Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Halloween - Around The World

I guess I'm in the Halloween mood today. The plans for the Leisure Arts Halloween costume contest have been announced, and we're trying to come up with something extremely clever (while also being amazingly easy because if I have to add one more thing on top of working, working, worrying, paperworking, planning, studying, writing, acquiring a small cap natural gas services company, attaining a Small Estate Affidavit in Pulaski county in the state of Arkansas, gearing up for my busiest Quilt Market ever, and watching the Zulu nation murdilate the British, I'm going to snap). If I look like I need a cold splash of water to snap out of it, I probably do but don't try it. Still, I love a party, especially with a "cook off". And I really love a party where you get to dress up and pretend to be someone else. I think this year I'll pretend to be someone normal.

This is from the History Channel, and it shows some things are just universal. I know a certain neighborhood in Benton, where the young hooligans still play "knock-a-dolly" only they use door bells and call it something else. And my sister-in-law catches it all on videotape.

History of Halloween - Around The World: "Where It All Began

In Ireland, where Halloween originated, the day is still celebrated much as it is in the United States. In rural areas, bonfires are lit as they were in the days of the Celts, and all over the country, children get dressed up in costumes and spend the evening 'trick-or-treating' in their neighborhoods. After trick-or-treating, most people attend parties with neighbors and friends. At the parties, many games are played, including 'snap-apple,' a game in which an apple on a string is tied to a doorframe or tree and players attempt to bite the hanging apple. In addition to bobbing for apples, parents often arrange treasure hunts, with candy or pastries as the 'treasure.' The Irish also play a card game where cards are laid face down on a table with candy or coins underneath them. When a child chooses a card, he receives whatever prize is found below it.

A traditional food eaten on Halloween is barnbrack, a kind of fruitcake that can be bought in stores or baked at home. A muslin-wrapped treat is baked inside the cake that, it is said, can foretell the eater's future. If a ring is found, it means that the person will soon be wed; a piece of straw means that a prosperous year is on its way. Children are also known to play tricks on their neighbors, such as 'knock-a-dolly,' a prank in which children knock on the doors of their neighbors, but run away before the door is opened."

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