Halloween: Traditions and Games and Free Halloween Printables in English & Spanish

halloween in spain

Which ingredients do we need to make Pumpkin Pie?

In this post we’ll share links to some great Free Halloween Printables  in English and Spanish that you can use in your language classes. We share some fun facts about Halloween and some traditional games that you can enjoy.

Did you know …

The word “Halloween” originates from the Middle English word ‘Alholowmesse’, meaning “All Saints’ Day”. The night before that day was named “All Hallows Even” which was then shortened to “Hallowe’en” until, in the 20th century, it became as we know it today “Halloween”.

Halloween is a great time for children to have fun.

The day is celebrated in many countries all over the world, all of them having different variations of the better-known traditions such as trick or treat and apple games.

Halloween is the second most commercially successful holiday after Christmas and the candy sales average around $2 billion per year in the United States, with chocolate candy bars being the number one treat.

In some parts of Mexico, instead of saying “trick or treat”, it is common to say: “¿Me da mi calaverita? (“Can you give me my little skull?”).

Halloween in Spain:

Spain’s celebrations are different all over the regions, but it is true to say that in recent years, our country’s traditions have been mixed together with the Halloween we know from the movies and the USA.

In some areas, Halloween is celebrated by decorating houses with pumpkins and spooky objects and children knock on doors along their local streets trying to get candy by dressing up and saying “truco o trato” (literally meaning, “trick or treat”).

[bctt tweet=”Do you say Trick or Treat,  or  Truco o Trato ? #HappyHalloween”]

In some parts of Northern Spain, such as Galicia, they have Halloween celebrations that are much more enthusiastic than in other parts of the country. This is due to their Celtic traditions.

In most schools in Malaga, the children go to school in fancy dress and take part in games and other educational activities, learning about the foreign traditions.

In Catalonia, apart from Halloween they celebrate “La Castañada” where many local traditional foods are eaten, such as chestnuts(castañas), sweet potato (batata), sweet wine (vino dulce) and “panellets”, a Catalan soft biscuit normally topped with almonds or other nuts.

How about some games?

Children, no matter where they are from, like to have fun.  For them, Halloween is  just another day to enjoy themselves and get some candy while dressing up. All over the world there are many traditional and common Halloween games which we definitely encourage you to try with your children, as they will be a great deal of fun! Here are a few suggestions …

Bobbing for Apples

This is one of the probably the best- known Halloween game of all and kids always have fun! To play, set up a large bowl (a washing up bowl is ideal), filled with water and float apples in it. The aim of the game (apart from having lots of fun) is to grab one of the apples with your mouth and remove it from the water. Hands must be kept behind the player’s backs.

We advise you to you have some towels at hand as the players generally end up getting quite wet!

Pass the Apple

This game, even though named “Pass the Apple” can also be played with oranges. To start the game, line up all the children in two rows facing each other, with the same amount of children in both of the rows. The objective of the game is to pass the apple (or orange) to the person behind them using only their chin. They are not allowed to use their hand and they have to avoid dropping the fruit. If that does happen, the team must start from the very beginning!

apple

Snap Apple

To begin playing this game, you have to tie strings around apples and suspend them from the ceiling, a tree branch or anywhere steady enough for the apples to hang from. Once all the players are there, you might have to readjust the length to make sure that they all reach the fruit, which should be at mouth height or lower.

Each player has to try to eat the entire apple without touching it with their hands as they hang which will definitely be tricky, but that’s the fun part of it as well! A prize can be given to the first to finish or the first to manage to  bite the apple.

It might be quite tricky so if you are going to organise the game for young children, so the apples could be swapped for donuts. (Yummy!)

Find the Pumpkins!

A simple and fun game! Challenge all the children to try and find all the pumpkins hidden around the house! Hide them in the garden, in different rooms and places where they won’t expect them. If there are lots of kids playing, you can put them in groups so that it is easier for them to find them and more fun, as well! The prize for the winners… candy, of course!

Using the target language …

All the above games can easily be adapted to use your target language in lessons or at home. Prepare instructions, expressions and vocabulary to use before, during and after each activity.

As always, by focusing on the fun element, the children will be learning new words and using them, without noticing.

We have added some great Halloween materials, in English and Spanish, to our FREE STUFF page that you can download and use with your children. Download your freebies here!  

Happy Halloween

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