after All Hallows’ Day. So how was such a long collection of words cut down to just one? In the Scottish language, the word for “eve” is “even”. Over the years, even was contracted to een. So it’s not so hard to see how All was dropped as well as the letter “s” creating the new word Halloween.
Summary: Halloween means the evening before All Hallows Day.
Trick-or-Treating – This custom has children dressed up in costumes going from house to house to ask for candy. In most cases, the simple question “Trick or treat?” will be awarded with a handful of sweet goodies. Now you’re probably asking yourself how such a silly phrase has become perhaps the most highly anticipated question for kids all over the world… Basically it’s a (hopefully idle) threat implying that if there are no treats, some sort of mischief happen.
Summary: Trick or Treat means give me some candy or I’ll play a trick on you!
Jack-O-Lantern – A Jack-O-Lantern is a form of decoration used on Halloween. It is often placed on the steps leading to a door or outside on a porch. A Jack-O-Lantern is made by carving a face onto the surface of a pumpkin (or turnip or beet in some places). The insides of the pumpkin are usually scooped out and some sort of a light (usually a candle or electric light) is placed inside to create a flickering light effect at night.
Summary: If you see a scary face flickering light towards you on Halloween, don’t panic it’s probably just a Jack-O-Lantern.
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