Halloween for Beginners: A Guide to Spooky Celebrations and Costume Ideas

Halloween, also known as All Hallows’ Eve, is a widely celebrated holiday observed on the evening of October 31st. It is a time when people indulge in spooky fun and festivities, dressing up in costumes, and participating in various traditions and customs. For those new to this holiday, here is a beginner’s guide to Halloween.

What is Halloween?

Halloween is an annual holiday that originated from ancient Celtic traditions. It has evolved over time into a day filled with costume parties, trick-or-treating, haunted houses, and spooky decorations.

Origins and History of Halloween

The Celtic Festival of Samhain:

Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, which marked the end of summer and the beginning of winter. It was believed that on the night of Samhain, the boundary between the living and the dead became blurred, allowing spirits to roam the earth.

Influence of Christian Traditions:

With the spread of Christianity, the festival of Samhain gradually incorporated Christian customs. Pope Gregory III designated November 1st as All Saints’ Day, also known as All Hallows’ Day, to honor saints and martyrs. The evening before, October 31st, became known as All Hallows’ Eve, eventually shortened to Halloween.

Popular Traditions and Customs


One of the most well-known Halloween traditions is trick-or-treating, where children go from house to house, dressed in costumes, and collect candies and treats.

Costumes and Dressing Up:

Dressing up in costumes is a central part of Halloween. People of all ages enjoy transforming into their favorite characters or adopting spooky looks, ranging from witches and vampires to superheroes and princesses.


Jack-O’-Lanterns are carved pumpkins with faces cut out and lit from within. This tradition originated from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack and serves as a symbol of Halloween.

Haunted Houses and Decorations:

Haunted houses and spooky decorations are prevalent during Halloween. People decorate their homes with spider webs, skeletons, ghosts, and other eerie elements to create a chilling atmosphere.

Traditional Halloween Foods

Apples and Bobbing for Apples:

Apples are associated with Halloween, and a popular activity is bobbing for apples, where participants try to catch apples with their mouths while they float in a tub of water.

Pumpkin Seeds and Roasted Pumpkin:

After carving Jack-O’-Lanterns, the seeds can be roasted for a tasty snack, while the flesh of the pumpkin can be used in various recipes, like pumpkin pie.

Sweet Treats and Candy:

Candy and sweet treats are a major part of Halloween. From chocolate bars to gummy candies, they are enjoyed by both kids and adults during this festive time.

Games and Activities for Halloween

Bobbing for Apples Game:

In addition to eating apples, a game called bobbing for apples is popular at Halloween parties. Participants try to bite or catch an apple with their teeth while it floats in water.

Pumpkin Carving Contest:

A fun activity during Halloween is to have a pumpkin carving contest, where participants showcase their creativity by carving unique designs into pumpkins.

Ghost Stories and Scary Movie Marathon:

Gathering friends and family to share ghost stories or watch a scary movie marathon adds an extra thrill to the Halloween experience.

Safety Tips for Halloween

Trick-or-Treating Safety:

For a safe trick-or-treating experience, children should always be accompanied by an adult, stick to well-lit areas, and only visit houses with exterior lights on.

Candle and Fire Safety:

If using candles or decorative lights, it is essential to exercise caution to prevent accidents or fire hazards. Consider using battery-operated candles instead.

Costume Safety:

Choosing costumes with good visibility, adding reflectors, and wearing comfortable shoes are important aspects of ensuring costume safety while trick-or-treating.

As you immerse yourself in the spirit of Halloween, these tips and insights will help you navigate the exciting and festive traditions associated with this October holiday.

Key takeaway:

  • Halloween maximizes creativity: Halloween is a time for individuals to showcase their creative side through costumes, decorations, and pumpkin carving.
  • Halloween reflects cultural traditions: The origins of Halloween can be traced back to ancient Celtic and Christian traditions, showcasing the rich history behind this holiday.
  • Halloween promotes community engagement: Popular traditions like trick-or-treating and haunted houses encourage interaction and connection among neighbors, fostering a sense of community.

What is Halloween?

What is Halloween? - halloween for beginners

Photo Credits: Rickyshalloween.Com by Mason Rivera

Halloween is a beloved holiday celebrated worldwide. But what is Halloween exactly? Halloween traces its roots back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, which marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. During this time, the Celts believed that spirits could roam the earth, so they lit bonfires and wore costumes to disguise themselves. Over time, this festival evolved into All Hallows’ Eve, the night before All Saints’ Day.

On October 31st each year, people of all ages dress up in costumes, often inspired by supernatural creatures, and go trick-or-treating, collecting candy from their neighbors. The tradition of trick-or-treating and pumpkin carving became popular during the evolution of Halloween. Nowadays, Halloween is a fun and festive time for people to embrace their creativity and enjoy being scared.

The celebration of Halloween is associated with spooky decorations, pumpkin carving, and haunted houses. It is a time when people can let their imaginations run wild and truly have fun. So, when October 31st arrives, get ready to embrace the spirit of Halloween and indulge in all the festivities it has to offer!

Origins and History of Halloween

Step into the fascinating world of Halloween as we uncover its captivating origins and rich history. Discover the ancient Celtic Festival of Samhain and delve into the intriguing influence of Christian traditions. Get ready to be amazed as we unravel the mysterious and enchanting roots of this beloved holiday. Brace yourself for a journey through time, exploring the fascinating origins and enthralling tales that have shaped the celebration we know today.

The Celtic Festival of Samhain

The Celtic Festival of Samhain is an ancient celebration rooted in Celtic culture. It marked the end of the harvest season and the onset of winter. During Samhain, the Celts believed that the boundary between the living and the spirit world was thin, allowing spirits to freely roam.

One crucial aspect of the festival was the lighting of bonfires. The Celts believed that bonfires would ward off evil spirits and protect them during winter. These bonfires were also used for rituals, where people would dress in animal skin costumes and offer sacrifices to the gods.

Divination was another important tradition during Samhain. It was believed that communication with spirits and gaining insight into the future was possible at this time. Various divination methods, such as apple bobbing and mirror scrying, were used to seek knowledge and guidance from the spiritual realm.

The Celtic Festival of Samhain eventually merged with Christian traditions, giving rise to Halloween. The festival’s history and symbolism can still be seen in many of the customs associated with the holiday today.

Influence of Christian Traditions

Halloween, derived from “All Hallows’ Eve,” the night before All Saints’ Day, is influenced by Christian traditions, showcasing the profound impact of Christian beliefs and practices.

Christianity, recognizing the significance of pre-existing pagan celebrations, incorporated them into its calendar, with Halloween being a prominent example.

Through the passage of time, Christian practices such as lighting bonfires and adorning costumes have transformed into cherished and customary Halloween activities.

Halloween customs, deeply rooted in Christian belief, pay homage to saints and the deceased, reflecting the reverence and honor associated with them.

Within certain Christian traditions, Halloween serves as a means to impart lessons about the triumph of light and good prevailing over darkness and evil.

In order to provide a secure environment for children, Christian churches often organize alternative events such as harvest festivals or “Trunk or Treat” gatherings.

Popular Traditions and Customs

Get ready to immerse yourself in the thrilling world of Halloween traditions and customs. From the excitement of trick-or-treating to the art of meticulously carving jack-o’-lanterns, this section is packed with intriguing insights. We’ll also unravel the secrets behind the creativity and spookiness of costumes and dressing up. And just wait until we explore the haunted houses and eerie decorations that bring Halloween to life. Let’s dive right into the captivating world of popular Halloween traditions!


Trick-or-Treating is a popular Halloween tradition. Children in costumes go house to house, asking for treats. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Prepare a costume: Children should wear comfortable costumes. Costumes should allow for easy movement and good visibility. Choose safe and weather-appropriate costumes.
  • Plan a route: Decide which neighborhoods or streets to visit. Avoid unsafe or low-participation areas.
  • Safety in numbers: Trick-or-Treat in groups or with adult supervision. Stick together and account for all children.
  • Neighborhood etiquette: Only visit houses with porch lights on. Respect people’s property and be courteous when receiving treats.
  • Candy inspection: Check treats for safety and tampering. Discard unwrapped or suspicious-looking items.

Remember, Trick-or-Treating should be fun and safe for everyone. Enjoy going door-to-door for treats, but prioritize safety and follow these guidelines for a memorable Halloween celebration.

Costumes and Dressing Up

When it comes to Halloween, costumes play a significant role. People of all ages enjoy transforming themselves into different characters or creatures. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Expression of creativity: Halloween costumes allow individuals to showcase their creativity.
  • Popular costume themes: Every year, certain costume themes become popular, such as superheroes, classic monsters, movie characters, and mythical creatures.
  • DIY vs. store-bought costumes: Some people create their own costumes, while others buy ready-made ones. DIY costumes allow for personalization and can be cost-effective. Store-bought costumes offer convenience and often include accessories.
  • Group or couple costumes: Many people enjoy coordinating costumes with friends or partners, creating fun group or couple costumes based on a common theme.
  • Safety considerations: When choosing a costume, prioritize safety. Costumes should not obstruct vision or movement, and accessories should be safe.

Historically, dressing up in costumes for Halloween has Celtic roots. Ancient Celts believed that on the night of Samhain, the boundary between the spirit world and the mortal realm became thin. To ward off roaming spirits, people wore masks and costumes. This practice evolved into the modern-day tradition of Halloween costumes.


Jack-O’-Lanterns are a Halloween tradition. Carving designs or faces into pumpkins is the main activity. The name “Jack-O’-Lantern” comes from an Irish folktale about Stingy Jack.

The story states that he tricked the Devil and was not allowed into heaven or hell. Originally, turnips and potatoes were carved, but when Irish immigrants came to America, they discovered that pumpkins were easier to carve and became the preferred choice.

To create a Jack-O’-Lantern, start with a large, firm pumpkin with a flat bottom. Cut off the top and remove the seeds and pulp. Save the seeds for roasting, if desired. Draw a design or face on the pumpkin and carve along the lines with a serrated knife or pumpkin carving tools.

Traditionally, Jack-O’-Lanterns had scary faces to ward off evil spirits. People now carve a variety of designs, including funny faces, animals, or movie characters.

After carving, place a candle or battery-operated light inside the pumpkin to illuminate the design and create a spooky glow. Make sure to place your Jack-O’-Lantern in a safe location, away from flammable materials, and never leave a lit candle unattended.

Jack-O’-Lanterns are often displayed on porches or windows during Halloween to add to the festive atmosphere.

Haunted Houses and Decorations

Haunted houses and decorations are an essential part of the Halloween experience. They contribute to the overall spooky ambiance and create a sense of anticipation. If you’re looking for ideas on how to create the perfect haunted house, consider incorporating the following elements:

1. Use dim lighting, flickering candles, and black lights to enhance the eerie atmosphere.

2. Add spooky sounds, such as creaking floors, howling winds, and eerie whispers, to further immerse visitors in the haunted experience.

3. Hang cobwebs, skeletons, and bats from the ceiling, and don’t forget to include tombstones, fake blood, and severed limbs for an extra dose of horror.

4. Surprise and startle your visitors by setting up hidden mechanisms or props throughout the haunted house.

5. Design a layout with winding paths, tight hallways, and hidden turns to disorient and confuse visitors.

6. For a truly terrifying experience, have friends or family members dress up in scary costumes and play spooky characters.

It’s worth mentioning that haunted houses are a long-standing Halloween tradition that has even influenced the creation of haunted attractions and amusement park haunted houses. So, embrace the spirit of the season and create a haunted house that will leave your visitors trembling with fear.

Traditional Halloween Foods

Traditional Halloween Foods - halloween for beginners

Photo Credits: Rickyshalloween.Com by Willie Clark

Get ready to tantalize your taste buds as we explore the delectable world of traditional Halloween foods. From the classic game of bobbing for apples to the crunchy delight of roasted pumpkin seeds, and don’t you dare forget about the irresistible sweet treats and candy! Join us as we dive into the flavors, textures, and spooky traditions associated with these mouthwatering Halloween culinary delights. So, grab a cauldron and let’s dig in!

Apples and Bobbing for Apples

Apples and bobbing for apples are traditional games associated with Halloween. Here are some interesting facts about bobbing for apples:

  • Bobbing for apples is a fun game where participants try to pick up apples using only their mouths.
  • This game originated from ancient customs related to divination and fertility, making it a fascinating activity.
  • In the past, bobbing for apples was a way to predict future love interests – the person who successfully retrieved an apple was believed to be the next to marry.
  • Bobbing for apples is popular in many countries and has become synonymous with Halloween celebrations.
  • It is often played at Halloween parties or gatherings, where a large basin filled with water and apples is the centerpiece.
  • This game can be played individually or as a friendly competition among participants.
  • Bobbing for apples requires both skill and patience, as participants must figure out the best technique to grab an apple with their mouth.
  • It brings laughter and joy to Halloween festivities, captivating both children and families.
  • Although the game can get messy, it remains a cherished tradition that adds to the atmospheric charm of Halloween celebrations.

Pumpkin Seeds and Roasted Pumpkin

Pumpkin seeds and roasted pumpkin offer great nutritional benefits. Pumpkin seeds and roasted pumpkin are rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats, as well as minerals like magnesium, zinc, and iron. Pumpkin seeds and roasted pumpkin can boost your well-being. To prepare roasted pumpkin seeds, scoop them out of the pumpkin, rinse, and let them dry. Toss pumpkin seeds with a little oil and seasoning, then spread them on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

Roasted pumpkin can be enhanced with flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, or chili powder. Cut the pumpkin into small cubes, toss them with olive oil, seasonings, and spices, and roast them in the oven at 400°F (200°C) for 25-30 minutes until tender and caramelized.

Pumpkin seeds and roasted pumpkin can be enjoyed as a snack, added to salads or trail mixes, or used in recipes like soups and bread. Pumpkin seeds and roasted pumpkin bring the flavors of fall to your meals while providing nutrients. Don’t waste those pumpkin seeds and flesh when carving a pumpkin or buying one. Roast pumpkin seeds and pumpkin flesh and enjoy the goodness.

Pumpkin seeds and roasted pumpkin have been enjoyed for centuries, especially during autumn. Native to North America, pumpkins were valued by indigenous peoples for their nutritional value. Roasting pumpkins and their seeds became a traditional practice passed down through generations and embraced worldwide. Today, pumpkin seeds and roasted pumpkin are still enjoyed as part of autumnal cuisine.

Sweet Treats and Candy

When it comes to Halloween, sweet treats and candy are essential. Candy serves as a staple during Halloween celebrations. Trick-or-treaters eagerly gather small chocolate bars, colorful gummies, and chewy candies as they move from one house to another. Both kids and adults adore chocolate treats, including mini chocolate bars, chocolate-covered cookies, and nuts. Gummy candies in diverse shapes and flavors bring a playful and enjoyable element to the festivities. Caramel apples are a traditional Halloween delight, combining crisp apples with sweet caramel to create a delightful flavor. Candy corn, with its unique taste and vibrant colors, is a classic Halloween candy. Many candies shaped like pumpkins are also on hand, adding a festive touch to any candy bowl.

Games and Activities for Halloween

Games and Activities for Halloween - halloween for beginners

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Looking for spooky fun this Halloween? Get ready for chillingly thrilling adventures with games and activities that will make your blood run cold! From the classic Bobbing for Apples to the intense Pumpkin Carving Contest, and the hair-raising Ghost Stories and Scary Movie Marathon, this section has it all. Get ready to be immersed in the thrilling world of Halloween games and activities that will leave you screaming for more.

Bobbing for Apples Game

Bobbing for Apples Game is a popular Halloween activity for all ages. Here is a step-by-step guide to playing the game:

1. Fill a large bucket or tub with water and add enough apples for all players.

2. Participants take turns trying to retrieve an apple using only their mouths, without using their hands.

3. To play, each player must lean down and attempt to grab an apple with their teeth. They can bite the apple but cannot use their hands.

4. The player who successfully grabs an apple with their mouth gets to keep it as their prize.

5. If multiple apples are added to the water, players can take turns until all the apples have been retrieved or until everyone has had a chance to play.

Playing bobbing for apples can be a fun and challenging activity that adds excitement to your Halloween celebrations. It’s a great way to test skills, laugh, and enjoy the festive spirit of the holiday.

Remember to ensure the water is clean and safe for participants. Provide towels or tissues for drying off after the game.

Gather your friends and family, set up the game, and get ready for an entertaining and memorable Halloween experience with bobbing for apples!

Pumpkin Carving Contest

A pumpkin carving contest is a popular Halloween activity that allows individuals to showcase their creativity and carving skills. Participating in a pumpkin carving contest can be a great opportunity to display your artistic abilities and celebrate Halloween. This contest revolves around the art of carving pumpkins, giving participants a chance to demonstrate their creativity and skill.

One key aspect of a pumpkin carving contest is the theme. Participants must adhere to a specific theme when carving their pumpkins, which adds an extra challenge and allows for even more creativity to be showcased.

Judging criteria also play a crucial role in a pumpkin carving contest. Judges evaluate pumpkins based on factors such as originality, design intricacy, attention to detail, and visual appeal. This ensures that the winners truly stand out in their craftsmanship.

Another important aspect of a pumpkin carving contest is the time limit. Participants are given a specified amount of time to complete their pumpkin carvings, adding excitement and urgency to the competition. This time constraint pushes participants to work efficiently and produce their best work within the given timeframe.

When it comes to tools, participants have the option to bring their own carving tools or use a standard set provided. This ensures a fair competition where everyone has access to adequate carving tools.

Once the pumpkins are carved, they are put on display for everyone to admire. This gives participants the opportunity to showcase their hard work and allows spectators to appreciate the creativity and skill involved. It creates a sense of community and admiration for the art of pumpkin carving.

A pumpkin carving contest offers prizes. Winners in categories such as Best Overall Carving, Most Creative Design, and Scariest Pumpkin receive prizes. These prizes serve as recognition for the participants’ efforts and add an extra element of excitement to the contest.

A pumpkin carving contest is a fun and engaging activity that brings people together to celebrate Halloween and highlight their artistic abilities. It adds a festive and interactive element to the traditional pumpkin carving tradition and is a great opportunity to showcase your skills.

Ghost Stories and Scary Movie Marathon

When it comes to Halloween, gather friends and family for a ghost stories and scary movie marathon. Here are some ideas to make your spooky movie night even more thrilling:

– Dim the lights and decorate the room with eerie props and decorations for a spooky atmosphere.

– Choose a mix of classic horror movies, old and new, for variety.

– Set up a cozy seating area with pillows, blankets, and comfortable chairs to ensure everyone is ready for a fright.

– Encourage guests to dress up in costume for a truly immersive experience.

– Prepare tasty treats and snacks, like “blood” punch or “witches’ fingers” cookies, to enjoy during the ghost stories and scary movie marathon.

– Play eerie soundtracks or sound effects during breaks or in between movies to create a spooky ambiance.

– Take turns telling ghost stories during the ghost stories and scary movie marathon using candlelight to set the mood.

Now, let me tell you a true ghost story. One Halloween, a group of friends had a scary movie night in an old haunted house. Strange things started to happen as they watched their chosen horror films. Lights flickered, doors creaked, and unsettling whispers could be heard. They were not alone in the house. Ghostly figures appeared, and the friends found themselves living their own horror movie. They managed to escape, but the experience left them with a lasting fear of ghost stories and an unforgettable Halloween night.

Safety Tips for Halloween

Planning to join the Halloween festivities? Safety should be your top priority! Get ready to have a spooktacular time with these essential tips. From ensuring a safe trick-or-treating experience to staying mindful of candle and fire safety, we’ve got you covered. Plus, we’ll dive into costume safety to help you avoid any spooky mishaps. Stay tuned for some frighteningly good advice to keep you and your loved ones safe this Halloween!

Trick-or-Treating Safety

Trick-or-treating safety is crucial during Halloween. Here are some essential tips to guarantee a secure experience:

1. Plan a route: It is important to map out a safe route in familiar neighborhoods. Stick to well-lit areas and avoid taking shortcuts through alleys or isolated spots.

2. Stay visible: Make sure to dress your children in brightly colored costumes or attach reflective tape. Encourage the use of flashlights or glow sticks to enhance visibility.

3. Adult supervision: It is imperative that children are always accompanied by a responsible adult. Ensure that they stay together in a group and avoid entering unfamiliar homes or accepting open drinks or unwrapped treats.

4. Road safety: Teach children to use crosswalks, sidewalks, and look both ways before crossing the street. Stay alert as drivers may be distracted.

5. Stranger awareness: Educate children to only accept treats from trusted neighbors. Also, encourage them to report any suspicious activity to a trusted adult.

6. Allergies and dietary restrictions: If your child has allergies or dietary restrictions, make sure to inspect treats before allowing consumption. It is always helpful to have alternative treats available.

7. Candy inspection: Before consuming any treats, carefully examine them for tampering or unusual packaging. Discard anything suspicious or unwrapped.

8. Safe practices at home: Ensure that your home is well-lit and free of obstacles. Use flameless candles or LED lights in jack-o’-lanterns to reduce the risk of fire.

By following these trick-or-treating safety guidelines, you can ensure a fun and secure Halloween experience for your children.

Candle and Fire Safety

Candle and fire safety is of utmost importance during Halloween celebrations to prevent accidents and injuries. It is essential to follow these guidelines to ensure a safe environment:

1. Always keep lit candles and open flames at a safe distance from flammable materials such as costumes, decorations, and curtains.

2. Place candles in sturdy holders on a flat and stable surface to prevent any tipping incidents.

3. Never leave candles unattended and make sure to extinguish them before leaving a room or going to bed.

4. To avoid burns or fires, it is crucial to keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.

5. For a safer alternative that still provides a realistic flickering effect without the risk of fire, consider using flameless LED candles.

Prioritizing fire safety measures during Halloween festivities is of great significance. An incident comes to mind where a friend had decorated her porch with Jack-O’-Lanterns and lit candles. Unfortunately, due to a strong gust of wind, one of the candles got knocked over and caused a nearby decoration to catch fire. Thankfully, she had a nearby fire extinguisher and was able to quickly extinguish the small fire before it could spread. This incident serves as a reminder to exercise caution when dealing with open flames and regularly inspect decorations for potential fire hazards.

Costume Safety

Costume Safety is important for Halloween. Keep these key points in mind:

  1. Choose properly fitting costumes: Ill-fitting costumes can be a safety hazard, especially if they are too long or loose. Make sure costumes are the right size to prevent tripping or entanglement.

  2. Use flame-resistant materials: To minimize accidents, choose costumes made of flame-resistant materials. This is important because Halloween often involves candles or open flames.

  3. Add reflective elements: Since Halloween activities take place in low light conditions, attach reflective tape or accessories to costumes for improved visibility and reduced accidents.

  4. Avoid obstructing vision: Masks or costume elements that block vision make it difficult to see hazards or oncoming vehicles. Opt for non-obstructive alternatives like face paint.

  5. Be careful with accessories: Choose soft and flexible materials for swords, wands, or other costume accessories to prevent injuries. Avoid sharp or pointy props.

By prioritizing costume safety, everyone can enjoy a fun and safe Halloween celebration.

Halloween originated from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, marking the end of harvest and the beginning of winter. It was believed that the boundary between the living and the dead was blurred. People would wear costumes and light bonfires to ward off spirits. Over time, Christian traditions were incorporated, resulting in the modern-day Halloween.

Frequently Asked Questions

What delicious snacks can I make for a Halloween party?

You can make various delicious snacks for a Halloween party, such as spooky cupcakes, pumpkin-shaped cookies, monster popcorn, or witch’s finger sandwiches.

How can I practice parts of the body words during Halloween?

One fun way to practice parts of the body words during Halloween is by playing a game where learners have to identify body parts on a Halloween picture or on Halloween puppets.

Where can I find free printable PDF lesson plans for Halloween?

You can find free printable PDF lesson plans for Halloween on the website mentioned in the reference data. They offer a wide range of lesson plans, quizzes, word banks, and games for EFL/ESL teachers and learners.

Are there any reading materials available for elementary level learners on Halloween?

Yes, there are reading materials available specifically designed for elementary level learners. These materials include articles, mini-books, and posters related to Halloween.

Where can I find the privacy policy for the Halloween resources platform?

The privacy policy for the Halloween resources platform can be found on their website. It provides information on how they collect, use, and protect user data.

How long is the printable lesson time for the Halloween-themed trivia quiz?

The printable lesson time for the Halloween-themed trivia quiz is approximately 30 minutes.

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