Halloween Celebration in UK
Halloween is a traditional celebration in the USA and UK which takes place on the last evening of October every year.
It’s a night for spooky monsters and scary ghosts. Children often dress up in different costumes and play “trick or treat” on their neighbors. They knock at doors and when someone opens they shout “trick or treat”. People give them sweets or money because they don’t want the children to play a trick on them. Lots of adults like to dress up, too. They usually go to parties.
Many people also make lamps with pumpkins . They cut faces and put a candle inside, then they put them outside their houses.
People used to believe that it would scare away bad spirits and ghosts.
In October many shop windows in Britain turn orange and black, with pumpkins, witches, broomsticks and cats. What do young people do to celebrate Halloween? Read this article to find out
Flying witches, pumpkin lanterns, trick or treat … What do you know about Halloween? Here are some Halloween facts to get started.
- Halloween is celebrated on 31st October. This isn’t a public holiday in Britain.
- Halloween is the night before the Catholic festival of All Saints and the pagan Celtic festival of Samhain (1st November).
- Halloween is also sometimes called All Hallows’ Eve, All Hallowtide and can also be written Hallowe’en.
- Halloween colours are orange and black. Orange is related to harvests because the end of October is the end of the harvest (the time when fruit and vegetables are collected). Black is related to death.
In the UK Halloween traditions are very much alive and popular, especially amongst kids and teenagers. We looked at some of the most common.
Trick or treating
Children dress up and then visit the houses in their neighborhood asking for a ‘trick or treat’. The neighbor gives them sweets or money as a ‘treat’. If there is no treat, the children play a trick on the neighbor, for example they might throw soap at the window. Some people think that playing tricks is unkind but luckily there is nearly always a treat! This custom is imported from the USA and is more popular with young people than with adults. The police in some parts of Britain give out ‘No trick or treat, please!’ posters for people to display on their door on the night of Halloween. Young children usually go trick or treating with parents or with an older brother or sister.
People of all ages dress up on Halloween. The most popular fancy dress costumes include witches, vampires, ghosts, skeletons, zombies or monsters. You can buy a costume from a shop or you can make your own costume at home. It’s easy to make a ghost costume from an old white sheet or wear black clothes to look like a witch. You can even cover your face in bright red tomato ketchup to look like a Read UK: Halloween – text vampire! What would you choose? Rachel, 14, from Liverpool says, ‘If you go trick or treating it’s best to dress up as a witch. You don’t need a bag for the sweets – you can just use your witch’s hat!’
If you are in Sheffield, in the north of England, at the end of October you can go to Fright Night. What is Fright Night? People in Sheffield say it’s ‘Britain’s Biggest Halloween Party’ and it attracts about 40,000 people each year. There are activities for kids, teenagers and adults including a fancy dress catwalk, urban dance, a monster in the fountain and a zombie garden, as well as the traditional apple bobbing and a competition for the best pumpkin lantern. If you don’t have a big Halloween party in your area, some people have parties at home or at youth clubs where they dress up and play scary games or tell ghost stories.
Watch a horror film
Not in the mood for a Halloween party? Older teenagers that aren’t helping their younger sisters and brothers to trick or treat sometimes watch a scary film with friends either at home or at the cinema. Any film with the words ‘Halloween’, ‘Vampire’, ‘Dead’ or ‘Zombie’ in the title is probably going to be quite scary. In the UK films are divided into categories depending on whether they are for children, teens or adults. ‘U’ films are suitable for all ages, ’15’ films are for people aged 15 or over, and ’18’ films are for adults only. Many cinemas in the UK show old black-and-white, classic horror films such as ‘Psycho’ on the night of October 31st. Interestingly, you needed to be over 18 to see ‘Psycho’ at the cinema in 1960. Now the film has a ‘15’ rating.