English on the Internet - English Magazine


September 17, 2000

What is Halloween in the US? Some will tell you it is a "heathen holiday or Satan's night" but the truth is that it is just a night for children to dress up and ask for treats. Granted they often trick people by putting toilet paper on trees and bushes or throwing shelled corn on their porch but mostly it is done in fun. Of course some of older children can vandalize homes and cars but these are children who would do it even if it wasn't Halloween.

Halloween means "all Hallo's Eve". This was a holiday celebrated by pagans who worshipped the earth and believe there were both a male and female god. It was a part of their religion but since people outside their circle didn't understand they called it a night of evil.

One night is set aside for the children to "trick or treat" the homes in their communities. If you wish to treat the children you leave your porch light on so they will know they are welcome. Parents or older siblings often accompany small children so they will be safe but there can still be danger in the treats they receive. Sometimes razor blades or small pieces of glass are found in apples or drugs, ground glass or poison in candy. Parents must check each treat to see if it has been tampered with before giving it to their child.

Many communities are now holding a community party where children go to play games and receive candy and prizes for best costume. They believe this is the only way to keep the children safe. Businesses donate prizes and refreshments to these parties because it keeps the children off the street and out of the danger of being struck by a vehicle, molested, or taken by a relative or stranger.

Halloween is a child's holiday just as Christmas is a time for them to receive gifts as baby Jesus did. There are a lot of adult holidays in the US so why should children be denied the two where they receive gifts and treats. The US is holiday crazy and it is great that the children aren't forgotten.

by Jane Custer - USA, has a BS in Communications and loves writing

© September 2000 English on the Internet www.aj.cz