Friday, 26 October 2012

That Friday Feeling...Hallowe'en

Wooooooooh! It's that spooky time of year again when bats and cats, witches, skeletons and ghosts are all on the prowl for All Hallows Eve. So what better time to have Hallowe'en as a theme? I have made one item for Hallowe'en - a pumpkin keyring:

But there are LOTS of lovely Hallowe'en themed items on Etsy this week - feel free to go and search yourself but here are my picks of the week.

I love Madmumknits' designs and these tea cosy patterns are no exception! 

I love the colour of this hand-dyed yarn by CountessAblaze

How cute are these little Jack-O'Lantern earrings by CobwebDesignsCoUK
I'm sure we all know quite a lot about Hallowe'en already but, here are my snippets of information for the week...

  • Hallowe'en celebrations date back thousands of years (well between 2000 and 6000 years depending on your source). 
  • The tradition of wearing masks comes from Celtic tradition. On Samhain the spirits of the dead return to earth and visit the living. The masks are worn to prevent the dead from recognising the living. The tradition of costumes is American and dates from harvest celebrations where people wore costumes, ate sweets and played practical jokes on each other. 
  • The tradition of playing practical jokes got out of hand and a bit ugly in the 1930s and, as a substitute for it, the tradition of going door to door to collect candy was introduced. Although trick or treating is also a continuation of the tradition of putting treats outside the door in Celtic tradition to ward off bad spirits.
  • Jack O'Lanterns originated in Ireland and were originally hollowed out turnips with candles placed in them to ward off evil spirits on Samhain.
  • If you see a spider on Hallowe'en it is said to be the spirit of a loved one watching over you. So they are actually good luck! 
  • About 99% of all pumpkin sales are used for hollowing out and making Jack O'Lanterns.
  • Bobbing for apples is a Roman festival tradition - it was played at feasts to the goddess Pomona, the goddess of fruit.
  • In Scotland, unmarried girls supposedly see the face of their future husband if they hang a wet sheet in front of a fire on Hallowe'en.
  • The name bonfire night originates from 'bone fire' - in the run up to the harvest, fires were lit to persuade the sun to return after the cold, dark winter. Often cows and sheep were thrown in as sacrifices hence the 'bones' 
  • England tends to celebrate Bonfire Night (5th November) instead of Hallowe'en because the date (31st October / 1st November) are Catholic feast days (All Saints and All Souls) and Protestant England wanted to distance themselves from the Catholics. Celebrating the execution of Guy Fawkes (a Catholic) who tried to blow up parliament and put a Catholic king on the throne was a good way of keeping the festivities but putting a different slant on it. 
  • This week's YouTube video had to be Ghost Busters because it's such a classic. Enjoy and HAPPY HALLOWE'EN! 

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