It's Halloween and for a month now, the ghoulish decorations have been up outside homes in our area. Walks in the neighborhood are all the more interesting now because some people always come up with different and weird ideas to spook people. I took pictures of the ones that I liked most ...
The tradition of Halloween was brought to the US by Irish immigrants, but it's now celebrated by ALL children here (mainly as a way to stock up on candy for the year :)), by the candy and costume-making industry for obvious reasons, and by adults who get creative for costume parties - which can be pretty fun.
Halloween originated from the ancient Celtic festival Samhain, which is a harvest festival. During this time, the ancient pagans stocked up on livestock meat for the winter, and built huge bonfires where the slaughter waste was burned. Since winter was a time of disease and death, which they associated with evil spirits, they wore costumes and masks to ward them off, or to mimic them.
The name itself comes from All Hallows' Even (for evening) as it is the eve of "All Hallows' Day" or "All Saints Day".
A couple of houses have got this giant spider web with a giant yellow & black spider, which I hadn't seen before. In one house they had set it up to go all the way from a tree to the ground, which looked great. But I couldn't get a picture of that one. One of my neighbors had it too, and I got a picture of theirs.
There are the ghosts hanging from trees, of course.
And witches with poor navigation skills ...
The Jack-o'-Lantern can be traced back to the Irish legend of Stingy Jack, who was a greedy, gambling, hard-drinking old farmer. The legend goes that he tricked the devil into climbing a tree and trapped him by carving a cross into the tree trunk. Angered, the devil cursed Jack, condemning him to forever wander the earth at night with the only light he had: a candle inside a hollowed turnip.
I didn't carve my little pumpkin this year. No specific reason why not ... but here's my power-point Jack-o'-Lantern.
There usually is a pizza gathering on our street on the evening of Oct 31st, to which parents bring kids in costumes. After the get together, the kids go trick-or-treating. I haven't yet bought treats ... am thinking of buying dried fruit packets this year, to make it a little healthy.
The setting sun lights up the neighborhood during our walk. There are lots of deer here too. Didn't see one on this day, though.
Have a great weekend!