Saturday, May 2, 2009

Halloween melancholy

It isn't fair. The weather is gloomy and damp and over cast, and it feels so much like Fall right now it's unreal. I feel like I should get out all of my Halloween decorations (oh, wait...some of those still aren't put away from last Halloween!). They said we made the record for the most rainfall on the first of May, and it still hasn't stopped. It's been chilly in the house, and we are using our heaters again after putting them away to make way for house fans. Summer has been temporarily pushed aside by a deceitful entity posing as Autumn, but I know better. It isn't so much that I mind it feeling/looking like Fall is here early this year. I rather like it, except for the nonstop rain. It just makes me wish that I would see ghosts and spiderwebs hanging in store windows, and porches with scarecrows and grinning pumpkins, and everything else that symbolizes the harvest season and All Hallow's Eve. It's funny how there are days like this that make me feel closer to it--as if I can feel it closeby when it really isn't. I swear, if I had a pumpkin here right now I would carve it. There are times when I long to smell the burning lid when it's licked by the candle's flame, and the sweet scent of the gooey innards when I disembowl the pumpkin. Yup. It's my favorite time of year, alright, and right now it feels like it's only weeks away. Nature, the trickster that she is...making me feel like this when I have such a long time to wait until it is really here. Evil temptress.

Halloween history on tv

To my surprise, as I was looking to see what was on tv last night, the words 'The True History of Halloween' caught my eye. Even though it is admittedly a kids' show, (I'm a kid-at-heart', so maybe that counts!), 'Truth or Scare', on Discovery Kids has actually had some pretty good episodes, including last night's Halloween history one. The set was done up in wonderfully spooky decor, with glowing pumpkins and a bubbling cauldron, etc. It told the history of Halloween starting with the ancient rituals of the Druids, and how our traditions today, such as TOTing, first got started. I didn't know, for example, that the tradition of bobbing for apples at Halloween parties was originally done by unmarried people, and that the first person to get the apple was said to be the one to get married! The show also talked about the ancient belief in vampires and witches, and a real life witch was interviewed throughout the show. All in all, I thought it was a really fun show, and I really enjoyed it. I will be keeping my eye on 'Truth or Scare' from now on. This is the second or third time I've watched the show and found it very interesting.

Here is a little synopsis of the entire show:


Michelle describes the history of Halloween and traces modern-day traditions such as trick-or-treating and bobbing for apples back to their Celtic roots.

Full Recap

Michelle tells how Halloween comes from an ancient Celtic holiday celebrating the end of summer harvest and celebrated to please the gods and ward off evil spirits. She speaks to a modern-day witch to learn about the ancient traditions our modern-day festivities derive from. Bobbing for apples was originally something young unmarried people did. Rumor was the first person to get an apple would be the first to get married.Trick-or-treating was something peasents did. Each family would bake a small treat to share with their neighbors. If people felt you weren't being generous enough, you got a "trick". But tricks weren't all fun and games - sometimes people got killed as part of one.There are two theories on how jack-o-lanterns came to be. One is the story of a boy named Jack who liked to play tricks on people. One time he tricked the devil into climbing up a tree that he couldn't get down from. As punishment, Jack's soul was forced to wander the earth forever with only a candle in a pumpkin to guide him. Another says that the ancient Celts actually used human heads in their Halloween rituals.Cristians were afraid that the Celts' celebration worshipped the devil, so they declared the day after the Celtic holiday All Saints Day and renamed October 31st All Hallows Eve, which was later shortened to just "Halloween".