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时间:2020-10-28 22:22来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]

COVID Changes Halloween Celebrations

From VOA Learning English, this is the Health & Lifestyle report.

October 31 is Halloween, a very popular holiday in the United States. Many people look forward to Halloween all year long. Today the holiday brings in billions of dollars to businesses and people of all ages take part in celebrations.

This year, however, the coronavirus pandemic means Halloween will look a little different. Many traditional activities and events have been canceled or changed. These activities include trick-or-treating, corn mazes2, outdoor festivals, and indoor haunted4 houses.

People celebrating Halloween must consider new restrictions5 and concerns for health and safety. The Associated Press talked to families, event organizers and others about the effects of COVID-19 on their Halloween plans.

Big events

Large community events and outdoor festivals across the U.S. have been canceled or changed.

Near the city of San Francisco, California, a well-known Halloween event was supposed to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. Now, it has been canceled.

The Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin6 Festival is a two-day event. In normal times, about 300,000 people come to see the parade and contests -- including California's heaviest pumpkin.

Neighborhood events

Many neighborhoods across the U.S. hold big Halloween parties. Streets shut down to vehicles and people living on the street throw parties.

Some streets become well known for their Halloween celebrations. An area called Webster Groves7, near St. Louis, Missouri, is one example. People who live there decorate their houses, give out candy and have parties. As many as 1,000 people visit for Halloween.

But not this year.

One homeowner there said her family plans to decorate the outside of their house as usual. She wants her neighbors to feel the Halloween spirit. But they will not give out candy.

Corn mazes

This year, many farms with corn mazes must also make changes because of COVID 19.

For example, walkways through the fields of corn are wider than usual. The farms are limiting the number of visitors. And people must wear face masks in places where they cannot stay physically8 distanced.

Haunted houses

Indoor attractions such as haunted houses are having difficulties operating this holiday.

Brett Hays is president of the Haunted Attraction Association. The association has about 800 members in the United States. He told the AP that about half of the country's haunted houses will not be able to run this year because of the pandemic.

A few haunted houses have created ways for people to experience the fun from their vehicles. Others plan to let in a limited number of people at a time.

Haunted houses and other attractions usually make about $1.14 billion in yearly ticket sales, mostly during Halloween season. But this year, many expect to see a 50 percent decrease in usual earnings9.

"Nobody's going to have a great year," Hays said.

Trick-or-treating – a Halloween tradition

Trick-or-treating is the main Halloween activity for children and families. Children dress up in costume and then go door-to-door asking for candy, while singing "Trick-or-treat! Trick-or-treat! Give me something good to eat!"

Even people without children enjoy dressing10 up in costumes and giving out candy to children who come to their door.

But trick-or-treating presents health concerns in the age of the coronavirus. Children usually need to get close to the person giving out the candy. It is difficult to stay a safe distance away.

Each area of the United States is dealing11 with trick-or-treating differently. Many cities and states have canceled trick-or-treating. And many parents are still deciding whether to let their children go trick-or-treating.

In Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, Jamie Bender is mom to two kids, ages 3 and 5. She said she is still deciding whether her family will go trick-or-treating.

"If our neighbors are wearing masks when they open the door," she said, "we would let the kids trick-or-treat a few houses."

Bender added she would then clean the candy covers before letting her children eat them.

Still, Americans are buying a lot of Halloween candy.

The AP reports that U.S. sales of Halloween candy were up 13 percent over last year in the period ending September 6. Experts say this is likely because Americans may want to celebrate after months of worry and concern.

People are thinking of safer ways to give candy to trick-or-treaters. Some say they will use long sticks or other devices to safely deliver candy from a distance. Others say they will just throw candy at children and hope it lands close by.

Fifteen-year-old Alina Morse lives in Detroit, Michigan. She developed a candy company. She also created a Halloween Tree. The tree lets children pick a piece of candy (or two, or three) but still stay physically distanced. Alina told the AP that "selecting a treat from the tree makes the safe, self-serve experience much more fun."

That excitement is good news for candy companies. Halloween is the biggest holiday of the year for candy makers12.

Miranda Leon of Albany, Georgia, still plans to buy Halloween candy. And she plans to take her children trick-or-treating and give out candy.

"So much has been taken from our kids this year — classes cut, sports canceled, summer camps canceled," she said. "I refuse to take away the joy of trick-or-treating from my kids."

Words in This Story

pandemic – n. medical : an occurrence13 in which a disease spreads very quickly and affects a large number of people over a wide area or throughout the world

corn maze1 – n. a confusing arrangement of paths or passages made from tall corn stalks14

festival – n. a special time or event when people gather to celebrate something : an organized series of performances

haunt3 – n. a place often visited: haunt – v. to visit or live in as a ghost

decorate – v. to make more attractive by adding beautiful or festive15 things

candy – n. a sweet food made with sugar or chocolate

attraction – n. something interesting or enjoyable that people want to visit, see, or do

association – n. an organized group of people who have the same interest, job, etc.

costume – n. special or fancy dress (as for wear on the stage or at a masquerade)


1 maze F76ze     
  • He found his way through the complex maze of corridors.他穿过了迷宮一样的走廊。
  • She was lost in the maze for several hours.一连几小时,她的头脑处于一片糊涂状态。
2 mazes 01f00574323c5f5c055dbab44afc33b9     
迷宫( maze的名词复数 ); 纷繁复杂的规则; 复杂难懂的细节; 迷宫图
  • The mazes of the dance were ecstatic. 跳舞那种错综曲折,叫人快乐得如登九天。
  • For two hours did this singlehearted and simpleminded girl toil through the mazes of the forest. 这位心地单纯的傻姑娘在林间曲径中艰难地走了两个来小时。
3 haunt d57yf     
  • The area was a haunt of criminals.这个地区是罪犯经常出没的地方。
  • The college library is a favorite haunt.大学图书馆是人们喜欢的地方。
4 haunted 5rEz4M     
  • There was a haunted look in his eyes. 他眼中透露出忧虑的神色。
  • The country is haunted by the spectre of civil war. 内战仿佛一触即发,举国上下一片恐慌。
5 restrictions 81e12dac658cfd4c590486dd6f7523cf     
约束( restriction的名词复数 ); 管制; 制约因素; 带限制性的条件(或规则)
  • I found the restrictions irksome. 我对那些限制感到很烦。
  • a snaggle of restrictions 杂乱无章的种种限制
6 pumpkin NtKy8     
  • They ate turkey and pumpkin pie.他们吃了火鸡和南瓜馅饼。
  • It looks like there is a person looking out of the pumpkin!看起来就像南瓜里有人在看着你!
7 groves eb036e9192d7e49b8aa52d7b1729f605     
树丛,小树林( grove的名词复数 )
  • The early sun shone serenely on embrowned groves and still green fields. 朝阳宁静地照耀着已经发黄的树丛和还是一片绿色的田地。
  • The trees grew more and more in groves and dotted with old yews. 那里的树木越来越多地长成了一簇簇的小丛林,还点缀着几棵老紫杉树。
8 physically iNix5     
  • He was out of sorts physically,as well as disordered mentally.他浑身不舒服,心绪也很乱。
  • Every time I think about it I feel physically sick.一想起那件事我就感到极恶心。
9 earnings rrWxJ     
  • That old man lives on the earnings of his daughter.那个老人靠他女儿的收入维持生活。
  • Last year there was a 20% decrease in his earnings.去年他的收入减少了20%。
10 dressing 1uOzJG     
  • Don't spend such a lot of time in dressing yourself.别花那么多时间来打扮自己。
  • The children enjoy dressing up in mother's old clothes.孩子们喜欢穿上妈妈旧时的衣服玩。
11 dealing NvjzWP     
  • This store has an excellent reputation for fair dealing.该商店因买卖公道而享有极高的声誉。
  • His fair dealing earned our confidence.他的诚实的行为获得我们的信任。
12 makers 22a4efff03ac42c1785d09a48313d352     
  • The makers of the product assured us that there had been no sacrifice of quality. 这一产品的制造商向我们保证说他们没有牺牲质量。
  • The makers are about to launch out a new product. 制造商们马上要生产一种新产品。 来自《简明英汉词典》
13 occurrence M5OzP     
  • Two things account for its occurrence.发生这件事的原因有两个。
  • For a military commander,winning or losing a battle is a common occurrence.胜败乃兵家常事。
14 stalks 90698d46751a79fc74ec4ad714f564f4     
n.主茎,花梗,叶柄( stalk的名词复数 )
  • flowers on long stalks 长茎上的花
  • Don't nip any stalks off the plant. 别掐断植物茎! 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
15 festive mkBx5     
  • It was Christmas and everyone was in festive mood.当时是圣诞节,每个人都沉浸在节日的欢乐中。
  • We all wore festive costumes to the ball.我们都穿着节日的盛装前去参加舞会。
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