Tuesday, October 19, 2010
The Countdown Begins...
"It's the most wonderful time of the year..."
12 more days til Halloween, kids so let's get this party started. I plan on having an awesome time over the next couple of weeks. Stop by and see what I have cooking every day in celebration of this most awesome of days.There will be monsters, haunted houses, ghosts, serial killers, a regular fright fest leading up to the Big Day.
Here's a little bit of history about my favorite holiday...
Halloween or All Hallows Eve is an ancient holiday. It is linked to the Celtic Festival of Samhain, meaning summer's end. It is a harvest festival marking the end of the lighter half of the year and the start of the darker half. The Celts believed the veil between this world and the next was at its thinnest, allowing spirits, both benign and evil to pass through. The good spirits, usually one's ancestors, were honored, while the evil ones were to be warded off. Hence, the use of masks and costumes.
Black and orange are the colors associated with Halloween. Orange for the color of the bonfires and black for darkness and death.
Trick or treating is related to the medieval practice of souling, when poor folks would go door-to-door begging food on Hallowmas (Nov. 1) receiving food in exchange for prayers for the dead on All Soul's Day (Nov. 2. It's believed to have originated in Britain and Ireland, though there were similar practices found as far south as Italy. Trick-or-treating did not become widespread in the US until the 1930's.
That bright grinning Jack O'Lantern originated in Ireland when people would carve out turnips and put candles inside to ward off the spirits and ghosts.Pumpkins are easier to carve, though, wouldn't you say? A turnip seems a bit small. Jack O'Lantern comes from a tale about a man name Jack who tricked the Devil.Unable to enter Heaven or Hell after his death, he was doomed to wander the earth and to keep evil spirits from finding him he placed a piece of coal in carved out turnip and used it as a lantern.
Did you know that Halloween is the second most commercially successful holiday after Christmas? We're coming for you, Claus.
Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the US. 2 billion?! That's a lot of candy corn.
Snickers bars are the number 1 candy bar for trick-or-treating. Darn, I thought it was those scrumptious little Kit Kats.
Well, that's all for now, but I'll be back tomorrow with more scary good fun.