For ESL Learners - What Adults Do on Halloween
By Jane Wangersky
If you didn't grow up in North America, you may not know what to do on Halloween. But children here expect adults to do certain things - and it is a children's holiday. So most adults do their part.
(If you feel that celebrating Halloween goes against your beliefs, people will understand.)
On Halloween (October 31st), adults in the U.S. and Canada are expected to:
- Give candy or some other kind of treat to the children who come to the door (which is called trick-or-treating). The treats should be still in their wrappers - small candy bars and small bags of chips are good.
- Keep the light on over the front door to show they are taking part. If you run out of treats, turn it off.
- Pretend not to recognize children they know.
- Pretend to be afraid of the children in "scary" costumes.
- Take their own children trick-or-treating. Children used to go by themselves, but this is not thought to be safe anymore.
- Help their children with costumes. You do not have to buy them - try using clothes and other things around your house.
Extra things adults can do:
- Decorate their houses to look scary.
- Wear costumes as they give out treats.
- Fill special bags for children they know.
- Make a jack-o-lantern (a hollow pumpkin with a face carved in it and a light inside). Put it in the front window.
- Give a costume party for friends.
What not to do:
- Give out homemade treats (parents do not know if they can trust them).
- Let your children play tricks, like putting toilet paper on someone's house. This was once accepted, but not anymore.
- Leave your jack-o-lantern where people can get it - they might throw it into the street.
- Expect to see your pets. They may be hiding - animals are often scared of the strange things happening on Halloween.
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Printable version: Download halloween for adults.pdf (24.4K)