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Learning about Halloween in English

a raw of orange pumpkins on halloween

Learn about Halloween customs in English speaking countries and Halloween vocabulary in English.

Halloween is a holiday celebrated on October 31 – the last day of October. The idea of Halloween is very old. In Ireland and Scotland, a custom which is similar to the idea of Halloween today started a long time ago.

What Countries Celebrate Halloween Today?

The tradition of Halloween was brought to The United States by immigrants. The holiday of Halloween became very popular in The U.S. and still is today.

But, the celebration of halloween has spread to a lot of the western world. Today some of the biggest celebrations happen in Ireland, The United States, The United Kingdom, and Canada. 

How do People Celebrate Halloween?

The most common traditions of modern Halloween include candy and costumes. Usually, young children get dressed up in costumes and knock on the doors of their neighbors. The kids ask for candy.

Adults often have halloween parties which usually include things like bonfires and drinking. 

Halloween Vocabulary

There is a lot of vocabulary that is specific to halloween. This is excellent vocabulary to learn to help you celebrate the holiday in any English speaking country!

Word

Definition

trick or treat

an activity children do on halloween when they go from door to door knocking and asking for candy.

They might shout this phrase when they knock on the door ‘trick or treat!’ or you might say ‘We are going trick or treating tonight at 8:00!’

jack-o’-lantern

a carved pumpkin with a candle inside

 

Carving jack-o’-lanterns is a very common tradition. Many houses will put them in front or on the porch on Halloween night.

haunted house

a place which people visit to be scared on halloween night

 

A haunted house is designed to be scary! People might pretend to be cut up be a chainsaw. They will probably jump our and try to scare you as you walk through!

candy corn

a white, orange, and yellow candy in the shape of a triangle which is only available at halloween

a pile of candy corn

Classic English Halloween Movies

Some people choose not to go outside trick or treating on Halloween and instead they stay home and watch scary movies! If you want to get in the halloween spirit, any scary movie will do – but there are some classic movies which many English speakers watch on halloween. Since these are made for English speakers it would be best to watch them with subtitles on.

  • PG-13
  • Good for adults or teens

Hocus Pocus is the story of three witches who are accidentally resurrected (brought back from the dead) on halloween. The movie is a little bit scary for young children but it is a comedy.

  • PG
  • Good for adults or teens

Beetlejuice was made but the famous American, Tim Burton. Some ghosts try to haunt a house they used to live in. The movie is a comedy but it is a little bit creepy and dark (unhappy) so it is not a good movie for children to watch. 

  • PG
  • Good for kids

Goosebumps stars the comedian Jack Black and is great for kids! Two teenagers get together to fight demons in their town.

Want More Halloween?

If you want to learn more about the traditions of halloween – or if you want help understanding those scary movies you watched, book a lesson with Caitlin or Helen!

 

We an help you with you Halloween vocabulary, understanding halloween customs, and so much more!

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