28 October, 2022

Halloween at Nord Anglia International School Shanghai, Pudong

Halloween at Nord Anglia International School Shanghai, Pudong -EE-Annotation 2022-10-28 124458

What another exciting day for our Primary children today! Witches and vampires, fairies and superheroes and many more creatures could be spotted around the classrooms making it a fun-filled Halloween celebration.

Halloween at Nord Anglia International School Shanghai, Pudong -EE

Where did Halloween come from?

Halloween has its origins dating back over 2,000 years with a harvest festival called Samhain (pronounced Sah-Win). This was held from sunset on 31st October to sunset on 1st November being celebrated by The Celts who lived in what is now modern-day France, Ireland and the UK. Samhain means “end of Summer” and people believed that a celebration would make their gods happy and thus protect their crops and families over the long, cold and dark winter that was to come. The Celts built huge bonfires and burned crops and animals as sacrifices, believing that evil spirits and ghosts would be scared away by the fires they lit.

Where did the name Halloween come from?

Many hundreds of years later, with Christianity becoming the dominant faith, 1st November became known as All Saints’ Day’, or ‘All Hallows’ in Old English.  As a result, 31st October was called “All Hallows’ Eve” and is from here that we get the word Halloween’.

Halloween at Nord Anglia International School Shanghai, Pudong -EE

 

Why do people dress up in costumes at Halloween?

People continued to believe that evil spirits roamed the earth on Halloween; it was in reaction to this belief that many people began to dress up and wear masks, in a bid to fool the ghosts into thinking that they were other spirits. It is from this fascinating snapshot of cultural history that our own modern-day habits of dressing-up at Halloween derive.

 

Why are there lanterns made from pumpkins at Halloween?

One old Irish legend associated with Halloween and Samhain is that of Jack O’Lantern. Legend has it that he was a mean and sly man who always played tricks on people. When he died, he did not go to Heaven but was doomed to roam the Earth as a restless spirit. The only thing that Jack had to guide him on his way was a light made from a hollowed-out turnip with a burning candle inside it. For this reason, he was referred to as “Jack of the Lantern” or Jack O’ Lantern. Nowadays, most Jack O’Lanterns are made from pumpkins as they are easier to carve.

Halloween at Nord Anglia International School Shanghai, Pudong -EE

 

Why do we trick or treat at Halloween?

At Halloween people were also afraid that ghosts would enter their houses. So, people put bowls of food outside their houses hoping that this would make the ghosts less of a threat. Of course, over the years, people thought it would be a good idea to enjoy some of that food for themselves, instead of leaving it all to the greedy goblins! This, according to some, was the start of trick or treating. 

Halloween at Nord Anglia International School Shanghai, Pudong -EE

As for our Halloween celebrations at Nord Anglia International School, Pudong, we have enjoyed a day of colourful costumes, festivities, friendship and fun, entering into the full swing of things with unabashed creativity!