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Feather

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Happy Halloween!

Post by Feather on Sat 29 Oct 2011 - 15:39



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Kitkat
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Re: Happy Halloween!

Post by Kitkat on Sun 30 Oct 2011 - 11:40

According to some sites, the tradition of Hallowe'en is supposed to have started in Ireland. The Irish then brought it to America (who added on bits and pieces) and so it goes ...
Hallowe'en was an exciting event when I was growing up in Ireland. We had the colcannon and the barmbrack - and we dressed up and went visiting all the houses around. The neighbours always asked for a 'treat' (they wouldn't dare otherwise) and the treat usually would mean having to sing a song for them or sometimes we would all have to join in in one of the games set up especially for the occasion - usually involving apples for some reason, and if we didn't succeed in biting the apple in the bowl of water (with our head upside down and back to front!) of taking a bite out of an apple swinging around on the end of a piece of string attaching to the ceiling (with our hands tied behind our back - with another piece of string, lol) then we wouldn't be given anything to put in our buckets. (No problem to us - we became dab hands at the Hallowe'en party tricks, practising for days beforehand!). Then at the end of the house visits (also, sometimes people would stop us on the street and put money, sweets or nuts etc in our bucket) - visits over we would divide the goodies equally between us and go back to our respective homes (making sure to be indoors before midnight!) and continue with the festivities. In our house we would sit around the open fire roasting chestnuts and swapping ghost stories .... afraid long into the night ...

IRISH HALLOWEEN TRADITIONS

The Celts celebrated Halloween as Samhain, 'All Hallowtide'
- the 'Feast of the Dead', when the dead revisited the
mortal world. The celebration marked the end of Summer
and the start of the Winter months.

During the eighth century the Catholic Church designated
the first day of November as 'All Saints Day ('All Hallows')
- a day of commemoration for those Saints that did not have
a specific day of remembrance. The night before was known
as 'All Hallows Eve' which, over time, became known as
Halloween.

Here are the most notable Irish Halloween Traditions:

Colcannon for Dinner: Boiled Potato, Curly Kale (a cabbage)
and raw Onions are provided as the traditional Irish
Halloween dinner. Clean coins are wrapped in baking paper
and placed in the potato for children to find and keep.

The Barnbrack Cake: The traditional Halloween cake in
Ireland is the barnbrack which is a fruit bread. Each member
of the family gets a slice. Great interest is taken in the
outcome as there is a piece of rag, a coin and a ring in
each cake. If you get the rag then your financial future is
doubtful. If you get the coin then you can look forward to
a prosperous year. Getting the ring is a sure sign of
impending romance or continued happiness.

The Ivy Leaf: Each member of the family places a perfect
ivy leaf into a cup of water and it is then left undisturbed
overnight. If, in the morning, a leaf is still perfect and
has not developed any spots then the person who placed the
leaf in the cup can be sure of 12 months health until the
following Halloween. If not.....

The Pumpkin: Carving Pumpkins dates back to the eighteenth
century and to an Irish blacksmith named Jack who colluded
with the Devil and was denied entry to Heaven. He was
condemned to wander the earth but asked the Devil for some
light. He was given a burning coal ember which he placed
inside a turnip that he had gouged out.

The tradition of Jack O'Lanterns was born - the bearer
being the wandering blacksmith - a damned soul. Villagers
in Ireland hoped that the lantern in their window would keep
the wanderer away. When the Irish emigrated in millions to
America there was not a great supply of turnips so pumpkins
were used instead.

Halloween Costumes: On Halloween night children would dress
up in scary costumes and go house to house. 'Help the
Halloween Party' and 'Trick or Treat' were the cries to be
heard at each door. This tradition of wearing costumes also
dates back to Celtic times. On the special night when the
living and the dead were at their closest the Celtic Druids
would dress up in elaborate costumes to disguise themselves
as spirits and devils in case they encountered other devils
and spirits during the night. By disguising they hoped that
they would be able to avoid being carried away at the end
of the night. This explains why witches, goblins and ghosts
remain the most popular choices for the costumes.

Snap Apple: After the visits to the neighbours the Halloween
games begin, the most popular of which is Snap Apple. An
apple is suspended from a string and children are
blindfolded. The first child to get a decent bite of the
apple gets to keep their prize. The same game can be played
by placing apples in a basin of water and trying to get a
grip on the apple without too much mess!

The Bonfire: The Halloween bonfire is a tradition to
encourage dreams of who your future husband or wife is going
to be. The idea was to drop a cutting of your hair into the
burning embers and then dream of you future loved one.
Halloween was one of the Celt 'fire' celebrations.

Blind Date: Blindfolded local girls would go out into the
fields and pull up the first cabbage they could find. If
their cabbage had a substantial amount of earth attached to
the roots then there future loved one would have money.
Eating the cabbage would reveal the nature of their future
husband - bitter or sweet!

Another way of finding your future spouse is to peel an
apple in one go. If done successfully the single apple
peel could be dropped on the floor to reveal the initials
of the future-intended.

Anti-Fairy Measures: Fairies and goblins try to collect
as many souls as they can at Halloween but if they met a
person who threw the dust from under their feet at the
Fairy then they would be obliged to release any souls
that they held captive.

Holy water was sometimes anointed on farm animals to keep
them safe during the night. If the animals were showing
signs of ill health on All Hallows Eve then they would be
spat on to try to ward off any evil spirits.

(C) Copyright http://www.ireland-information.com

I don't know about any of the other traditions mentioned there. Different counties and different parts of Ireland have different customs and traditions, so maybe these things were to be found in other parts of the country.
Anyway, will be the traditional colcannon and barmbrack in this house tomorrow, candles lit and an extra place set at the table (just to welcome anyone who might come a-haunting)

lol - I just love the one at the end about spitting on the animals
I watched the film 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' (lol - must about 50 times now) and there is an old tradition where spitting on someone is supposed to ward off any bad luck (I guess that must have something to do with 'evil spirits') and therefore only allowing the good ones in - bringing good luck the spitee. The wedding scene - where the bride is walking up the aisle to meet her future hubby ... and everyone in the church is spitting on her as she goes .... just makes me crease up every time I see it.
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Stardust

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Happy Halloween

Post by Stardust on Mon 31 Oct 2011 - 12:22

That was interesting.
We used to do the apple bobbing, apple on a string, and peel too. Also, if a girl sat brushing her hair in front of a mirror on Halloween night, it was said that at the stroke of twelve she would glimpse a reflection of her future husband's face.
I hope you all have lots of fun, but don't eat too much candy.



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Re: Happy Halloween!

Post by Stardust on Fri 7 Oct 2016 - 9:39

Already the shops are selling all sorts of goodies for Halloween. Time to stock up.



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Re: Happy Halloween!

Post by EndoWarriror on Fri 7 Oct 2016 - 11:58

Ooh I love Halloween, here in the UK we celebrate it the 31 Oct, not sure if it's the same or different overseas


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Feather

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Re: Happy Halloween!

Post by Feather on Fri 7 Oct 2016 - 15:30

All I know is that here the school kids go round pouring treacle through letter boxes and using it to stick feathers to house windows. Now I live in the countryside so don't get that but I still leave all the outside lights on till late. Farm gates are removed and laid across roads etc--dangerous and nasty.I'm glad when it's all over.


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Re: Happy Halloween!

Post by Kitkat on Fri 7 Oct 2016 - 18:17

Feather wrote:All I know is that here the school kids go round pouring treacle through letter boxes and using it to stick feathers to house windows. Now I live in the countryside so don't get that but I still leave all the outside lights on till late. Farm gates are removed and laid across roads etc--dangerous and nasty.I'm glad when it's all over.

afraid Nothing like that around here! I'm pretty sure anyone seen to be getting up to that kind of lark would likely end up in a police cell for the night.
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Feather

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Re: Happy Halloween!

Post by Feather on Fri 7 Oct 2016 - 22:12

Yes but here it all happens in the night. The polce used to turn a blind eye to innocent pranks but they stopped being innocent many years ago. It's become a tradition with each group trying to outdo the others.The police can't be everywhere at one time.


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Re: Happy Halloween!

Post by bimbow on Sat 8 Oct 2016 - 1:08

Stardust, you mention Halloween goodies!  I'd say the whole thing is a nonsensical money-making crapfest :thumb:


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Re: Happy Halloween!

Post by Stardust on Sat 8 Oct 2016 - 7:00

I like to see the children disguised, happy and excited. I do buy sweets some years in case any come knocking at the door, but one year nobody did and we ended up eating them all ourselves. Not that it was a hardship. Don't think about the teeth, though.



Feather, that's terrible, makes you wonder what goes on in the minds of some youngsters. Shocked


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Re: Happy Halloween!

Post by Stardust on Mon 31 Oct 2016 - 20:03

Saw the children playing outside with their disguises and spooking one another, but nobody came to knock at the door demanding "Trick or Treat". Pity, but I expect the parents bought their own little monsters treats anyway.
witchy


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Re: Happy Halloween!

Post by Feather on Mon 31 Oct 2016 - 21:15

I'm afraid I agree with bimbow but I think the same way about Christmas.Its false magic melted away with my youth.


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Stardust

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Re: Happy Halloween!

Post by Stardust on Tue 1 Nov 2016 - 12:37

Any excuse to spread a little happiness is OK with me. I like to see folk enjoying themselves and everyone can choose how much to spend, according to their resources, and whether to participate, etc.

There are already so many reasons in life to be sad and gloomy, why spoil the occasions when we can smile and be happy, especially when we see the eyes of children shining with excitement and can share the magic with them. They'll find out soon enough how dull life can sometimes be and how much hard work it is.

happyheart


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Feather

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Re: Happy Halloween!

Post by Feather on Tue 1 Nov 2016 - 12:45

True--but have you ever studied a child's face when he/she is told there is no Santa?
Are the lies worth the disappiontments?


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Stardust

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Re: Happy Halloween!

Post by Stardust on Tue 1 Nov 2016 - 13:09

No I haven't, Feather. I think they often find out at school these days, and that most of them probably have an inkling before they're actually told. In our family we found out when we were still awake and saw good old Dad creeping in and putting filled stockings at the bottom of our beds.

When I was very small I was rather afraid of Father Christmas so it was a relief to see that Santa was really Dad and that no stranger was going to tiptoe into our room while we were asleep.

I think there are probably only a minority of children who aren't expecting to learn that Santa doesn't exist and to whom it comes as a shock. Looks like that's your experience with some children, perhaps your own. But I'm sure they are soon comforted in warm arms and so long as they still have their usual celebrations I expect they're soon happy again. Santa joins the realm of fairy stories and that's just as well.

I don't like the word 'lies' because to me it's a way of bringing magic and a little mystery to children before they grow up and face the world. It's like the tooth fairy, and there are probably other examples that don't at the moment spring to mind.

Guess for once we'll never agree on this one, dear Feather. happyheart


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Re: Happy Halloween!

Post by Feather on Tue 1 Nov 2016 - 17:17

No, I think we shall agree. You've convinced me.xxx.


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Re: Happy Halloween!

Post by Stardust on Wed 2 Nov 2016 - 8:03

happyheart happyheart happyheart

You've made my day, Feather.

catlick


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