Hallowe’en is a big festival in the United States, but its origin is from the ancient Celtic people of Britain and northern France.If you are a football supporter you may know that the star Japanese footballer, Shunsuke Nakamura, plays for the champions of Scotland, Celtic.
More than 2,000 years ago the Celtic people celebrated Samhain on October 31st. At that time this was the last day of the year and the Celtic people believed that the spirits of the dead could visit their house on this day. But evil spirits, often appearing as animals (especially cats), could also visit. To frighten the evil spirits people dressed in scary costumes and carried lanterns made from turnips which were painted with scary faces.
Over the centuries the Christian religion spread through Europe and, in the year 835, November 1st was made an important Christian holy day (holiday) to honour all the Christian saints. This day was (and still is) called All Saints Day, or All Hallows (to hallow means to make holy).
On the day before All Hallows people continued to celebrate Samhain, which gradually changed its name to the ‘Evening before Hallows’ to ‘Hallows’ Eve’ to ‘Hallowe’en’. In the United States the first big Hallowe’en festival was in 1921. The idea of Trick or Treat was started in the US, as did the use of pumpkins for lanterns instead of turnips.
These days Hallowe’en is a fun-day for many people, but there are some who still follow the traditions of Samhain.
A few days ago they lost in the UEFA Cup to Udinese of Italy, and they played very poorly. Spurs still have a chance to qualify for the next round, but they must really improve their performance.
This is a photo of the team manager (coach), Juande Ramos, after the game. He was sacked yesterday. I think he was a good manager who tried his very best, but things have been going very badly at Spurs this season, so it is normal that he must leave. I am sure he will get a lot of money as compensation.
At the same time a new manager was appointed, Harry Redknapp. He is a little older than Ramos, and has a lot more experience in English football, but not so much in European football. I think it is quite a good choice, let’s hope that results improve.
On Monday afternoon I went to the Shizuoka cricket ground next to the Abe River, near Kano Bridge. It was a national holiday, sports day, and when I got to the ground I saw a cricket match being played.
It seemed like everyone understood the game, but later I found that for most players it was their first time to play cricket. Cricket is not easy at first, but these players looked really good, and very enthusiastic.
The players were all university students (some of them are in my class) and it was part of a day of cricket practice and enjoyment, followed by a barbecue. What a fantastic day. I was so sorry that I couldn’t stay for so long, the cricket was so exciting and the barbecue looked so tasty.
Good luck and thanks to Kosuke and Dipak (Deepak?) for organising such a great day.