Children in costumes race from house to house asking for treats. A carved pumpkin， called a jack-o'-lantern， grins from a porch as the children pass. According to legend， jack-o'-lanterns protect people in their homes from ghostly spirits.
It's all part of the fun on Halloween! The roots of Halloween stretch back thousands of years and borrow customs from several parts of the world.
WHAT IS HALLOWEEN?
Halloween is a holiday celebrated on October 31. By tradition， Halloween begins after sunset. Long ago， people believed that witches gathered together and ghosts roamed the world on Halloween. Today， most people no longer believe in ghosts and witches. But these supernatural beings are still a part of Halloween.
The colors black and orange are also a part of Halloween. Black is a symbol for night and orange is the color of pumpkins. A jack-o'-lantern is a hollowed-out pumpkin with a face carved on one side. Candles are usually placed inside， giving the face a spooky glow.
DRESSING IN COSTUMES
Dressing in masks and costumes is a popular Halloween activity. Costumes can be traditional and scary， such as a witch's pointy hat and black gown. Costumes may also have a modern flavor. Many children dress up as movie characters or a favorite superhero.
But Halloween is not just for children. Many adults enjoy showing off their costumes at Halloween parties!
Once in costume， children go from house to house saying "Trick or treat!" In the past， children might play a "trick" on people who did not give treats. They might pelt houses with eggs or old tomatoes， or play other pranks. Today， children's cries of "Trick or treat!" are usually rewarded with candy.