The History of Halloween and Fun Pumpkin Facts!

I recently returned from my annual pilgrimage to Walt Disney World where we rode on the “Haunted Mansion” ride at the “Not so scary Halloween” evening.

In the US, people tend to make more effort to celebrate events like Halloween but in the UK we are catching up. I thought what do I actually know about Halloween?

The following article is from halloweenishere.com which is full of information about Halloween and includes:
Fun & Games Ghost Stories Rancid Recipes Costume Ideas Safety Tips
Haunted House HIH Store Haunted Art Buried Alive Ghoul School History
Send A Card Contest Graveyard Links HIH Award Link To Us

Halloween History

The history of Halloween and fun pumpkin facts!

Halloween, one of the world’s oldest holidays, is still celebrated today in several countries around the globe. The autumn rite is commemorated in the United Kingdom, although with a surprising and distinctive British twist. In Mexico, Latin America, and Spain, All Souls’ Day, the third day of the three-day Hallowmas observance, is the most important part of the celebration for many people. In Ireland and Canada, Halloween, which was once a frightening and superstitious time of year, is celebrated much as it is in the United States, with trick-or-treating, costume parties, and fun for all ages.
The word itself, “Halloween,” actually has its origins in the Catholic Church. It comes from a contracted corruption of All Hallows Eve. November 1, “All Hollows Day” (or “All Saints Day”), is a Catholic day of observance in honour of saints. But, in the 5th century BC, in Celtic Ireland, summer officially ended on October 31. The holiday was called Samhain (pronounced sow-in), which means “end of summer”, the Celtic New year.

Trick for Treat

The custom of trick or treating probably has several origins. During Samhain, the Druids believed that the dead would play tricks on mankind and cause panic and destruction. They had to be appeased, so country folk would give the Druids food as they visited their homes.
An old Irish peasant practice called for going door to door to collect money, breadcake, cheese, eggs, butter, apples, etc., in preparation for the festival of St. Columb Kill.
Also a ninth-century European custom called souling. On November 2, All Souls Day, early Christians would walk from village to village begging for “soul cakes” made out of square pieces of bread with currants. The more soul cakes the beggars would receive, the more prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the dead relatives of the donors. At the time, it was believed that the dead remained in limbo for a time after death, and that prayer, even by strangers, could expedite a soul’s passage to heaven.

Did You Know…
  • 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.


Bobbing for Apples

When the Celts were absorbed by the Roman Empire, many rituals of Roman origin began. Among them was the worship of Pomona, goddess of the harvest, often portrayed sitting on a basket of fruits and flowers. Apples were the sacred fruit of the goddess, and many games of divination involving them entered the Samhain customs.


The Witch’s Broomstick

The witch is a central symbol of Halloween. The name comes from the Saxon wica, meaning wise one. When setting out for a Sabbath, witches rubbed a sacred ointment onto their skin. This gave them a feeling of flying, and if they had been fasting they felt even giddier. Some witches rode on horseback, but poor witches went on foot and carried a broom or a pole to aid in vaulting over streams. In England when new witches were initiated they were often blindfolded, smeared with flying ointment and placed on a broomstick. The ointment would confuse the mind, speed up the pulse and numb the feet. When they were told “You are flying over land and sea,” the witch took their word for it.

Jack-O-Lanterns

Irish children used to carve out potatoes or turnips and light them for their Halloween gatherings. They commemorated Jack, a shifty Irish villain so wicked that neither God nor the Devil wanted him. Rejected by both the sacred and profane, he wandered the world endlessly looking for a place to rest, his only warmth a glittering candle in a rotten turnip. Read about Jack in the ‘Legend of the Jack-O-Lantern’ short story.


Did You Know…

  • The Irish Potato Famine (1845-50) prompted over 700,000 people to immigrate to the Americas. These immigrants brought with them their traditions of Halloween and Jack o’Lanterns, but turnips were not as readily available as back home. They found the American pumpkin to be a more than an adequate replacement. Today, the carved pumpkin is perhaps the most famous icon of the holiday.


Halloween Masquerade Mask

From earliest times people wore masks when droughts or other disasters struck. They believed that the demons who had brought their misfortune upon them would become frightened off by the hideous masks. Even after the festival of Samhain had merged with Halloween, Europeans felt uneasy at this time of the year. Food was stored in preparation for the winter and the house was snug and warm. The cold, envious ghosts were outside, and people who went out after dark often wore masks to keep from being recognised.


Pumpkin Facts

  • In 1584, after French explorer Jacques Cartier explored the St. Lawrence region of North America, he reported finding “gros melons.” The name was translated into English as “pompions,” which has since evolved into the modern “pumpkin.”
  • Pumpkins have been grown in North America for five thousand years. They are indigenous to the western hemisphere.
  • Pumpkins are fruits. A pumpkin is a type of squash and is a member of the gourd family (Cucurbitacae), which include squash, cucumbers, gherkins, and melons.
  • Pumpkin seeds should be planted between the last week of May and the middle of June. They take between 90 and 120 days to grow and are picked in October when they are bright orange in colour. Their seeds can be saved to grow new pumpkins the next year.
  • 2007 New World Record! In what has become an annual event, the world record has fallen once more. The largest pumpkin ever grown stands at 1,680 pounds. It was grown by Joe Jutras of Rhode Island. It was weighed in on October 7, 2007 at the Rhode Island Weigh-off. Will the record fall again in 2008? I will let you know

EnJoY!

Source halloweenishere.com Image factoidz.com

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Language

image “Language is a process of free creation; its laws and principles are fixed, but the manner in which the principles of generation are used is free and infinitely varied. Even the interpretation and use of words involves a process of free creation.”
~
Noam Chomsky

Avram Noam Chomsky

born December 07, 1928 in Philadelphia.
website http://www.chomsky.info/

American linguist, philosopher, political activist, author, and lecturer.
Institute Professor and professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Credited with the creation of the theory of generative grammar
Helped spark the cognitive revolution in psychology through his review of B. F. Skinner’s Verbal Behaviour

His naturalistic approach to the study of language has affected the philosophy of language and mind.

Beginning with his critique of the Vietnam War in the 1960s, Chomsky has become more widely known for his media criticism and political activism, and for his criticism of the foreign policy of the United States and other governments.

Cited as a source more often than any other living scholar during the 1980–1992 time period, and was the eighth-most cited scholar in any time period.

source goodreads.com image goodreads.com/Noam_Chomsky

Are you a Cynic?

image
Cynicism – “a sceptical, scornful or pessimistic attitude; an emotion of jaded negativity, or a general distrust of the integrity or professed motives of other people”  ~ en.wiktionary.org

Cynics suck the energy from others because they feel that they haven’t the ability to generate their own and cynics generalise so there is no real opportunity to respond to them.

Having said that, they preserve the balance in life.

A (generalised) viewpoint
What’s yours?

‘CYNICISM – The cure for bliss’ T-shirt available from zazzle.co.uk

Fred’s Note

laughing_face[1] Ol’ Fred had been a religious man who was in the hospital, near death. The family called their preacher to stand with them. As the preacher stood next to the bed, Ol’ Fred’s condition appeared to deteriorate and he motioned frantically for something to write on.
The pastor lovingly handed him a pen and a piece of paper, and Ol’ Fred used his last bit of energy to scribble a note, then he died. The preacher thought it best not to look at the note at that time, so he placed it in his jacket pocket.
At the funeral, as he was finishing the message, he realised that he was wearing the same jacket that he was wearing when Ol’ Fred died.
He said, “You know, Ol’ Fred handed me a note just before he died. I haven’t looked at it, but knowing Fred, I’m sure there’s a word of inspiration there for us all.”
He opened the note, and read out loud, “Hey, you’re standing on my oxygen tube?”

source thejokeyard.com image sodahead.com

Belief

 image“A belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses. It is an idea that possesses the mind” ~ Robert Oxton Bolton

720_criminal_minds_468_2[1] “Robert Oxton Bolton wrote: “A belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses, it is an idea that possesses the mind.” I learnt this, not studying philosophy or literature at Harvard or Oxford, or listening to Melvyn Bragg on Radio 4. No, I learnt it from watching Criminal Minds, Living TV’s current, classic cop show. How great is that?….”
~ Jim Shelley The Guardian, Saturday 6 May 2006

The Power of the Mastergroup

This article was originally posted on September 23, 2010 at thgblog. In it, is a video of Cory Boatright explaining “The 3 M’s for Successful Business”.

“Mastergroup” was mentioned in Napoleon Hill’s famous book “Think and Grow Rich”

Posted on September 23, 2010 by thgblog

Today I attended a webinar with Cory Boatright, organised by James Schramko, and I learnt heaps.  One tip for me was social networking as humble and as marvellous as Charlotte’s web and a great opportunity to participate and add value as part of a community.  Another masterminding, James often talks about the mastergroup he belongs to, Cory Boatright, who is an internet marketer, writer and author, discussed the power of the mastermind group and offered a mastermind servant course to FWF followers.  (He also joined James at FWF2 and the workshop videos are out now and being snapped up). Here is video from Google where he talks about mastermind mindset inspired by Napoleon Hill.