|On Halloween Mara asks Skull...Want to go out tonight? (Dorkthrone/flickr.com)|
WARNING: Use of A-word! (Dead Kennedys 555) Conformist "Halloween" this year? "Because your role is planned for you/There's nothing you can do/But stop and think it through..."
|Why does Wisdom Quarterly talk about scary things?! What about peace and lotus flowers?|
Day of the Dead
|Mara is death; Yama is king|
HALLOWEEN IS WEIRD
1. Originally, you had to dance for your "treat"
|Dance, beggar! Treats don't grow on trees.|
|Adult Halloween is about sex in the U.S.|
2. Halloween is more Irish than St. Patrick's Day
|Mexican Day of the Dead cemetery (wiki)|
- VIDEO: The world's most famous Irish Buddhist
- Alternative spiritualities, the New Age and New Religious Movements in Ireland
|Brian, what do they mean sex? Halloween is all about candy! - Wait till you grow up, Stewie.|
This Halloween prototype was eventually disrupted and adapted by Christian missionaries into celebrations closer to what we celebrate today, including partly by the not-actually-Irish "Saint" Patrick, whose work was later mostly recognized by Americans.
3. Early Halloweens used animal skins and heads
|Decorated horse skull: a modern Welsh version of the costume (wiki).|
According to ancient Roman records, tribes located in today's Germany and France traditionally wore costumes of animal heads and skins to connect to spirits of the dead.
|JC Johnson on Coast to Coast|
This tradition continued into modern celebrations of Samhain, the Celtic holiday that inspired Halloween in the US. Merry-makers and pranksters often dressed as evil spirits simply by blackening their faces. The leader of the Samhain parades wore a white sheet and carried a wooden horse head or a decorated horse skull. Young people also celebrated by cross-dressing. without being accused of being gay or transsexuals.
4. Jack-o'-lanterns were once made out of roots not pumpkins
|Use a beet, turnip, potato, or pumpkin to keep your candle burning in the wind (wiki).|
|Angelic devils (asuras) also exist.|
Jack then put the devil, shaped like a coin, into his pocket, which also contained a silver cross that kept the devil from transforming back. Jack promised to free the devil as long as the devil would promise not to bother him for a year. And if he died, the devil could never claim him.
Jack tricked the devil again later, getting him to pick a piece of fruit out of a tree and then carving a cross into the bark when the devil was in the branches. This trick bought Jack another 10 years of devil-free living.
Based on this myth, the Irish carved scary faces into turnips, beets, and potatoes to scare away Stingy Jack and other malevolent and/or mischievous spirits of the night.
|Oh, spirits, whom will I marry?|
These games allegedly predicted who they would marry and when. Because Halloween, like Valentine's Day, was one of the main celebrations of the year where young people could mingle without chaperons, it was also considered a good day to scope out a sweetheart.
In America young people, particularly girls, continued the old Irish tradition. Games, like bobbing for apples, tried to predict future romances, according to the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America.
6. Halloween was originally "Cabbage Night"
In some American towns Halloween was called "Cabbage Night." This came from a Scottish fortune-telling game. Girls used cabbage stumps to predict information about their future husbands.
In early Framingham, Massachusetts, teens skipped the fortune-telling and simply went around throwing cabbage at their neighbors' houses, according to Framingham Legends & Lore. This was not an isolated tradition: In late 19th century America, country boys reportedly rejoiced in throwing cabbage, corn, and assorted rotten vegetables, according to Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure.
7. Animal shelters often have to protect black cats around Halloween for fear they'll be sacrificed, so no adoptions
|It's Grumpy Cat everyone's favorite feline!|
Director Lynda Garibaldi at The Cats' Cradle in Morganton, North Carolina, tells The Huffington Post that the shelter "does not adopt out black cats during the month of October...because of superstition and the concern that the wrong people (who might harm them) might adopt them."
8. Studies have shown that Halloween actually makes people act more evil
|Beware of creeps, kids, like your teachers and TV stars. And stop de-individuating!|
As io9 points out, putting costume-wearing kids into groups and introducing a clear object of desire, such as candy, has been shown to lead to "deindividuation."
|VIDEO: Beware of Mama's dates, Honey Boo Boo & Co. You may be sent to foster home|
|Rapist Megan Mahoney arrested on 30 counts|
A similar study found that masked children were significantly more likely to take more Halloween candy than they were supposed to if they believed there was no adult supervision. More from Huff Po
|Happy Buddhist Obon, Samhain, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), Halloween!|