Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloweeeeeen

Safety first, guys and ghouls!!

If you're going trick or treating this year.. be sure to observe these safety clues:

1. Go in a pack... moms make sure your little ghoulies are in sight at all times (good old ACLU is allowing convicted child molesters and rapists to answer the door this halloween.. I don't trust ANYONE)

2. Inspect your stash... You never know what you're being given... candy... exlax.... candy corn from 1850?

3. If it's unwrapped, chuck it... You don't want to poison yourself this early in the game.

4. Keep your eyes open... Some dude wore his costume yesterday and opened fire here in NY... gotta love those wackos!

On a more positive note.. I happened to find .12 cents in the snack area in one building @ school. Some suckah dropped good old FDR and didn't feel like bending to pick it up so I did my civic duty as both a patriot and a capitalist:

I waited until he left and put it right in my pocket ;) One penny was hiding beneath the soda machine and the other one was patiently waiting for me right underneath this keyboard... COME TO ME MISTER LINCOLN!!


So I finished term paper number two for Spanish Independent Study and now it's off to write four critiques... I love school.

The origin of Halloween (from this page)

Ever wonder how we began celebrating Halloween?Here is an interesting story that tells how Halloween began.
The origins of today's celebrations on October 31st and November 1st marked the beginning of the new year.During this time, the crops were harvested to prepare foodfor the long, dark winter.
October 31st also marked the eve of the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-en).
Samhain was a joyful harvest festival that marked the death of the old year and the beginning of a new one. The day itself was atime for paying homage to the sun god Baal who had provided the people with the ripened grain for use in the upcoming winter.
The Samhain festival marked the transition from life to death, and because the lives of the Celts were deeply intertwined with nature, the death of the world around them became associated with human death. During this time, it was believed that the veil between the worlds of the living and the deadwere thinnest, and the living were able to communicate withtheir deceased loved ones. Of course, if the spirits wereable to travel between the worlds on Samhain, so too couldhostile spirits. To scare these bad spirits away, the Celts carved faces into potatoes and turnips and lit them with candles. They also dressed up in ghoulish costumes and paraded around their neighborhoods.

The word Halloween actually has its origins in the Catholic Church. In the 7th century the church celebrated All Saints' Day in May, but by the 9th century the date had been changed to November 1st. Another name for All Saints' Day was All Hallows'Eve, which was later shortened to Halloween. In the 10th century the church named November 2nd as All Souls' Day in memory of all dead souls. Halloween, All Saints' Day, and All Souls' Day come so close together and are so similar that in some countries they tend to merge together.
Halloween didn't become widely celebrated in the United States until the 1800s. Irish immigrants fleeing their country's potato famine began settling in the U.S.,and brought many of their customs with them. At the time, the favorite pranks in New England included such benign tricks as tipping over outhouses and unhinging fence gates.Because the New World had an abundance of pumpkins, whichwere more suitable as lanterns, they replaced turnips and have become a major symbol of modern Halloween.

Trick or Treat : The custom of trick-or-treatingis thought to have originated with a 9th century Europeancustom called "souling." On November 2nd, All Souls' Day,early Christians would walk from village to village beggingfor "soul cakes," made of square pieces of bread with currants.The more soul cakes the beggars would receive, the moreprayers they would promise to say on behalf of the donors' relatives who had passed away.
Bobbing for Apples: When the Celts were absorbedby the Roman Empire, many rituals of Roman origin began.Among them was the worship of Pomona, the goddess of the harvest. Pomona was often portrayed sitting on a basket of fruits and flowers. Apples were the sacred fruit of the goddess, and many games of divination involving them entered Samhain customs.

Jack-O-Lanterns: Irish children used to carve out potatoes and turnips and light them for their Halloween gatherings. As legend has it, these "lanterns" commemorated Jack, a shifty Irish villain so wicked that neither heaven nor the Devil wanted him. Rejected by both the sacred and profane, he wandered the world endlessly looking for a place to rest,his only warmth a glittering candle in a rotten potato.

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