Halloween Tradition

October 31 is Halloween and is now celebrated in many countries around the world, but do you know anything about the origins of this scary special day? Read the article and find out.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the article and do the exercises.

The origins of Halloween

If you think of Halloween, you probably think of scary carved pumpkins, all kinds of fancy dress and children asking for sweets. And if you think of a country that celebrates Halloween, you probably think of the United States first. Americans and Canadians have adopted Halloween in a big way, but Halloween traditions actually come from 16th-century Ireland, Scotland and England.

The tradition of Halloween on 31 October comes from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. Samhain was the Celtic New Year and they celebrated it on 1 November because that was the end of summer and harvest time (life) and the beginning of winter (death). It was also the time for ghosts to return to earth for a day. People lit a big fire, wore special clothes made of animal skin and hoped to be safe from the ghosts and the winter. In AD 609, the Catholic Church put the Christian celebration of All Saints Day on 1 November. In AD 1000, the church added All Souls Day on 2 November, and All Hallows Eve – or Halloween – moved to the night of the 31st.

Pumpkins

The Celts carved faces into vegetables like turnips, potatoes and squash (a pumpkin is a kind of squash) to scare the ghosts and other spirits and make them go away. It was sometimes called a jack-o’-lantern because of an Irish story about a man, Jack. He played a trick on the devil and then had to walk the earth for all time as a punishment. Irish people who came to live in the United States in the 1800s found pumpkins much easier to carve, and the tradition became the one we see today.   

Fancy dress

The Celts were afraid of the ghosts that came on Samhain. If they went outside after dark, they covered their faces with masks. They hoped any ghosts they met would think they were ghosts too and would leave them alone. In early America, the Native Americans and the first Europeans celebrated the end of the harvest, but not Halloween. When Irish people arrived, the harvest festival started to look more like Halloween and it became popular across the country. In the late 19th century, people tried to make Halloween less about ghosts and religion and more about celebrating the season with a party for neighbours and family. That’s why Americans today wear all kinds of Halloween costumes and not just scary things like witches and ghosts like in other countries.

Trick or treat

This is another tradition that began in Europe, this time in England. When the church introduced All Souls Day, rich people gave poor people ‘soul cakes’, a small cake made with spices and raisins. It replaced the Celtic tradition of leaving food outside houses for the ghosts. ‘Going a-souling’ was popular in England for hundreds of years until about the 1930s. The Americans kept the tradition, but today children knock on people’s doors and ask for sweets. Going trick or treating is so popular that a quarter of the sweets for the year in the United States are sold for this one day.

The rest of the world

Halloween has become the United States’ second-biggest commercial festival after Christmas. Halloween is also celebrated in other countries, but it’s not as big as in the United States, even in the countries where the traditions began. Mexico celebrates the Day of the Dead from 31 October to 2 November and some of its traditions, like giving gifts of sugar skulls, are starting to mix with Halloween. In this way, the celebration of Halloween continues to change as new traditions join the oldest of the Celtic ones.

Source: https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/general-english/magazine-zone/halloween?utm_campaign=English%20-%20All%20-%20Learn%20English%20-%20Global%20-%20Newsletter&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=65028413&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_1pI0V4YEwbZiG_SjXU9O3K3V7pGUKVr6_gN2xOx-iZ7YHWdzZtU_fbDzslzNBVvU1rHv1zEqXPZuyrRYCrCu4NG6NJw&utm_content=65028413&utm_source=hs_email

New Year’s celebration around the world

https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/general-english/magazine-zone/new-year-celebrations?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=english-adults-leweb-global-global-2022-01-le-newsletter

New year, old celebrations

There have been celebrations to mark the beginning of a new year for thousands of years. Sometimes these were simply an opportunity for people to eat, drink and have fun, but in some places the festivities were connected to the land or astronomical events. For example, in Egypt the beginning of the year coincided with when the River Nile flooded, and this normally happened when the star Sirius rose. The Persians and Phoenicians started their new year at the spring equinox (this is around 20 March when the Sun shines more or less directly on the equator and the length of the night and the day are almost the same).

The oldest celebration

The city of Babylon in ancient Mesopotamia was where the first New Year’s celebrations were recorded about 4,000 years ago. The Babylonians held their celebrations on the first new moon after the spring equinox and called this festival Akitu (which comes from the word the Sumerians used for barley). Barley was cut in Mesopotamia in the spring, and during Akitu there was a different ritual on each of the 11 days that the celebration lasted. Statues of the gods were carried through the streets of the city, and in this way the Babylonians believed that their world had been cleaned to prepare for the new year and a new spring.

Modern celebrations

In many cities all over the world, spectacular fireworks displays take place as soon as the clock passes midnight on 31 December. In recent years, Sydney in Australia has been the host to one of the first of these celebrations as New Year arrives there before most other major international cities. The display takes place in Sydney Harbour, with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge making it a stunning setting. Fireworks light up the skies in hundreds of cities as 12 midnight strikes around the globe.

Traditions that live on

There are a number of strange and interesting New Year’s traditions around the world. In Scotland, New Year’s Eve is called Hogmanay and ‘first footing’ remains a popular custom with people visiting friends’ and neighbours’ houses just after midnight. The first person who visits your house should bring a gift as this will mean good luck. In Spain, it is the custom to eat 12 grapes as the bells sound for midnight on 31 December. One grape is eaten at each sound of the bell and each grape is supposed to bring good luck for each month of the year ahead. In Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela and some other Central and South American countries, people wear special underwear of different colours on New Year’s Eve. Red is supposed to be good for bringing love in the new year, while yellow is supposed to bring money.

Out with the old, in with the new

The new year is a perfect time to make a change for the better. The tradition of making New Year’s resolutions is more common in the western hemisphere but also exists in the eastern hemisphere. This tradition involves a person making a commitment to change an unwanted habit or behaviour or setting a personal objective. Typical New Year’s resolutions might be to give up smoking, eat healthier food, do more exercise, become more organised or laugh more – but really, a New Year’s resolution can be almost anything. However, research suggests that many New Year’s resolutions fail. Being realistic about the objectives you set and not making too many New Year’s resolutions might help you to achieve success

The Year of the Rat – Chinese zodiac

Esse será o ano chinês do Rato. Um animal silencioso, rápido e que sabe se multiplicar!

Seguem alguns provérbios chineses para inspiração nesse novo ano.

Some Chinese proverbs:

If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.

Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps the singing bird will come.

When there is light in the soul there is beauty in the person. When there is beauty in the person, there is harmony in the home. When there is harmony in the home, there is honour in the nation. When there is honour in the nation, there is peace in the world.

If you chase two rabbits, both will escape.

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.

A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark.

Be the first to the field and the last to the couch.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.

A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives flowers.

If you always give you will always have.

To succeed, consult three old people. Teachers open the door; you enter by yourself.

He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.

To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.

Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps the singing bird will come - Chinese Proverb (poster available)

Source: Activity Village

International Women’s Day 2019

International Women’s Day is celebrated each year all around the world on March 8th. It is considered as a worldwide event which celebrates every woman’s victories & achievements ranging from social to political things. It is also observed by various communities all around the world such as charity farms, government organizations, business grounds, and etc. This special day also brings to notice about one of the most important factors that is ‘Gender Equality’. This remarkable celebration started all way back from 1900’s and nowadays various big organization and industries have already started to consider this day as an important day all around the world. There is also an interesting thing to look on this day. There are a lot’s of colors which effectively signify this day. Globally purple color is used to symbolize women. But there is a brief history behind this color code. Initially purple, green and white colors were used to symbolize and represent women’s equality.

It was originated back in 1908 from Women’s Social and Political Union which was located in the United Kingdom (UK). The color white is used for symbolizing purity but as a matter of fact, the color white is no longer considered to symbolize the word purity as because many things it is a controversial topic. The color Green symbolizes hope; purple represents women from all round view. There are two new combinations which represent two new concepts about feminism. One is purple with yellow which symbolizes contemporary progressive feminism and another is purple with green which symbolizes traditional norms of feminism. If anyone looks at the timeline then the International Women’s Day from the very beginning was celebrated by communist type countries and active socialists. Later in 1975, it was adopted by United Nations (UN) and now it is now widely celebrated all around the world.

https://www.womensdayquotes.net/

Tradições de Ano Novo pelo mundo

Algumas dessas tradições, nós tbm fazemos no Brasil, outras já estudamos durante as aulas. Vale conferir e praticar sua leitura.

Many New Year traditions that we take for granted actually date back to ancient times. This year, ring out the old and ring in the new with a new New Year tradition—or two!

MAKE SOME NOISE

Making a lot of noise—from fireworks to gun shots to church bells—seems to be a favorite pastime around the world.

• In ancient Thailand, guns were fired to frighten off demons.

• In China, firecrackers routed the forces of darkness.

• In the early American colonies, the sound of pistol shots rang through the air.

• Today, Italians let their church bells peal, the Swiss beat drums, and the North Americans sound sirens and party horns to bid the old year farewell.

EAT LUCKY FOOD

Many New Year traditions surround food. Here are a few:

• The tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight comes from Spain. Revelers stuff their mouths with 12 grapes in the final moments of the year—one grape for every chime of the clock!

• In the southern US, black-eyed peas and pork foretell good fortune. See our recipe for Good Luck Hoppin’ John!

• In Scotland—where Hogmanay is celebrated—people parade down the streets swinging balls of fire.

• Eating any ring-shaped treat (such as a doughnut) symbolizes “coming full circle” and leads to good fortune. In Dutch homes, fritters called olie bollen are served.

• The Irish enjoy pastries called bannocks.

• In India and Pakistan, rice promises prosperity.

• Apples dipped in honey are a Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) tradition.

• In Swiss homes, dollops of whipped cream, symbolizing the richness of the year to come, are dropped on the floors—and allowed to remain there!

HAVE A DRINK

Although the pop of a champagne cork signals the arrival of the New Year around the world, some countries have their own beverage-based traditions.

Wassail, a punch-like drink named after the Gaelic term for “good health,” is served in some parts of England.

• Spiced “hot pint” is the Scottish version of Wassail. Traditionally, the Scots drank to each others’ prosperity and also offered this warm drink to neighbors along with a small gift.

• In Holland, toasts are made with hot, spiced wine.

GIVE A GIFT

New Year’s Day was once the time to swap presents.

• Gifts of gilded nuts or coins marked the start of the new year in Rome.

• Eggs, the symbol of fertility, were exchanged by the Persians.

• Early Egyptians traded earthenware flasks.

• In Scotland, coal, shortbread and silverware were traditionally exchanged for good luck.

PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD

In Scotland, the custom of first-footing is an important part of the celebration of Hogmanay, or New Year’s Eve Day.

After midnight, family and friends visit each other’s home. The “first foot” to cross a threshold after midnight will predict the next year’s fortune. Although the tradition varies, those deemed especially fortunate as “first footers” are new brides, new mothers, those who are tall and dark (and

handsome?) or anyone born on January 1.

TURN OVER A NEW LEAF

The dawn of a new year is an opportune time to take stock of your life.

• Jews who observe Rosh Hashanah make time for personal introspection and prayer, as well as visiting graves.

• Christian churches hold “watch-night” services, a custom that began in 1770 at Old St. Georges Methodist Church in Philadelphia.

• The practice of making New Year’s resolutions, said to have begun with the Babylonians as early as 2600 B.C., is another way to reflect on the past and plan ahead.

NEW YEAR’S FOLKLORE

Some customs and beliefs are simply passed down through the ages. Here are some of our favorite age-old sayings and proverbs.

• On New Year’s Eve, kiss the person you hope to keep kissing.

• If New Year’s Eve night wind blow south, It betokeneth warmth and growth.

• For abundance in the new year, fill your pockets and cupboards today.

• If the old year goes out like a lion, the new year will come in like a lamb.

• Begin the new year square with every man. [i.e., pay your debts!] –Robert B. Thomas, founder of The Old Farmer’s Almanac

So, whether we resolve to return borrowed farm equipment (as did the Babylonians) or drop a few pounds, we’re tapping into an ancient and powerful longing for a fresh start!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

End of The Year Party

Nossa festinha de encerramento foi fantástica!!
Nós cantamos músicas natalinas, dramatizamos a peça The Christmas Blizzard, fizemos atividades e muitas coisas mais!
Todos os alunos receberam seus boletins e diplomas especiais. Estou muito orgulhosa de vocês.
Agora é tempo de descanso e confraternização.
Até o Ano que vem, queridos alunos!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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In English
Our End of The Year Party was fantastic !!
We sang Christmas carols, dramatize the play The Christmas Blizzard, did activities and much more!
All students received their report cards and special diplomas. I’m so proud of you!
Now it is time to rest and celebrate.
See you next year, dear students!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Halloween Celebration

Our Party was spooktacular!
We had a lot of fun with the movie, the activities, the costumes and the treats.
It was a great time that we share with our classmates!Halloween 1IMG_0695-0IMG_0451 Halloween 3

 

A nossa festa foi espetacular!
Nós tivemos um monte de diversão com o filme, as atividades, as fantasias e as guloseimas.
Foi um grande momento que compartilhamos com nossos colegas.

Children’s Day

It was a very good activity!

The kids had a lot of fun painting and decorating the letters of their names.

We all enjoyed the great time, sang songs, played games, and read the new and exciting books from Scholastic Book Club.

Happy Children’s Day to you all!!

Em Português.

Foi uma atividade muito boa!

As crianças se divertiram muito pintando e decorando as letras de seus nomes.

Todos nós curtimos esse momento agradável, cantamos músicas, jogamos diferentes  jogos e lemos os novos e emocionantes livros da Scholastic Book Club.

Feliz Dia das Crianças a todos !!

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