Custom Search

What writers write when they 1) aren't writing, 2) are avoiding writing or 3) need a word count to convince their spouses they are writing.

Origami n' Stuff 4 Kids

Friday, October 1, 2010

Mission Houses Museum: Bookfair and Story-a-thon

From the Mission Houses Museum:

Please join us at Mission Houses Museum for Historic Bites on Tuesday, Oct 5th at noon in the Chamberlain House Kitchen.

Our topic is...

Victorian Horrors

Senior Curator, Elizabeth Nosek will give a background look at this unique genre of literature during the early 19th century before welcoming author, Mary Shelly who will read from her famous work, Frankenstein...

The program is FREE

Two other pieces of information

  • This program is a nice introduction to the Story-a-thon: A Celebration of Literacy event on October 22 which begins with Victorian Horrors ($15 a person, registration strongly recommended).
  • Don't forget this weekend's Bookfair at and Noble.  You can support Mission Houses and read great books!

Happy Halloween

What is it about this spooky holiday that inspires us to dress up as witches, ghouls and zombies? Americans love Halloween so much, we spend 2 billion dollars a year on costumes, candy and decorations, making it the second highest grossing holiday (after Christmas, of course).

And what about those crazy giant pumpkins, like the 1,500 pound monster grown by Jake van Kooten of British Columbia, who won $9,000 at California's Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Harvest and Festival? Did he really ship his pumpkin all the way from Canada to California?

If Mr. Kooten's prize money doesn't cover shipping his gourd back to British Columbia, then perhaps he can paddle his pumpkin home, like the good folks at the world's largest pumpkin boat race at the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival in Germany. Every year enthusiasts don their pumpkin hats and paddle across the moat of a 17th Century castle in 200lb hollowed-out gourds. Between races, visitors can check out the 450 varieties of pumpkins, admire the pumpkin sculptures, and partake in pumpkin pies, stews and curries. Yum. A boat you can eat.


History of Halloween
Unnaturally large squashes aside, Halloween dates back some 2,000 years and in its current form is a mishmash of ancient Celtic practices, Catholic and Roman religious rituals, and of course, modern commercialism. Long before Walmart, October 31 marked the Celtic holiday of Samhain, a harvest festival observing the end of summer, when ancient Celts disguised themselves in costumes and masks and lit bonfires to ward off evil spirits. The harvest holiday was especially important because it marked the seasonal transition between the warm "lighter half" of the year, or the growing season, and the cold, dreary "darker half". This transition from a time of bounty to impending austerity extended into the spiritual world; it was believed that the boundaries between the living and the "otherworld" became especially thin, allowing the dead to pass over into this world.

Samhain and its pagan rituals, and some elements of the Roman festival of Feralia, which honored the dead, became integrated into All Saint's Day and all Soul's Day. In medieval Ireland and Britain, the poor would go from door to door asking for food in return for prayers for the dead, giving rise to "guising", a tradition in which Scottish and Irish children disguised themselves in costumes and went door to door requesting food and coins.


Save on Halloween decorations with these fun, printable Halloween origami and crafts.
Bat Origami
Black Cat Origami
Owl Mask
Owl Paper Bag Puppet
Pinwheel Spider

Pumpkin Box
Skeleton
©2010 Tammy Yee



Copyright ©2016 Tammy Yee
All rights reserved. No portion of this web site may be reproduced without prior written consent.