SPOKEN ENGLISH: Halloween and Christmas

Translate lesson on 100+languages:

We are slowly approaching holidays like Halloween and Christmas. People all over the world celebrate them. Today we are going to learn how people celebrate them and some questions we might ask.

Take your cup of coffee and let’s start!

Halloween, traditionally observed on October 31, is associated with the western world and celebrated in North America by the U.S. and Canada.

A favorite holiday among children, Halloween is a fun day that encourages them to dress up in costumes, tell spine-tingling stories, and go from door to door collecting candy.

Ireland is considered the birthplace of modern Halloween.

Halloween with bonfires, games, and traditional foods and Irish fruitcake that contains coins, buttons, and rings for fortunetelling. For example, rings mean marriage, while coins mean wealth in the upcoming year.

By the mid-1900s in America, Halloween had become an opportunity for kids (and adults) to wear costumes and parade from house to house, asking for money or sweet treats. The tradition was especially popular among the poor, but it soon expanded to include everyone, especially children.

Christmas is the biggest holiday and it’s connected to religious beliefs and traditions. It is usually a very social holiday. Normally, people like to spend time with friends and family to celebrate the holiday.

Every family has different traditions and customs depending on their history, ethnicity, and values.

The shared tradition is to be with family or friends on Christmas.

Many people celebrate Christmas by giving presents (gifts) to their friends, family members, or coworkers. This is called a gift exchange. There are a few special words related to presents and some different types of gift exchanges.

First of all, normally people wrap the gifts they give, which means that they put decorative wrapping paper around the gift. They might also put the gift in a gift bag.

Then, when people exchange the presents, they unwrap (or open) them to see what’s inside.

Many businesses will have a holiday party or an end of the year party in December for their employees.

Everywhere you go, you’ll see Christmas decorations and hear Christmas songs.

The most common decoration is probably a Christmas tree, and most families that celebrate Christmas have one in their house. Some people buy their trees from large tree lots, and others go to Christmas tree farms and choose a tree to cut down.

Some families might use artificial (fake) trees since they don’t make a mess and you don’t have to buy a new one every year.

The most common tree decorations are called ornaments. The Christmas trees also usually have some Christmas lights. Many people also decorate the outside of their houses with Christmas lights.

When families get together for Christmas, they usually have a large, special meal. Many families even have fancy (special) plates and silverware (forks, knives, spoons) that they only use for Christmas or other special occasions.

The main course is often some kind of meat dish, such as ham, duck, or turkey.

Many people enjoy Christmas treats like chocolate, cakes, marshmallows.

On this special day, Santa Claus brings presents to good boys and girls.

Questions we might ask:

Do you have any plans for Halloween/Christmas party?

Are you at home over Christmas/Halloween, or are you going away?

What did you do over Christmas/Halloween?

Did you have a good Christmas/Halloween?

Homework: How Christmas and Halloween are celebrated in your country?

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