Anyone who has ever been to a Halloween fancy-dress party will know that witches, ghosts and other scary creatures are the most popular costumes. To understand the reasonfor this we must go back more than 2,000 years to the pre-Christian religious festivals of the Celtic peoples of Britain and Ireland. From what we know of the Celts, it seems part of their religious calendar was a night at the beginning of winter when they believed the spirits of dead people could return to walk the earth. On this night some Celtic tribes lit bonfires to scare away evil spirits,or even disguised themselves as ghosts so that the real ghosts would not attack them. The event survived into the Christian era, and eventually received the name of Halloween and a fixed date in the modern calendar – October 31st.
In the nineteenth century, Irish and British (particularly Scottish) people who emigrated to North America took their Halloween tradition with them, and in thetwentieth century it spread all over the US and Canada. Nowadays in the US, for example, people spend more on decorations and parties during Halloween than during any other annual festival apart from Christmas.
One of the most well-known Halloween decorations is a hollow pumpkin with a candle inside, and a mouth and eyes cut into the skin to make a scary looking ‘face’. As for Halloween activities, oneof the most traditional is ‘trick or treating’ in which children and teenagers – sometimes dressed as ghosts or witches, orin some other Halloween costume – go around knocking on people’s doors on the evening of October 31st and asking for small ‘treats’, usually sweets. A recentsurvey in the US suggested that more than three-quarters of children expect to go trick-or-treating on Halloween night.Some people think the origin of trick or treating is a Scottish tradition called ‘guising’, in which children do something like tell a joke or sing a song in return for their treat. In many places, however, the children offer nothing in return: they just say they will play a ‘trick’ of some kind if they don’t receive a treat. Trick-or-treating is mostly very good-humoured, and almost all adultsare happy to give out sweets. Normally, therefore, trick-or-treaters receive a lot of sugary items during the evening, meaning Halloween is possibly the worst event in the year for children’s teeth.
Read the text and answer the following questions. Be careful to follow the instructions for each question.
1. Choose one of the words or expressions listed below and relate it to thecorresponding word or expression in the column (as numbered in the text) (1 mark). Please copy the correct pair of related words on your sheet.
Hand out - sweet - go back - famous - frightening
return go back
give out Hand out
2.1 Choose the best option (0.75 marks). Please copy the complete correct option on your answer sheet.
a) On the night ofOctober 31st Halloween parties are celebrated in all over the world.
b) On the night of October 31st Halloween parties are celebrated in the United States.
c) On the last night of October Halloween parties are celebrated.
d) On the last night of October Halloween parties are celebrated in various different parts of the world.
2.2 Choose the best option (0.75 marks). Please copy the completecorrect option on your answer sheet.
a) On Halloween children dressed up as witches, ghosts or other scary creatures.
b) On Halloween children don’t go out to the street.
c) Halloween is a religious festivity.
d) Adults are not happy giving sweets to children on Halloween.
3. Complete the sentences, using information from the text (2 marks). It is important that phrases from the text are not...