Emma’s Halloween Special
Halloween is an ancient and fascinating day, with its origins rooted in the history of mankind. Conjuring images of ghosts and witches, over the last 100 years it has reinvented itself to become a fun and spooky day for children and the young at heart in British culture. For the occasion, we asked Emma Lauson of KKCL to produce something original and interactive; this was the result…
Today’s Halloween customs are tho ught to have been influenced by folk customs and beliefs from the Celtic-speaking countries, some of which are believed to have pagan roots. Jack Santino, a folklorist, writes that “there was throughout Ireland an uneasy truce existing between customs and beliefs associated with Christianity and those associated with religions that were Irish before Christianity arrived”. Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while “some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, which comes from the Old Irish for “summer’s end”.
In this video, I help students learn more about Halloween by preparing a class activity for them.
You can download the poem and accompanying worksheets (complete with answers) directly from this page.
Feel free to use this material, provided you do not sell it.