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Samhain (Halloween)

INTERMEDIATE Vydáno dne 25.10.2008

Halloween is a holiday celebrated mainly in the USA, Canada and the British Isles on the night of 31 October. It was originally a Celtic pagan festival (called SAMHAIN [so:in]) and means November in Celtic language.



The Celts divided the year into two seasons, the light and the dark. November was the beginning of the dark half of the year. Typical Samhain rituals began at dusk on October 31 and continued for three days. In most villages there were large feasts followed by bonfires. The practical reason for the feasting was that Samhain was one of the last ocassions to eat a lot before winter came.

Halloween is associated with ghosts and monsters because ancient Celts believed that at this time the spirits of the dead could come back and walk among the living.

TRADITIONS AND SUPERSTITIONS

  • If you want to ward off evil on Halloween, you should walk around your home three times clockwise and three times anticlockwise.
  • Light a candle to remember your deceased loved ones on Halloween night.
  • If you put a pumpkin on your door yard, no evil spirits can harm you or your home.
  • Do you want to see the future? Peel an apple (make sure the peel is one piece). Throw the peel over your right shoulder. Look at the peel; what letter does it look like? It's the initial of your future lover.
  • Put an apple under your pillow and eat it in the morning. You will enjoy good luck over the following year.

CHALLENGE

Here are several Halloween superstitions. Take a guess which "omens" and their meanings go together.

1. To see a black cat means .

2. To see a white cat means .

3. To see a spider means .

4. To see a bat means .

5. To see an owl means .

6. If the flame of a candle goes out, it means .




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