Although Halloween in Europe is mostly associated with America, this holiday is tied to old traditions and customs of the Celts. Better known as "Samhain", it means "summer's end".

Halloween is celebrated on the last night of the Celtic year, beginning at sundown on

Oct. 31 and continuing until sunrise on November 1. It is a night where the divide between the world of the living and the kingdom of non-living is the smallest. It is the most magical night of the year.

During this night glowing lanterns carved from pumpkins are placed on the porch of houses or behind the front windows. Today you can see glowing pumpkins on lawns or in front of houses. These lights are supposed to welcome deceased ancestors and also serve as protection against malicious spirits. As a source of light, originally burning pieces of coal were used. Later, candles were placed into the pumpkin.

Pumpkins became connected with Halloween when European settlers (mainly Irish) came to America. They discovered a practical thing growing there, something unknown in Europe – the pumpkin. Pumpkins were bigger and better suited to carving compared to beets used in the old continent. Halloween once again gained popularity and from the 19th century onwards it has been celebrated even more than in the past.

Vocabulary

associate = spojováno

custom = zvyk

divide = dělit, rozdělovat

deceased ancestor = zemřelý předek

malicious spirit = zlomyslný duch

source = zdroj

onwards = dál (směrem), kupředu (směřující)

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