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A long time ago, the Irish celebrated a festival known as “samhain,” where evil ghosts would come to their house and cause harm. The people dressed as these ugly ghosts to try to blend in with them so they would not be harmed. When the Irish and this tradition came to America, Americans turned this holiday into one involving going trick-o-treating, carving pumpkins, and wearing costumes. Although “samhain” has changed much into today’s “Halloween,” they still share the same theme of scary and evil things. Halloween is celebrated every year on 10/31.

To celebrate Halloween, people will usually wear costumes, carve pumpkins, and throw parties. Friends usually compete among themselves to see who has the best costume, pumpkin, or decorations. Children will also go door-to-door to their neighbors asking for candy.

The Ghost Festival originated from a story where a hungry ghost followed around a child. This child put out food for the ghost in order to remove it from his life. The story spread and led to the adoption of celebrating ghost festival (or ghost month) by Chinese. The ghost month occurs on the seventh month of the lunar calendar, and the festival occurs on the fourteenth night of that month.

During Ghost Month, the Chinese believe that the ghosts of their ancestors have escaped and mingle among them, looking for food and entertainment. Because these ghosts are very hungry, people put food out for them. At the end of the month, families will place a lantern and a small boat in front of their door. The boat tells the ghost how to return home. When the lantern goes out, it means that the ghosts have successfully returned home.