7 Halloween Facts

Who remembers dressing up for Halloween as a kid? Together with your cousins, siblings, and neighborhood friends, running from house to house to get the most candy was a major part of Halloween. Annually on October 31st, millions of people celebrate Halloween. The history surrounding this spooky holiday is fascinating.

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1. Halloween’s Roots

Halloween has roots dating back to the ancient Celtic Festival. In Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, the celebration, known as Samhain, marked the end of the year. The pagan new year began on November 1, the start of the winter season. Bonfires, feasts, and animal sacrifices were a major component of the two-day celebration.

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2. Halloween Costumes

The tradition of dressing up in Halloween attire also stems from the Samhain festival. People would dress up to scare away ghosts. Unlike the material found in today’s costumes, the festival goers would wear animal heads and skins.

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3. Trick-or-Treating Tradition

Modern-day trick-or-treating is a concept from an activity known as “souling.”  As part of the Samhain festival, poor children would go from door to door to beg for food or money. In exchange for the small tokens, the children would pray for any recently departed loved ones connected to the home.

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4. Jack O’Lantern

The long-standing tradition of carving a pumpkin originates from the Irish folktale of Stingy Jack. After tricking the Devil repeatedly, Stingy Jack was left to walk the Earth throughout eternity. The Devil could not claim his soul. And God would not let such an unsavory person into heaven. The story continues with Stingy Jack walking the Earth with just a piece of burning coal to light his way which he placed inside a carved turnip. The Irish called the sight of Stingy Jack’s ghostly figure, “Jack of the Lantern.”

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5. Orange and Black

Halloween décor has a principal color theme, orange and black. The colors date back to the time of the Celts. The orange represents fall colors and the flames of bonfires during the celebrations. Whereas the color black represented the darkness of the upcoming winter season and death.

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6. Bobbing for Apples

The childhood party game had a different meaning in the 18th century. The ritual was meant to find a woman the suitor. Each apple was assigned to a specific gentleman. When a woman bobbed for an apple to take a bite, the outcome would be a date.

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7. Candy Corn or Chicken Feed

The original name for the tri-colored Candy Corn was chicken feed. George Renninger, an employee from the Wunderlee Candy Company was the first to sell the candy in 1880. Every year Americans purchase over twenty million pounds of Candy Corn.

Halloween is an interesting holiday with many traditions and lore. What is your favorite part of Halloween?

Reference:

http://www.History.com

Creating Your Own Pet Rock

Are you old enough to remember the Pet Rock craze? Well, I am. When I was in grade school, I remember a classmate owning a Pet Rock. During Show and Tell, she explained all the different things the Pet Rock could do. For example, she fully believed the rock felt heavier during sleeping hours. Of course, I was skeptical. But my overactive imagination could relate the rock as a living creature.

Today, September 3, 2017, is Pet Rock Day. Originated in 1975 by Gary Dahl, the Pet Rock fad was an instant hit. Smooth stones were put in a pet carrier for the home for the Pet Rock. In fact, you still can buy Pet Rocks today at www.PetRock.com.

Celebrating Pet Rock Day

Today, you can either purchase a Pet Rock or craft one. Actually crafting the rock into different creatures may be a fun activity for the entire family.

Supplies You May Need:

  • Rocks (Gather some out your drive or purchase a bag at your local dollar store)
  • Paint
  • Googly eyes
  • features
  • Glue
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Pom-poms
  • Glitter, if you are brave

The only limit to the type of craft supplies needed is your imagination.

Have fun creating your own type of rock creature. In fact, consider creating an entire rock family.

References:

Pet Rock. (2017). Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pet_Rock

Pet Rock. (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.petrock.com/

Apple Pie Day

Today, May 13, 2017, is Apple Pie Day. Sounds like the perfect type of unofficial holiday for me. Actually, apple pie is one my father’s favorite desserts, coming in second only to pumpkin pie. Years ago, I use to work in a bakery. From traditional the traditional apple pie to the extra sweet caramel apple pie, the variety of apple pies were always a hit.

The history of apple pie may surprise you. Apple pies actually date back to the time of Chaucer in the 14th century. The pie had unique ingredients including, good apples, spices, figs, raisins and pears, cofryn as a crust type layer with saffron to add coloring to the mixture.

Today’s apple pies are completely different with Dutch Apple, Dutch Apple Pie Cheesecake, Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie, and more. Personally, I like the traditional apple pie especially when the piece of pie is still warm. Add vanilla ice cream as a topping, I am completely satisfied.

Regardless of the type, the main ingredient remains the same: good apples. Depending on the availability, I usually use Granny Smith or Honey Crisp.  But I know other people prefer to use Empires.

So tell me what type of apple pie do you prefer?

 

Happy Apple Pie Day!

Until next time….peace

 

Reference:

Apple Pie. (2017). Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_pie

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