Folklore or fakelore, the general consensus seems to be that the Irish who came to America brought their custom of carving turnips for All Hallows Eve. They must grow large turnips in the sod over there! Lacking a turnip, rutabagas, beets, or gourds would also do. Delicious legend, that’s what started the practice of carving … More What’s A Turnip Got to Do with Halloween? Or Rutabagas, Beets, and Gourds, for That Matter?
Oh!—fruit loved of boyhood!—the old days recalling, When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling! When wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin, Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!** Every October, a nearby farm family celebrates the harvest by opening up their land to the surrounding community. Hundreds of cars … More ‘Tis now the very witching time of night*: Lessons from a Rotting Pumpkin
[A photograph, and nothing more, for silent contemplation.]
HAPPY HALLOWEEN! For more on the Day of the Dead in Mexico, see my previous post: Día de los Muertos (Todos Santos)/ Day of the Dead Food-Laden Altars .
About All Souls’ Day (November 2), Sir James George Frazer wrote detailed notes in The Golden Bough: a Study in Magic and Religion, a classic in anthropology. Notice the mention of marigolds, also common in Mexico. In Lechrain, a district of Southern Bavaria which All Souls in existence along the valley of the Lech from … More Saints, Souls, and Haints: More Soul Cakes
Trick-or-treating may well have originated in the old custom of “souling,” as people went from house to house, begging ( “mumming”) for “soul cakes,” actually prayers — in sweet form. Sir James George Frazer wrote about this practice in The Golden Bough: a Study in Magic and Religion, a classic in anthropology, first published in … More Saints, Souls, and Haints: Soul Cakes
About All Souls’ Day (November 2), Sir James George Frazer wrote in The Golden Bough: a Study in Magic and Religion, a classic in anthropology: The day of the dead or of All Souls, and other as we call it, is commonly the second of November. Thus in Lower Brittany the souls of the departed … More Saints, Souls, and Haints: Cider and Curds