HALLOWEEN tasks for advanced learners | zadania dla zaawansowanych

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Halloween

PUT ONE SUITABLE WORD

Straddling the line between fall 1…………………… winter, plenty and paucity, life and death, Halloween is a time 2…………………… celebration and superstition. It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward 3……………….. roaming ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 4…………………….. a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was 5…………………. as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween. 6…………………………. time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event characterized 7…………………………. child-friendly activities such 8…………………….. trick-or-treating. In a number of countries around the world, as the days grow shorter and the nights 9…………………………… colder, people continue 10 ………………………. usher in the winter season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats.

Text adapted from www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween

Ancient Origins of Halloween

CHOOSE ONE OPTION

Halloween’s 1………………… date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who 2……………….. 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and 3……………………. France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day 4……………………. the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often 5…………………… with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the 6………………. between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was 7……………………. that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. 8…………………. addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make 9…………………. about the future. For people entirely 10…………………. on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter (…).

Text adapted from www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween

1. a) custom                                      b) origins                                            c) habit

2. a) lived                                           b) was                                                c) left

3. a) north                                          b) south                                              c) northern

4. a) marked                                     b) symbolises                                   c) show

5. a) known                                       b) connect                                         c) associated

6. a) border                                       b) boundary                                      c) frontier

7. a) believed                                   b) say                                                   c) tell

8. a) For                                              b) In                                                     c) To

9. a) predictions                               b) foresee                                         c) expectations

10. a) addicted                                b) independent                                    c) dependent

Halloween Comes to America

Celebration of Halloween was extremely limited in colonial New England because of the rigid Protestant belief systems there. Halloween was much more common in Maryland and the southern colonies. As the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups as well as the American Indians meshed, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge. The first celebrations included “play parties,” public events held to celebrate the harvest, where neighbors would share stories of the dead, tell each other’s fortunes, dance and sing. Colonial Halloween festivities also featured the telling of ghost stories and mischief-making of all kinds. By the middle of the nineteenth century, annual autumn festivities were common, but Halloween was not yet celebrated everywhere in the country.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, America was flooded with new immigrants. These new immigrants, especially the millions of Irish fleeing Ireland’s potato famine of 1846, helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally. Taking from Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today’s “trick-or-treat” tradition. Young women believed that on Halloween they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings or mirrors.

In the late 1800s, there was a move in America to mold Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighborly get-togethers than about ghosts, pranks and witchcraft. At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season and festive costumes. Parents were encouraged by newspapers and community leaders to take anything “frightening” or “grotesque” out of Halloween celebrations. Because of these efforts, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the twentieth century (…).

Text adapted from www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween

Find in the text synonyms to the following words:


practices (I) – starvation (II) – appear (I) –
escaping (II) – form (III) – wizardry (III) –
meetings (III) – crops (I) – deluged (II) –
strict (I) – practical jokes (III) –

 

divine (II) –

 

Halloween Superstitions

ANSWER THE QUESTIONS

Halloween has always been a holiday filled with mystery, magic and superstition. It began as a Celtic end-of-summer festival during which people felt especially close to deceased relatives and friends. For these friendly spirits, they set places at the dinner table, left treats on doorsteps and along the side of the road and lit candles to help loved ones find their way back to the spirit world. Today’s Halloween ghosts are often depicted as more fearsome and malevolent, and our customs and superstitions are scarier too. We avoid crossing paths with black cats, afraid that they might bring us bad luck. This idea has its roots in the Middle Ages, when many people believed that witches avoided detection by turning themselves into cats. We try not to walk under ladders for the same reason. This superstition may have come from the ancient Egyptians, who believed that triangles were sacred; it also may have something to do with the fact that walking under a leaning ladder tends to be fairly unsafe. And around Halloween, especially, we try to avoid breaking mirrors, stepping on cracks in the road or spilling salt.

But what about the Halloween traditions and beliefs that today’s trick-or-treaters have forgotten all about? Many of these obsolete rituals focused on the future instead of the past and the living instead of the dead. In particular, many had to do with helping young women identify their future husbands and reassuring them that they would someday—with luck, by next Halloween—be married. In 18th-century Ireland, a matchmaking cook might bury a ring in her mashed potatoes on Halloween night, hoping to bring true love to the diner who found it. In Scotland, fortune-tellers recommended that an eligible young woman name a hazelnut for each of her suitors and then toss the nuts into the fireplace. The nut that burned to ashes rather than popping or exploding, the story went, represented the girl’s future husband. (In some versions of this legend, confusingly, the opposite was true: The nut that burned away symbolized a love that would not last.) Another tale had it that if a young woman ate a sugary concoction made out of walnuts, hazelnuts and nutmeg before bed on Halloween night she would dream about her future husband. Young women tossed apple-peels over their shoulders, hoping that the peels would fall on the floor in the shape of their future husbands’ initials; tried to learn about their futures by standing in front of mirrors in darkened rooms, holding candles and looking over their shoulders for their husbands’ faces (…).

Text adapted from www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween

1. What did people do during Halloween for souls of their next of kin or friends? …………………………………………….

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

2. What is the origin of the superstition about black cats? …………………………………………………………………………

3. What are the possibilities to find a husband-to-be according to some obsolete rituals? ……….………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

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