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Halloween

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rami AL-Rashayda

on 17 October 2012

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Transcript of Halloween

Halloween Halloween Halloween is a holiday in many English speaking countries that is celebrated on the night of October 31st. Children wear costumes and they go to peoples' homes saying "Trick or treat !" to ask for candy, and then people give it to them. This practice originally involved a threat. A treat is when someone says that they will do something bad if they do not get what they want. In this case the threat could be explained as: "Give me a treat or I will play a trick on you." Children today usually do not play tricks if they do not get treats. However, some children still get up to mischief (pranks or things to make fun of people; like putting toilet paper in trees; writing on windows with soap or throwing eggs at peoples' houses). People sometimes dress up as ghosts, witches, goblins and other scary things for Halloween. Straddling the line between fall and winter, life and death, Halloween is a time of 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 off roaming ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating. In a number of countries around the world, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people continue to usher in the winter season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats. Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain . The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. Ancient Origins of Halloween To commemorate the event, Celtic built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, By 43 A.D., the Roman Empire had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain. Today's Halloween Traditions The American Halloween tradition of "trick-or-treating" probably dates back to the early All Souls' Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called "soul cakes" in return for their promise to pray for the family's dead relatives. The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits. The practice, which was referred to as "going a-souling" was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in their neighborhood and be given ale, food, and money. The tradition of dressing in costume for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. Hundreds of years ago, winter was an uncertain and frightening time. Food supplies often ran low and, for the many people afraid of the dark, the short days of winter were full of constant worry. On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits. On Halloween, to keep ghosts away from their houses, people would place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter
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