Tuesday, October 6, 2009
It is now the time of year I start feeling every muscle and bone in my body going through its process of mourning the end of summer. Time to get out the stylish sweat pants with the elastic waist and the baggy sweaters and sweatshirts. AAAh....at least they're comforable. This time of year I can wear my supphose with impunity...nobody will see them...
After I've finished putting away the tank tops and shorts and reloading my drawers with the aforementioned 'fashions', I've got to shop for the Halloween snacks and start my holiday shopping lists.
I was thinking about Halloween this morning and went searching for some factoids....I came up with a few.....
If someone says you have 'bats in your belfry'...say thank you since it would mean you have bats in your yard (if you don't have a bell tower), where they eat about 1,000 mosquitos for a meal.
The ordinary bat that flies around at night, a remarkable nimble creature in the air, cannot take off from a level place. If it is placed on the floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly and, no doubt, painfully, until it reaches some slight elevation from which it can throw itself into the air. Then, at once, it takes off like a flash.
There are more than 1,000 species of bats in the world! They live on every continent of the world, except Antarctica. Bats do not live in areas where it is very hot or very cold.
To catch insects, bats use their wings. Their wings are the only part of their bodies not covered by hair, but with thin, tough skin. Bats use their wings like hands, and they have little thumbs and wrists on them.
Bats have long been associated with Halloween but the connection is less skeery than some would suspect. In Halloween's ancient origins people would gather together around giant bonfires to ward off evil spirits. Attracted to the warmth and bright light of these fires were many small flying insects. Natural food for hungry bats. People saw the bats flickering in and out of the firelight during the festivals and they became a feature of Halloween lore. They are the only true flying mammals.
Ever used the saying 'blind as a bat'? I have, but guess what? They aren't blind..
Our modern celebration of Halloween is a descendent of the ancient Celtic fire festival called "Samhain". The word is pronounced "sow-in (rhymes with cow).
Folk tradition tells us of many divination practices associated with Samhain. Among the most common were divinations dealing with marriage, weather, and the coming fortunes for the year. These were performed via such methods as ducking for apples, and apple peeling.
Ducking for apples was a marriage divination. The first person to bite an apple would be the first to marry in the coming year. I'll bet there's some folks out there wishing they hadn't been in that early apple bobbing event!
Apple peeling was a divination to see how long your life would be. The longer the unbroken apple peel, the longer your life was destined to be.
In Scotland, people would place stones in the ashes of the hearth before retiring for the night. Anyone whose stone had been disturbed during the night was said to be destined to die during the coming year.
Then we have Jack O'Lanterns.......
Pumpkin carving is a popular part of modern America's Halloween celebration. Come October, pumpkins can be found everywhere in the country from doorsteps to dinner tables. Despite the widespread carving that goes on in this country every autumn, few Americans really know why or when the jack o'lantern tradition began. Read on to find out!
The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed "Stingy Jack." According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn't want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul.
The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree's bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.
Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as "Jack of the Lantern," and then, simply "Jack O'Lantern."
In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack's lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used. Immigrants from these countries brought the jack o'lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack o'lanterns.
History of Halloween
If you have begun your holiday shopping list, you probably should check out Online Auction .
There are a few sellers that have even some Haunted Houses for Halloween....definitely give them a look.....
Jaswood Antiques and Collectibles
Debs Variety Shop
Don't forget to check out my haunted house...Supergrannys Treasures