What are your plans for Halloween this year? Do you have any plans? Is Halloween an important holiday for you, or have you ever hear of this holiday at all? It’s sure popular in the U.S. but it didn’t originate there. It actually originated as the day before another holiday.
Halloween is coming in a few days, and I thought this would be a good chance to talk about the word “Halloween.”
I’m Paul Preston. From Venture English, this is three minute English, a podcast in English, about English for English learners.
You may have heard of the word Halloween, but you may not have given much thought to it. Actually it’s not only a fun holiday, it’s a pretty interesting word. You know it used to be that Halloween was not a holiday at all. In fact, it was the day before a holiday. The holiday was All Souls Day on November 1st. This is the day that all the dead spirits would come back home to their families. It was nice to have the families back together, I suppose, but it came at a price. You see, on the night before all of the evil spirits would come and try to spirit away the people who were still alive.
To be spirited away meant you as a human would have to live with the spirits, and this was not a good thing. So the humans would protect themselves with tricks like salt at the door which would ward off, or scare away the evil spirits.
All this would happen on the scary day All Hallow’s Eve. This was the evening before All Hallow’s Day, All Hallow’s Day was just another name for All Souls Day. Just like Christmas Even is the night before Christmas and New Year’s eve is the night before New Years’.
Well, it isn’t hard to imagine “All Hallows Eve” becoming “Halloween.” Just say it a few times fast and you can see where we got the word Halloween. This kind of speech reduction is very common in Eglish. Think about Wha’cha doin’ or We’re gonna go camping this weekend. Words change all the time in languages. But sometimes this change creates new words or even new holidays!
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I’m Paul Preston Thanks for listening to 3 Minute English