STATESIDE STORIES: ALL HALLOWS EVE!

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In my childhood, I dressed up as a princess, a witch and a Crown Royal purple bag with a golden cord, and I made sure our house was the most haunted-looking on the block!

By Mary Foran

The Celtic pagans knew it as Samhein, the evening when ghosts and the spirits of the dead roamed the countryside instead of Resting in Peace.

halloween-2016-jack-o-lantern-cc-by-nd2-0In Ireland, the people placed candles in hollowed out turnips to ward off these spirits, creating the first Jack O’Lanterns. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized by the restless spirits.

Halloween, the second most important holiday for children and adults alike after Christmas, is celebrated on October 31st, the last day of the Celtic calendar.

The following day, November 1st, is All Saints Day in the Catholic Calendar, and Halloween itself is All Souls Day, when the Church prays for the deceased.

halloween-2016y-mickeys-halloween-party-cc-by2-0Shops in the States have been gearing up for Halloween for some time now, with Trick or Treat candies on sale, as well as an endless variety of costumes for the little ones; they love to dress up for the annual visits they make to neighboring houses, at least to the ones that leave their porch lights on to signal the little goblins and ghosts that there is still some candy to be had!

Trick-treating with dad's help

Trick-or-treating with dad’s help. Note that the porch lights are  on, signaling to the little goblins that there are still some candy to be had!

The parents of the children are usually standing by in the shadows, making sure that they are safe, because nowadays it is more dangerous to walk around neighborhoods in the dark, even for such a sweet-treat tradition.

Hollowed out and carved pumpkins on doorsteps are the signal that a household is in the Holiday Spirit (pun intended!) and may just give out a handful of candy to the young costumed marauders that show up at their door.

In my childhood, I dressed up as a princess, a witch and a Crown Royal purple bag with a golden cord, and I made sure our house was the most haunted-looking on the block!

Since I still haven’t learned how to bake properly (one of my New Year Resolutions for 2017) I’m glad I came across this simple recipe for a Halloween Treat that I’d like to share:

NO BAKE PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE BARShalloween-2016-peanut-butter-by-heather-flicr-cc-by2-0

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 cups Graham Cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

halloween-2016-graham-cracker-crumbs-fair-useMelt the butter and peanut butter in a medium saucepan on low heat. Add the powdered sugar and crumbs. Put the mixture into a 9 inch by 13 inch cake pan. Melt the chocolate chips and spread on top of the bars. Cool thoroughly before cutting.

Two billion dollar worth of candies!

Two billion dollar worth of candies!

In the U.S.A., Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually. That’s quite a lot of sweets for a holiday that was imported from the ancient Druids in Europe!

 

 

halloween-2016-trick-or-treat-princess-cc-by-nd2-0

Here’s a Happy Halloween greeting to you all!

 

 

 

 

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Images
Featured image (graveyard Halloween night)  by Jim Pennucci via Flickr, CC BY2.0
Jack O’ Lanterns by Matthew Oliphant via Flickr, CC BY-ND2.0
Mickey’s Halloween Party via Flickr by AngryJulieMonday, CC BY2.0
Trick or Treating by kc7fys via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0
Peanut Butter by Heather via Flickr via Flickr, CC BY2.0
Graham Crackers, Fair Use
Candies by Andrechinn via Flickr, CC BY 2.0
Trick or Treat princess by Jim Voorhies via Flickr, CC BY-ND2.0