We’ve made it to the last day of the month, Halloween, and the middle of the work week. I’ve never been truly excited about Halloween, beyond seeing how cute the kids are in their costumes, but I do buy candy if by some chance a kid or two knocks on our door. In the years that we have lived here we have had MAYBE 20 kids stop by – not each year, TOTAL. The schools have events, as do the malls and the businesses in town. There are large, well lit and decorated neighborhoods that go all out for the trick-or-treaters, so the parents haul them over. It’s actually nice for them since the roads are closed to traffic, which reduces the danger to pedestrians. Our street is dark, no streetlights, and seriously, if I were a kid, I wouldn’t want to trick-or-treat on my street either.
I didn’t get around to getting any pictures of Moose in any of his Halloween hats last night, but figured I’d put one up for the main photo and another one here from the past couple of years. They are pretty cute.
Verse of the Day
October 31, 2018
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
Satan is no play or pretend thing. He and his power are real and intended to harm. But rather than spending our time worrying about him, let’s resist him when we are tempted and focus on Jesus. He’s the one who won the big showdown at Calvary, triumphing over Satan. He took Satan’s greatest tool and disarmed it. Now we can resist, and Satan will flee.
Food for Thought
History of Halloween – Bringing the Celebration to Present Time in the United States
When people began immigrating to the New World to settle they were all Protestant. They were leaving Europe to escape persecution for practicing their religion, so to them, any celebration that was a Catholic holiday was considered to be a bad thing. The fact is that they found any celebration to be immoral, but especially if it was Catholic. At that time, even celebrating Christmas in Massachusetts was illegal and punishable by either being banished or put to death. After the American Revolution, Halloween still hadn’t really caught on here. Most of the country was made up of farms and people just didn’t live close enough to each other to share in the different celebrations that had come from Europe. They looked forward to spending time together though, most of the time get togethers were barn raisings, quilting bees or even taffy pulls. At some point a all gathering called the Autumn Play Party was started where people would gather together and tell ghost stories, sing, eat a feast, dance and light bonfires. The children would put on a pageant, parading around in costumes. This annual party lasted until the Industrial revolution, but since so many people now lived in cities, there wasn’t a need for such a party. By this time in history Episcopalians and Catholics had begun to come to America, bringing the All Saints’ Day and Halloween celebrations with them. By the end of the Civil war these two religions only made up shy of 5% of the population. They were concerned about letting a part of their heritage disappear, so they started to work towards putting the celebrations onto all public calendars. By the late 1800s a movement started to make Halloween into a holiday that was more about neighborhood get-togethers and community, rather than the supernatural, with parties for both kids and adults being the most common celebration of Halloween by the turn of the century. The first year that the two holidays showed up on the calendars, the news made a big deal about it. Word spread and suddenly everyone knew about Halloween and were celebrating it by having costume parties and lighting bonfires. The very first city wide Halloween celebration happened in 1921, in the town of Anoka, MN. By the 1950s it had become more of a kids’ celebration, treats were handed out to prevent tricks from being played on them, some of those tricks becoming vandalism. Today Halloween is once again celebrated as an adult holiday, or masquerade celebration with parties and gatherings where most everyone dresses up, hands out candy at their doors. Though the origins of Halloween are pagan, today’s traditional celebration has nothing to do with the occult. Do not be fooled though, most of us celebrate it just for fun, but there will always be those who use even the most innocent of days and use them for evil. That’s a foreign concept for most of us though, and for the most part, it’s all in clean fun.
Beggars’ Night – Now, this is interesting. There are some places, mostly Ohio, parts of Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and western New York who celebrate Beggar’s Night. Basically, kids make the rounds of homes for candy, focusing on the treat part of the holiday, without the tricks, and they go the night BEFORE Halloween, so the smaller kids can avoid any mischief or problems caused by older kids who are definitely more into the tricks. Some areas the kids tell a joke to the person who answers the door, to earn their candy. Apparently, the grown-ups really look forward to all the jokes and riddles every year, happily giving out candy the kids in exchange for a good laugh. Some local towns try to rigidly schedule Beggar’s Night and Halloween so that they don’t land on a weekend. I’m really not sure why, but that’s what I read. I would think that the years when we are fortunate enough for these days to land on the weekend would be good! The kids wouldn’t risk being out too late on a school night. Regardless, I think jokes in exchange for candy is an awesome idea and I have to wonder why this never took hold on the west coast.
Carve a Pumpkin Day – I would think that today would be a little late for carving a pumpkin, but I suppose for some people do put these things off until the last minute. I guess, for anyone who hasn’t done it yet, this would be the last chance. No point tomorrow, right? So, if you’re going to carve one, pull out the carving tools, lay out some newspapers and get to work! When you’re all done, and your Jack-O-Lantern is lit up and happily smiling on your deck, it’ll be time to either take the kids out trick-or-treating, or to answer the door for all the little ghosts and goblins who knock on your door! Personally, I think this celebration should have been celebrated a few days sooner and enjoyed with hot spiced cider and pumpkin flavored treats.
Halloween / All Hallow’s Eve – I grew up celebrating Halloween, all the way through high school actually. Right about the time my kids were born there was a lot of controversy about Halloween and people who attended church were discouraged from celebrating it, with the emphasis put on Harvest Celebrations instead. While I understand the reasoning behind it, I don’t feel that I suffered from celebrating Halloween growing up. I actually have some pretty wonderful and happy memories surrounding Halloween and feel bad for depriving my kids of a few years of absolute fun. I can’t change the past though and know that my kids didn’t suffer for lack of fun . . . they just had different fun. You can see a lengthy history of this holiday in the last couple of weeks of Food for Thought. I delved into a bit of it each day.
Magic Day – Harry Houdini, maybe the most famous magician of all time, died on October 31, 1926, which paved the way for “Magic Day”, now celebrated each year on the anniversary of his death. Modern day magicians are celebrated today as well. Magicians such as David Copperfield and David Blaine come to mind. The famous magical team Siegfried and Roy just had the 10th anniversary of the day that Roy was attacked by his white tiger, Montcore. In the hours that followed the attack, Roy went “code blue” three times and doctors had to remove 25% of his skull. Obviously, this type of work can be quite dangerous! So hard to believe that it has been 10 years already.
National Knock-Knock Jokes Day – Knock knock jokes are likely to have been the very first joke we learned and repeated as children. As corny as they are, we love to tell them to each other. Always silly, but always fun. Here’s one in keeping with the spirit of the day!
“Don’t cry! I’m just a Halloween Trick-or-Treater!”
This Day in History –
1926 – Magician Harry Houdini dies from complications of a ruptured appendix.
1984 – Indian Prime Minister Indira Ghandi was assassinated.
Food Celebration of the Day –
National Candy Apple Day – Today we celebrate the beautiful and very sweet candy apple. We can date coating fruit in sugar syrup back to ancient times. It not only tasted good, but honey and sugar were used as preserving agents to keep fruit from rotting. In a pre-refrigerator world, it made a lot of sense to preserve meat however possible. Food historians generally agree that caramel (or toffee) apples date back to the late 19th century, with both caramel and toffee being traced to the early decades of the 18th century. Red cinnamon candy apples came much later than that. Candy apples have long been connected to Halloween, but they were originally a Christmas treat. According to articles found in the Newark Evening News in 1948 and 1964, the red candy apple was invented by William W. Kolb in 1908. He was a local confectioner who had been experimenting with red cinnamon candies for Christmas, dipped apples into the mixture and BOOM, the candy apple was born! It was soon being sold on the Jersey Shore, at the circuses and in candy shops across the nation. When people started being scared away from candy apples being given to children for Halloween in the 60s after a few sociopaths inserted razor blades and needles into the fruit (some say this was a hoax), parents were advised to not accept anything that wasn’t pre-packaged by a candy distributor, and people stopped putting candy apples into Halloween bags, along with other homemade treats.
National Caramel Apple Day – This is very interesting! Coating fruit in honey was an ancient preservation method and apparently apples that were coated in toffee date back to the 19th century. I had no idea! The combination of caramel and apples works in all sorts of desserts, not just dipped apples on sticks.
It’s time to head to take Mr. Moose out for his little walk before work. He needs to get out for a bit, and it’s doing me a good too. Have a wonderful day, if you celebrate Halloween, be safe! God bless you and I’ll see you tomorrow.
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Celebration list sources: