Halloween History


Halloween History!

To learn more about the history of Halloween, watch the short National Geographic video below about the history of Halloween. It’s a great listening exercise! And to make it easier, I have included a list of difficult vocabulary at the bottom of this post.

How is Halloween celebrated in your country? Leave me a comment below!

Vocabulary (in order of appearance)

  • communion: (here) the sharing / exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially on a mental or spiritual level
  • pranks: a trick or practical joke at the expense of someone else
  • patchwork: made up of many parts
  • stitched together: put together, combined of
  • to span: (here) to extend across a period of time, here centuries
  • harvest season: the time of the year when farmers bring in their crops, for example wheat, corn, etc.
  • veil: (here) something that separates and hides something:
  • to gather: to come together in a group
  • Bonfire: a large fire made outdoors
  • to frown on something: to disapprove of something
  • pagan ritual: a spiritual ritual not belonging to any of the big religions in the world
  • to merge: to combine together to make one thing out of it.
  • church sanctioned holiday: a holiday approved by the church
  • to designate: (here) to name or label something formally
  • martyr: someone who died for their religious beliefs
  • deceased: (here) someone who has (recently) died
  • a calculated move: an action done with full awareness of the likely consequences
  • to bring someone into the fold: (here) to gain more Christian followers
  • customs: (here) traditional activities
  • extortion: (here) the practice of getting something, here sweets, through force or threats:
  • bribes: (here) a gift to the children to stop the tricks /vandalism

Video source: National Geographic on Youtube

Further reading:
Halloween Etymology
What’s a Jack-O’-Lantern
Halloween Themed Idioms


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