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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Secret, Steamy History Of Halloween Apples

by Alison Richards , NPR


A Halloween apple bob may seem as homespun as a hayride, but that shiny red apple has a steamy past. It was once a powerful symbol of fertility and immortality.

Apple bobbing and eating candy apples are "the fossilized remnants of beliefs that ultimately go back to prehistory," British apple expert and fruit historian, Joan Morgan, tells the Salt.

Morgan and I co-wrote The New Book of Apples several years back. I asked her this week for a refresher on the fruit's Halloween-specific tricks and treats.

Throughout Europe, Morgan says, "apples, apple peels and even pips have long been used to peer into the romantic future." And when early European colonists brought the first apple trees to North America as seeds — also known as pips — in their pockets, these customs came with them.

Bobbing for apples was one of them. In one popular version of the game, girls would secretly mark apples before tipping them into a barrel of water. Apples float, and as the girls' potential sweethearts ducked to catch the fruit with their teeth, future couplings were determined — or foretold.

Girls also continued the tradition of using apple peels to divine their romantic destiny. Every fall, communities in New England would prepare mountains of apples for the great kettles of apple butter that were put up for the winter. An eligible young lady would try to peel an apple in a single unbroken strip, toss the peel over her shoulder, and peer nervously to see what letter the peel formed on the floor: This was the initial of her future husband.

But, as Morgan emphasizes, the playful connection between apples and courtship reflects a more serious and ancient link between apples, fertility and a life without end.

"Apples once grew wild across western Asia and Europe and were regarded as sacred across many cultures," Morgan says. Early Indo-European mythologies tell of goddesses "like the Norse Idun, who dispenses magical apples to her fellow deities to keep them young."

Avalon, where the dying King Arthur is said to have been laid to rest, is an "Isle of Apples," Morgan recalls, and "the Irish hero Bran is beckoned to his paradise by a branch of apple blossom from Emain Ablach, an island in a marvelous archipelago beyond the sea, where apple trees bloom and fruit at the same time."

It's not hard to imagine how apples became such powerful symbols of fertility and renewal. As the leaves turned, and the days shortened, the arrival of apples on the menu of hunter-gatherers and the first farmers would have been eagerly anticipated. It didn't really matter whether the apples were large or small, sweet or sour. They could be eaten fresh, boiled or baked; strung up to dry for the winter months; or allowed to ferment into a hard cider that must have made the dark and cold easier to bear.

In the failing autumn light, a shiny red or golden apple might have seemed like a promise — or an entreaty — that the sun would come again. Apple blossoms heralded the renewal of life each spring. And in the magical mix of image and meaning, ripe apples acquired the power and allure of a fertile woman's body.

The specific connection between apples, fortune-telling and Halloween goes back to the Celtic festival Samhain. It fell around the end of our modern October, and marked the end of summer, the end of harvest and — revelers worried — perhaps the extinction of life itself.

To encourage the sun deity to return the following year, ancient Celts burned huge bonfires into the night and tied apples to evergreen branches. Gifts of fruit and nuts, and animal sacrifices were offered to the gods.

In 1886, Irish Halloween celebrations included bobbing for apples.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
According to this tradition, barriers to the Underworld were temporarily suspended to allow the year's dead to enter. But this liminal state also allowed ghosts and mischievous spirits to visit the living. It was a time when divination was supposedly especially powerful.

The Romans and then the Christian Church hijacked Samhain and grafted on their own celebrations, but many elements endure.

And as for those candy apples? That's a more recent invention. "It's claimed they were invented accidentally in 1908 by William Kolb a candy maker in Newark, N.J.," says Morgan. "He dropped some apples in his candy syrup" and in a region with plenty of fruit trees — and a sugar refinery — a new Halloween tradition was born.

The 411 - Hallowe'en

Halloween or Hallowe'en (/ˌhæləˈwin, -oʊˈin, ˌhɒl-/; a contraction of "All Hallows' Evening") also known as All Hallows' Eve is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows (or All Saints) and the day initiating the triduum of Hallowmas, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers.


 According to many scholars, All Hallows' Eve is a Christianized feast initially influenced by Celtic harvest festivals, and festivals of the dead with possible pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic Samhain. Other scholars maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and has solely Christian roots.

Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (also known as "guising"), attending costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.

 The word Halloween or Hallowe'en dates to about 1745 and is of Christian origin. The word "Halloween" means "hallowed evening" or "holy evening". It comes from a Scottish term for All Hallows' Eve (the evening before All Hallows' Day). In Scots, the word "eve" is even, and this is contracted to e'en or een. Over time, (All) Hallow(s) E(v)en evolved into Halloween. Although the phrase "All Hallows'" is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mæssedæg, mass-day of all saints), "All Hallows' Eve" is itself not seen until 1556.

Today's Halloween customs are thought to have been influenced by folk customs and beliefs from the Celtic-speaking countries, some of which have pagan roots, and others which may be rooted in Celtic Christianity. Indeed, Jack Santino, an academic folklorist, writes that "the sacred and the religious are a fundamental context for understanding Halloween in Northern Ireland, but there as throughout Ireland an uneasy truce exists between customs and beliefs associated with Christianity and those associated with religions that were Irish before Christianity arrived." Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of
Halloween in Bangledesh
Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain", which comes from the Old Irish for "summer's end". Samhain (pronounced sah-win or sow-in) was the first and most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Gaelic calendar and was celebrated in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. It was held on or about October 31 – November 1 and kindred festivals were held at the same time of year by the Brittonic Celts; for example Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall) and Kalan Goañv (in Brittany). Samhain and Calan Gaeaf are mentioned in some of the earliest Irish and Welsh literature. The names have been used by historians to refer to Celtic Halloween customs up until the 19th century, and are still the Gaelic and Welsh names for Halloween.

Samhain/Calan Gaeaf marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the 'darker half' of the year. Like Beltane/Calan Mai, it was seen as a time when the spirits or fairies (the Sí) could more easily come into our world and were particularly active. The souls of the dead were also said to revisit their homes. Feasts were had, at which the souls of dead kin were beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them. However, the spirits or fairies could also cause harm, and needed to be propitiated or warded-off. This is thought to have influenced today's Halloween customs. Bonfires, which were deemed to have protective and cleansing powers, were lit and sometimes used in divination rituals. At the household festivities in these areas, there were many rituals intended to divine the future of those gathered, especially with regard to death and marriage. Christian minister Eddie J. Smith has suggested that the bonfires have a later Christian origin and were used to scare witches of their awaiting punishment in hell.


Jack-o-lanterns
In modern Ireland, Scotland, Mann and Wales, Halloween was celebrated by mumming and guising, the latter of which goes back at least as far as the 18th century. This involved people going from house to house in costume (or in disguise) reciting songs in exchange for food. It may have come from the Christian custom of souling (see below) or it may have an ancient Celtic origin, with the costumes being a means of imitating, or disguising oneself from, the spirits/fairies. In some places, young people dressed as the opposite gender. In parts of Wales, men went about dressed as fearsome beings called gwrachod. In parts of southern Ireland, the guisers included a hobby horse – a man dressed as a Láir Bhán (white mare) would lead youths house-to-house collecting food; by giving them food, the household could expect good fortune from the 'Muck Olla'. Elsewhere in Europe, mumming and hobby horses were a part of other festivals. However, they may have been "particularly appropriate to a night upon which supernatural beings were said to be abroad and could be imitated or warded off by human wanderers". When "imitating malignant spirits it was a very short step from guising to playing pranks". The guisers commonly played pranks in Ireland and the Scottish Highlands, and this practice spread to England in the 20th century.

The "traditional illumination for guisers or pranksters abroad on the night in some places was provided by turnips or mangel wurzels, hollowed out to act as lanterns and often carved with grotesque faces to represent spirits or goblins". These were common in parts of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands in 19th century. They were also found in Somerset. In the 20th century they spread to other parts of England and became generally known as jack-o'-lanterns.

Today's Halloween customs are also thought to have been influenced by Christian dogma and practices derived from it. Halloween falls on the evening before the Christian holy days of All Hallows' Day (also known as All Saints', Hallowmas or Hallowtide) on November 1 and All Souls' Day on November 2, thus giving the holiday on October 31 the full name of All Hallows' Eve. These three days are collectively referred to as Hallowmas and are a time for honoring the saints and praying for the recently departed souls who have yet to reach Heaven. All Saints was introduced in the year 609, but was originally celebrated on May 13. In 835, it was switched to November 1 (the same date as Samhain) at the behest of Pope Gregory IV, on the "practical grounds that Rome in summer could not accommodate the great number of pilgrims who flocked to it", and perhaps because of public health considerations regarding Roman Fever, a disease that claimed a number of lives during the sultry summers of the region. Some have suggested this was due to Celtic influence, while others suggest it was a Germanic idea.

By the end of the 12th century they had become holy days of obligation across Europe and involved such traditions as ringing church bells for the souls in purgatory. In addition, "it was customary for criers dressed in black to parade the streets, ringing a bell of mournful sound and calling on all good Christians to remember the poor souls." "Souling", the custom of baking and sharing soul cakes for all christened souls, has been suggested as the origin of trick-or-treating. The custom was found in parts of England and dates back at least as far as the 15th century. Groups of poor people, often children, would go door-to-door during Hallowmas, collecting soul cakes, originally as a means of praying for souls in purgatory. Similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy. Shakespeare mentions the practice in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1593), when Speed accuses his master of "puling [whimpering or whining] like a beggar at Hallowmas." The custom of wearing costumes has been explicated by Prince Sorie Conteh, who wrote: "It was traditionally believed that the souls of the departed wandered the earth until All Saints' Day, and All Hallows' Eve provided one last chance for the dead to gain vengeance on their enemies before moving to the next world. In order to avoid being recognised by any soul that might be seeking such vengeance, people would don masks or costumes to disguise their identities". Imagery of the skull, a reference to Golgotha, in the Christian tradition, serves as "a reminder of death and the transitory quality of human life" and is consequently found in memento mori and vanitas compositions; skulls have therefore been commonplace in Halloween, which touches on this theme.


All Hallows Eve at an Episcopalian Church
Traditionally, the back walls of churches are "decorated with a depiction of the Last Judgment, complete with graves opening and the dead rising, with a heaven filled with angels and a hell filled with devils," a motif that has permeated the observance of this triduum. Academic folklorist Kingsley Palmer, in addition to others, has suggested that the carved jack-o'-lantern, a popular symbol of Halloween, originally represented the souls of the dead. On Halloween, in medieval Europe, "fires [were] lit to guide these souls on their way and deflect them from haunting honest Christian folk." In addition, households in Austria, England, Ireland often had "candles burning in every room to guide the souls back to visit their earthly homes". These were known as “soul lights”

In parts of Britain, these customs came under attack during the Reformation as some Protestants berated purgatory as a "popish" doctrine incompatible with the notion of predestination. Thus, for some Nonconformist Protestants, the theology of All Hallows’ Eve was redefined; without the doctrine of purgatory, "the returning souls cannot be journeying from Purgatory on their way to Heaven, as Catholics frequently believe and assert. Instead, the so-called ghosts are thought to be in actuality evil spirits. As such they are threatening." Other Protestants maintained belief in an intermediate state, known as Hades (Bosom of Abraham), and continued to observe the original customs, especially candlelit processions and the ringing of church bells in memory of the dead. With regard to the evil spirits, on Halloween, "barns and homes were blessed to protect people and livestock from the effect of witches, who were believed to accompany the malignant spirits as they traveled the earth." In the 19th century, in parts of England, Christian families gathered on hills on the night of All Hallows' Eve. One held a bunch of burning straw on a pitchfork while the rest knelt around him in a circle, praying for the souls of relatives and friends until the flames went out. This was known as teen'lay, derived either from the Old English tendan (meaning to kindle) or a word related to Old Irish tenlach (meaning hearth). The rising popularity of Guy Fawkes Night (5 November) from 1605 onward, saw many Halloween traditions appropriated by that holiday instead, and Halloween's popularity waned in Britain, with the noteworthy exception of Scotland. There and in Ireland, they had been celebrating Samhain and Halloween since at least the early Middle Ages, and the Scottish kirk took a more pragmatic approach to Halloween, seeing it as important to the life cycle and rites of passage of communities and thus ensuring its survival in the country. In France, Christians, on the night of All Hallows' Eve, prayed beside the graves of their loved ones, setting down dishes full of milk for them. On Halloween, in Italy, families left a large meal out for ghosts of their passed relatives, before they departed for church services. In Spain, women, on this night, made special pastries known as “bones of the holy” (Spanish: Huesos de Santo) and put them on the graves of the churchyard, a practice that continues to this day.

North American almanacs of the late 18th and early 19th century give no indication that Halloween was celebrated there. The Puritans of New England, for example, maintained strong opposition to Halloween, and it was not until the mass Irish and Scottish immigration during the 19th century that it was brought to North America in earnest. Confined to the immigrant communities during the mid-19th century, it was gradually assimilated into mainstream society and by the first decade of the 20th century it was being celebrated coast to coast by people of all social, racial and religious backgrounds.


Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. Children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy or sometimes money, with the question, "Trick or treat?" The word "trick" refers to "threat" to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. The practice is said to have roots in the medieval practice of mumming, which is closely related to souling (discussed above). John Pymm writes that "many of the feast days associated with the presentation of mumming plays were celebrated by the Christian Church." These feast days included All Hallows' Eve, Christmas, Twelfth Night and Shrove Tuesday. Mumming, practised in Germany, Scandinavia and other parts of Europe, involved masked persons in fancy dress who "paraded the streets and entered houses to dance or play dice in silence." Their "basic narrative framework is the story of St. George and the Seven Champions of Christendom."

In Scotland and Ireland, guising – children disguised in costume going from door to door for food or coins – is a traditional Halloween custom, and is recorded in Scotland at Halloween in 1895 where masqueraders in disguise carrying lanterns made out of scooped out turnips, visit homes to be rewarded with cakes, fruit and money. The practice of Guising at Halloween in North America is first recorded in 1911, where a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario reported children going "guising" around the neighborhood.

American historian and author Ruth Edna Kelley of Massachusetts wrote the first book length history of Halloween in the US; The Book of Hallowe'en (1919), and references souling in the chapter "Hallowe'en in America":

The taste in Hallowe'en festivities now is to study old traditions, and hold a Scotch party, using Burn's poem Hallowe'en as a guide; or to go a-souling as the English used. In short, no custom that was once honored at Hallowe'en is out of fashion now.

*From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Trick or Treat, Animal style!


Don't know what happened to 1 and 2...the rest - in no particular order...

Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets
Halloween For Pets

Blessed Samhain


samhain

And the fires
Shall burn
And the wheel of life
Shall turn
And the dead will come home, on Samhain

And then
The night sky
On a lunar light
midnight
And the dead will come home, on Samhain

Little children
Dress like beasts
In the lamp-lit
Dark streets
And the dead come alive, on Samhain

Come away
From this island earth
Come back to
The moment of your birth
And the dead come alive, on Samhain

Ever since
The dawn of time
This day has been for them
Lay your minds on the line
And await the dead, on Samhain

When the wall
Grows thin
Allows the dead
To come in
So await the dead, on Samhain

I will see you, come Samhain

------------------
Glen Whitman, Gather.com

The Wheel of the year

*Pronounced: SOW-in (as in "cow"), (or sometimes sew-WIN)
For more pagan pronunciations, click here.
**Read about Samhain

Greyhound abandons 400 remote communities in Canada

by Seamus Bellamy, BoingBoing.net

Greyhound announced that it was pulling its buses out of western Canada earlier this year. For anyone that owns a car? No big deal. For those living in remote western communities without access to a vehicle of their own or other means of transportation to shuttle them to more populous locales, it's a disaster. On October 31st, decades of being able to rely on a Greyhound ride to take an inexpensive trip into the city to access government services, make a visit to the hospital or see far-flung friends or family will come to an end.

From The CBC:

When Lillian Sylvestre heard Greyhound Canada was ending its western bus service, she made arrangements to visit her children in Red Deer on the route she's taken for the last four decades. Sylvestre lives in Sprague, Man., minutes from the Minnesota and Ontario borders. It lost its bus service to Winnipeg several years ago.

"It was sad when all the small communities lost the bus route," she said. "It is very hard because I used to hop on the bus in Sprague ten o'clock in the morning, go do my business — doctor, whatever in the city here, six o'clock — eight o'clock I'm home. Now I can't do that. I got to rely on my kids, in-laws, friends."

The closure will effect almost all routes west of Sudbury, Ontario. As part of Greyhound's spinning down their western services, 415 people will lose their jobs. In total, 400 communities will lose access to Greyhound's services. the company says that their pulling out of Western Canada is due to a 40% drop in ridership since 2010--business that may have been lost to other transportation services. But those services don't run in all 400 locations that Greyhound is abandoning. In some cases, the only alternative for folks looking to leave their community is in a cab--if one will come out to pick them up. Communities screwed over by Greyhound's exit and both provincial and federal governments are scrambling to sort out subsidized transportation for those no longer able to hop a ride on the long-running bus line. In some areas, homegrown ride-sharing programs may be the only viable option.

The ties that bind us together are falling apart, piece by piece.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

GRANDPARENTS' ANSWERING MACHINE MESSAGE

Good morning .. . . At present we are not at home, but please leave your message after you hear the beep.

beeeeeppp .....

If you are one of our children, dial 1 and then select the option from 1 to 5 in order of "birth date" so we know who it is.

If you need us to stay with the children, press 2
If you want to borrow the car, press 3
If you want us to wash your clothes and do ironing, press 4
If you want the grandchildren to sleep here tonight, press 5
If you want us to pick up the kids at school, press 6
If you want us to prepare a meal for Sunday or to have it delivered to your home, press 7
If you want to come to eat here, press 8
If you need money, press 9
If you are going to invite us to dinner or take us to the theatre,start talking .... we are listening !!!!!!!!!!!"
HYUK!

WHAT IS A GRANDPARENT?
(Taken from papers written by a class of 8-year-olds)

Grandparents are a lady and a man who have no little children of their own. They like other people's.

A grandfather is a man, & a grandmother is a lady!

Grandparents don't have to do anything except be there when we come to see them…

They are so old they shouldn't play hard or run. It is good if they drive us to the shops and give us money.

When they take us for walks, they slow down past things like pretty leaves and caterpillars.

They show us and talk to us about the colours of the flowers and also why we shouldn't step on 'cracks.'

They don't say, 'Hurry up.'

Usually grandmothers are fat but not too fat to tie your shoes.

They wear glasses and funny underwear.

They can take their teeth and gums out.

Grandparents don't have to be smart.

They have to answer questions like 'Why isn't God married?' and 'How come dogs chase cats?'

When they read to us, they don't skip. They don't mind if we ask for the same story over again.

Everybody should try to have a grandmother, especially if you don't have television because they are the only grown-ups who like to spend time with us. <--wow p="">
They know we should have a snack time before bed time, and they say prayers with us and kiss us even when we've acted bad.

GRANDPA IS THE SMARTEST MAN ON EARTH! HE TEACHES ME GOOD THINGS, BUT I DON'T GET TO SEE HIM ENOUGH TO GET AS SMART AS HIM!

It's funny when they bend over; you hear gas leaks, and they blame their dog.
HYUK!

Fhilipino man has an exquisite voice - Ellen


Does both high and low vocal ranges, used to live on the street

For you mediatation freaks :)

meditation

meditation

meditation

meditation

meditation

meditation

meditation

meditation

meditation

meditation

meditation

meditation