Halloween may have roots in European lore, but celebrating the spooky holiday in America is a unique experience. Since cultural immersion helps with learning English, check out these ways to celebrate this centuries-old tradition in American fashion.
Trick-or-treating may be the most popular of Halloween traditions. This is because it includes free candy! Children across the nation participate in this tradition. They dress in costumes, and then knock on their neighbors’ doors on Halloween night. They shout “Trick or treat!” to get free treats. At the end of the night, they head home with a bag full of candy. People staying at home should have a bag of candy at their door ready to hand out to kids. Trick-or-treating is a great community event, and is a good way to meet neighbors and practice English.
Going to a Halloween party is one of the best ways to join in American Halloween celebrations. At these festive and sometimes spooky events, you can easily see how creative Americans are with their costumes. Americans often choose trendy costumes, instead of traditional costumes, like witches and werewolves. These parties are a great way to show off costumes and enjoy American candy and Halloween traditions. People living in the New York City area can even enjoy free and kid-friendly parties like “Hallowscream” or the WBO Haunted House. They also can participate in a number of non-Halloween fall festivals.
One of the most iconic symbols of Halloween is the jack-o’-lantern. This is a carved pumpkin lit up by a candle placed inside the hollow pumpkin. Americans scoop the “guts” (pulp and seeds) from their pumpkins before carving designs into the front. You can carve a traditional face into the pumpkin, or you can carve a unique design. Many Americans carve witches, cats, or spiders in their jack-o’-lanterns. To join in, just make sure you don’t carve a pumpkin too early, or it will rot before Halloween!
Halloween is just a few short weeks away, and it’s a great way to become immersed in an English-speaking culture. If you’re interested in experiencing this American tradition firsthand, call ALCC American Language at (212) 736-2373 or visit us online for information about schedules and online registration today!