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Halloween! Boo! I bet you don't know...

Atualizado: 22 de out. de 2022

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Witches' Day, as it is called in Brazil, has become known worldwide as a celebration where children dress up in costumes and go from house to house asking for sweets or threatening to play tricks on their owners in case the request is not fulfilled.

They shout "Trick or Treat!" as the owner of the house answers the door, which literally means, give us something nice to eat, otherwise we will do something bad to you or your house. The treat is usually given and the threat is not carried out.


Halloween was originally called "ALL HALLOWS 'EVE", i.e., All Saints' Day eve, for the word "Hallows" refers to holy people and the word "eve" means "the day before", seeing that November 1st was the day that the Catholic Church elected to honor all saints, including the unknown ones.

Over the years, as the tradition has been passed on from generation to generation by people who often did not know how to read and write, the term "All Hallows' Eve" underwent changes and became "Halloween."

Trick or Treaters


The Halloween tradition was originated in the ancient Britain and Ireland regions, as a Celtic festival called Samhain meaning "late summer" in the Celtic dialect.

In the Celtic culture the night of October 31st was considered sacred, for it marked the passage from fall to winter, the limit between abundance and scarcity.

It was believed that on that specific night, a kind of portal was opened between this world and the afterlife, allowing the spirits of the dead, and among them demons and evil beings, to return to wander among the living, scaring people.

Some took the shape of animals, such as the traditional bats and black cats peculiar to Halloween decoration.

It was not a good idea to travel during that night, as was the custom of some at that time, and the windows of the houses should be closed before nightfall to prevent some evil spirit from settling into the house.

It was customary to leave a lit candle in the barns, for it would chase away some evil being that could spoil the milk of the cows or make the animals sick.

The Celtic druids or priests, to neutralize the power of darkness, would perform some rituals and light large bonfires at the top of the hills. People would take some of this sacred fire to light the fireplaces and stoves in their houses, which, as they believed, would protect them from being harassed by some visitor from the afterlife.



worldwide - no mundo todo

dress up (regular verb) - vestir-se

costume - fantasia

fullfill (regular verb) - nesse contexto - cumprir

treat - qualquer coisa que oferecida a alguém venha causar surpresa ou prazer - mimo

threat - ameaça

underwent - see undergo (irregular verb) - sofrer, passar por

scarcity - escassez

afterlife - o além túmulo

wander (regular verb) - vagar, andar sem rumo

nightfall - o anoitecer

lit - see light (irregular or regular verb) - nesse contexto - acesa

harass - importunar



Prof. Walmir Bastos

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