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Dear Irina,
Thank you for the letters. Some of your students may receive more than
one reply because everyone in one of my classes wanted to write.

One of the projects my students are trying to put together is a study
of holidays in other countries. The American holiday coming up is
Halloween, on October 31. This holiday started thousands of years age in
Europe in countries occupied by the Celtic People (now England, Ireland,
Scotland, and parts of France and Germany). Those Celtic people who
practiced the Druid religion believed that the ghosts of the dead would rise
up on a certain night in the fall of the year and come to the houses of
people looking for food. If you put food outside your door the ghosts would
eat the food and leave you alone. If you did not offer them food they would
cause you much trouble. These people eventually converted to Christianity,
but they still believed that the ghosts would wander around on a certain
night and had to be fed. The Catholic Church tried to change this practice
by calling this "ghost day" All Souls Day and telling people they just had
to pray for the dead at that time. The practice of "feeding the dead"
stuck, however, and is still practiced in America today. This is what we
do:

On October 31, just as it starts to get dark, children dress in a
costume (it used to be just ghosts and gobblins, but now it is any kind of
masquerade costume) and walk around. They go from door to door in houses in
their neighborhood and say "Trick or Treat". (That means "give us something
good to eat - like candy - or we will play a bad trick on you."). The
people in the houses visited by the "Trick or Treaters" usually ask them to
tell a joke or sing a song before giving them a "treat" of candy.
Many houses are decorated with pumpkins, "ghosts" made of a bed sheet and
tied in the trees, dolls dressed like witches or monsters, black cat
pictures, and tiny, flashing, colored lights of orange and black. Many
adults dress up as ghosts, witches and monsters, and pretend to "scare" the
children who come to their homes. Parents walk around with younger children
- teens go out on their own. It's a fun holiday. I always tell my students
their homework for that night is to bring me a piece of the candy they
collect.

Is this holiday celebrated in your country? If not, do you have
anything similar? What holiday is coming up in your country, how did it
start, and how is it celebrated? Thanks for the information.

Carol

Категория: Письма | Добавил: bbc (20.11.2007) | Автор: Carol from America
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