Happy Halloween from Hankins English!

Modern Halloween has its roots in the Gaelic (ゲール人の) festival of Samhein from Ireland and Scotland.
It is festival that marks the end of the harvest season (収穫期) and the beginning of winter.
Spirits (霊魂) and souls of the dead (死者の魂) were also believed to come back to Earth at this time (like Obon in Japan).
The autumn and scary (怖い) themes of modern Halloween have their roots in these traditions.

Though the roots of Halloween are from the UK and Ireland, modern Halloween celebrations are most popular in North America (America and Canada).
People decorate their houses and children (and often adults too) dress up in costumes (仮装).
They go around their neighbourhood (近所) saying “trick or treat” (「お菓子をくれないといたずらするよ」) to collect candy (or “sweets” as we say in the UK).
They also carve (くりぬき) pumpkins to make into Jack O’Lanterns (カボチャのちょうちん).

In the old days people used to mostly wear scary costumes like ghosts and witches, but now you can see all kinds of characters.

Recently American style Halloween has become a little more popular in the UK, but surprisingly it is much more popular in Japan now.

Happy Halloween!
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