The Scariest Day of the Year
Some very scary Halloween pumpkins. Photo by Pedro J Ferreira/flickr
Today is 31 October, and it is the scariest day of the year. Do you know the verb “to scare”? If you scare someone, you frighten them, you make them afraid. So, “scary” means “frightening” and today is a special, scary sort of day, as I shall explain.
Today is Halloween. “Halloween” means “the evening of (that is, the day before) All Hallows Day”, and “All Hallows Day” is an old Christian festival which takes place on 1 November, when special prayers are said for people who have recently died. But Halloween is not a Christian festival. Its origin lies in pre-Christian Ireland. It was a festival to mark the end of the summer and the start of the cold days of winter. It was a time when the world of the spirits and the fairies and the ghosts touched our world, and special magical things might happen. And magical things are frightening. So Halloween is a special scary day!
Kevin and Joanne have invited all their friends to a Halloween party. They have put orange and black decorations in their sitting room. They have bought some pumpkins and scraped the flesh and the seeds out of them. They have cut scary faces on the pumpkins and put candles inside. The pumpkins now look like the picture which you can see on the website, or on your iPod screens. I am sure that you think that they are very frightening!
Of course, their friends will come to the party in fancy dress. That means that they will all dress like evil witches, or like ghosts, or like spiders or other scary things. They will paint their faces, or wear masks, to make themselves look even more scary. To add to the scary atmosphere, Kevin has borrowed a DVD of an old film called Dracula. The film was made in 1931, and is about Count Dracula, who is a scary man who drinks human blood at breakfast time instead of coffee.