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All Hallowed Evening

Bonus Cat Blogging

Jack o' lanternWhether you celebrate Celtic New Year’s Eve [Samhain], the evening before All Saints Day [Halloween], or the posting of Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses in 1517 [Reformation Day], have a happy one.

Wikipedia does its normally thorough job of covering all of the bases on the holidays that share October 31st.

These are my remembrances of a traditional American Halloween.

Locally we are having thunderstorms and ‘Autumn Festivals’.


1 hipparchia { 10.31.15 at 7:51 pm }

excise! if you can’t be a black cat for Halloween, you can always have flames-of-hell colored eyes. 😈

happy black cats day! (as we like to think of it at chez hipparchia)

i was pleasantly surprised at the Halloween activities in my neighborhood – kids all dressed up in real witches’ and other appropriate costumes, people out in their front yards that had been decorated to the nines, handing out candy, one house even looked like it was handing out popcorn balls (they’ve lived there 30-something years iirc so have apparently proved themselves trustworthy).

gruesome is appropriate for the holiday, but that turnip lantern, ugh I could have done without seeing that.

2 Bryan { 10.31.15 at 8:14 pm }

The ‘witch’ costumes are actually the ‘uniform’ of ale wives, medieval women brewers. The tall cone hat was to stand out above the crowd on market days and the broom was actually a staff stuck in the ground outside the door to indicate a batch was ready. The connection to witchcraft occurred when men decided to get into the brewing business.

Candy apples and popcorn balls are real Halloween treats. 🙂

3 hipparchia { 10.31.15 at 9:14 pm }

ale wives! grrrl brewerz!

I had no idea. up until this minute I’d always thought alewives were fish http://www.anglerweb.com/fish/alewife

4 Bryan { 10.31.15 at 10:18 pm }

I was in the same boat until I read a puff piece that included ‘Harley Quinn’ among the popular costumes and I clicked on it to find out who or what this ‘Quinn’ was. I think it was probably on the BBC.

5 Badtux { 11.01.15 at 6:30 pm }

I had a number of trick-or-treaters stop by my front door. Some of the costumes were quite imaginative, as you’d expect for the Silicon Valley. There was a kid in his tweens who was dressed as some kind of Japanese anime hero complete with bright flashing multicolored LED lights — talk about blinding! Then there was the kid with a multi-colored box on his head who was actually a character from a video game. I had to ask about that one!

It wasn’t as busy as last year, but the last trick-or-treaters came by at around 9:15 (the older ones of course, duh). I then brought in my glowing jack-o-lantern (a plastic one with a LED push-to-click light inside it, duh), turned off all the lights, and then gloated over my candy, mine, all mine bwhahahaha!

6 Bryan { 11.01.15 at 11:17 pm }

When I lived in San Diego, I knew a guy who spent time hunting in Mexico, and I could give the candy to him for the kids in the little villages. I lived in a small apartment complex, and we never got kids come by. Since being here I haven’t seen a half dozen kids, and that stopped a decade ago.

I don’t really like US candy, and the stuff I like isn’t imported to the US. Come to think of it, most US candy is probably imported, but not the kind I like from Europe.

7 Badtux { 11.02.15 at 10:17 am }

Yeah, I don’t get that, Bryan. I grew up in Fundistan and trick-or-treating was accepted and nobody freaked out about it back then. WTF happened?

Even here in our family-friendly city of Santa Clara, it’s a dying thing. I think because the local housing market is pushing families with children out of the South Bay into the Central Valley, which really sucks for their parents but it allows a half dozen bros to rent a three bedroom house and turn it into a frat house for $10,000 a month rent (they spend most of their time at Google or Facebook so the fact they end up sleeping in shifts doesn’t matter to them, the fact that when they get home they can play wicked multi-player games matters more). I will be so glad when the bubble busts and all these kiddies end up going back to Bugfuckistan where they came from… of course, with my luck, I’ll be going back with them. SIGH.

8 hipparchia { 11.02.15 at 6:59 pm }
9 Bryan { 11.02.15 at 9:43 pm }

I went to elementary school down here, and Halloween wasn’t a big deal because there were so few people about, but it was celebrated. When my parents moved back in the early ’60’s it was alive and well. All of the sudden in the late 1990’s it became a celebration of Satan. Just another outbreak of the particularly American disease – Great Awakenings.

Nope, Hipparchia, Harley Quinn.

10 oldwhitelady { 11.07.15 at 11:54 am }

I LOVE that picture! Cute!

11 Bryan { 11.07.15 at 9:06 pm }

That was when he just stared at me when I was working. Now he flops down on the keyboard shelf until he gets all of the attention he feels he needs.