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Cultural Observances for Halloween

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#16 Vampchick21


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Posted 07 October 2004 - 02:45 PM

I think it also depends on where you live, in terms of city, small town, village, as well as region/country.

I live in downtown Toronto, and the kids here do not do the stuff I did as a kid growing up in small town Ontario. Where I grew up, once you turned about 8 or 9, you were allowed to trick or treat without your parents, just you and your friends, and the two biggest threats were the guy that might be sticking razor blades in the apples (what kid eats the halloween apples anyway?) and the 14 year old bullies that would steal your pillowcase of treats (unless you were with a large group of friends or your parents, and if not, let the bullies have the razor blade apples!).

Here, the police patrol residential areas on Halloween night, parents go out with their kids no matter the kid's age, and even the Rogers Cablesystems service people will drive around in their service vans, helping where needed and aiding in keeping the night fun and safe.

A couple of years ago, I was at a friend's house back in my hometown on Halloween, and the kids there were doing exactly what we did lo those many years ago. And the same two fears. Razored Apple Man (I really think now that he's actually an Urban Legend) and 14 year old bullies.

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#17 Audryna


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Posted 07 October 2004 - 07:51 PM

(what kid eats the halloween apples anyway?) and the 14 year old bullies that would steal your pillowcase of treats (unless you were with a large group of friends or your parents, and if not, let the bullies have the razor blade apples!).

OMG! That is too true. I enjoyed reading this post alot. Thanks for the chuckle it gave me. I really needed it today :D



#18 Vampchick21


    Looks Irish, loves Italian food, lives in Canada....must be lost

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 07:55 PM

Heh. No prob.

And remember....

On Halloween, the ONLY apples worth eating are coated in caramal or that weird red glowy candy coating.

One more question...who the FREAK hands out raisins on Halloween? Chocolate covered ones, ok...but regular, Sun Maiden, no toothrotting ANYTHING on them raisin? Part of the childhood Halloween experience is recieving so much candy your teeth hurt and you have odd dreams for a month. Stop with the healthy crap already! <scuttles off to raid the growing hoard of candy I'm SUPPOSED to be handing out later this month>

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#19 anasuya


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Posted 08 October 2004 - 11:24 AM

I hate it when people hand out PENNIES on Halloween! I mean, come on. My kids haven't hit ten years old yet, and they already understand that pennies will get them jack. They just look at the person, with their bags still held open, and give them the evil eye "You better put candy in here lady, or I'm gonna curse you!"

As for Halloween in our house... we go all out. Me and my husband dress up (yes to scare the evil spirits away). We talk about ghosts and leave plates for our ancestors and deceased relatives during our "dumb supper"- which is a dinner eaten in total silence, basically to show respect for those who attend who canNOT speak. lol. We do the trick-or-treating thing with the kids, of course, and usually end up having a party. It's all great fun. We live in a small community, so it's incredibly safe to trick-or-treat around this neighborhood.

Wonderful topic. Gotta say I love Halloweed!
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#20 aloha_spirit


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Posted 08 October 2004 - 03:24 PM

My home village is so safe that parents will drive their kids for an hour just to tirck or treat here. My parents go through 500 pieces of candy in the first hour.

Here in Utah, most congregations have switched over to trunk n treat - all the families gather in the parking lot. Kids go car to car asking for candy from people they know. Last year I wore a monk's robe, a gothic mask, and threatened the kiddies with the sword of Oden.

I remember one year my brother dressed up like a zombie then had us burry him in leaves - only his arm was left out. When some neighborhood kids came close to look at it, they mentioned how _fake_ the arm was. At that moment my brother jumped up and chased them to the sidewalk. We also had a rip cord from our roof down to a tree. We got a dummy (the kind used for making dresses), draped it with a white sheet and sent it down the rip cord towards the trick-or-treaters.

This year, I bought a bunch of white balloons and a tank of hellium. We're using white trash bags and the baloons to make more ghosts.

This is such a fun time of the year!

I didn't lose my mind - I have it backed up on a disk ... somewhere

#21 Vampchick21


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Posted 08 October 2004 - 03:33 PM

Man, I'd LOVE to hit your house on Halloween Aloha! That sounds like a blast.

And I like the Trunk 'n treat idea, let's the kids have fun in safety (since I have noticed that many Mormon communities are pretty tight and watch out for each other). Maybe I'll put forth a similar idea in my neighbourhood. My city counciller's office is just around the corner from me.....

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#22 Redhead


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Posted 11 October 2004 - 12:21 AM

I remember Halloween trick or treating with a lot of fondness. And getting apples was a big treat - you knew that they picked them off their own trees. Of course in small town/rural midwest, in the early 60s, you also knew that not everyone had a lot of money and getting an apple or orange was a treat. Not to mention the homemade cookies and brownies!! And those huge popcorn balls! Nummy!! And there was the lady who scooped up huge handfuls of candy corn to dump in your grocery sack. The best place to go were the taverns. Not bars- real old fashioned taverns. THere was this one place in this little unincorporated village - THe Petticoat Junction. The owner, Mr. Sonsalla gave out bottles of pop in those brown bags you put booze bottles in, along with one regular size candy bar (bigger than the kingsized ones you buy now) and some gum. Sometimes if Mrs. Sonsalla was still in the kitchen part of the bar, she would come out and have you show off your costume, then give you a kiss and a cookie. The folks in the tavern would also give you money or gum.
No one gave it a thought if you were out late - you were out with your friends and you were safe. Every adult looked out after everyone else's kids. If you were being a brat, they would yell at you and you minded. Cuz you knew if you didn't, they might just give your be-hind a swat! And your parents thanked them for it too.
It was on some program a couple of years ago that the razors in the apples and the LSD laced chocolate bars are all urban legend - but it's too late to get that out of people's minds anymore.

Now I just enjoy living in town, where we do get trick or treaters. I have a huge bowl of full sized candy bars for the kids, fun sized bars for high schoolers, dog biscuits for those who have their four legged trick or treaters along - and for those adult who have the gall to ask for candy (once they see the kids get the real deal) I keep a package of Halls cough drops.
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Oh yes- I'll be carving at least two jack o'lanterns. I like to do those fancy ones - where you use the pattern and the little saws! Lots of fun!

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#23 txpatti


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Posted 13 October 2004 - 09:53 PM

I simply loved Halloween as a kid!! And love it even more as an adult!! Since my son's are now in their late teens, we know have halloween parties so as to have a safe place for the kids to have a good time. And Every year I absolutely must dress in costume. :)

#24 Vampchick21


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Posted 14 October 2004 - 08:37 PM


Interesting article on the origins of Halloween as we know it. Quick tracing of it from Saimhain to All Hallow's Eve to Halloween.

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#25 Guest_Crone_*

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Posted 17 October 2004 - 10:24 PM

Ah.....now you're taking me back. When I was in grade school (late 50's - early 60's), we always dressed up for our Halloween party at school. Then the whole school would walk around the neighborhood (weather permitting) to show off our costumes. I always felt especially lucky because, living only 2 blocks from school, we would pass right by my house. We never had store-bought costumes, but ones we could make out of whatever we had on hand. One of my favorites was the year I dressed up as a hobo, and my dad gave me a "beard" by rubbing burnt cork on my face! One of my neighbors always gave out pennies. We didn't mind, though. At that time, you could still get a gum ball out of the machines for a penny! Another neighbor always had homemade popcorn balls. She must have worked for hours to make all of them!

These days, I join my family and friends at a bonfire to remember all of our loved ones who have passed over. We do potluck, and tell stories.

#26 Ectoplazzum



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Posted 20 October 2004 - 03:12 AM

This is a good thought, actually, celebrating it in a spiritual as well as secular way...I have always enjoyed it simply because as a clothing/costume designer it gives me a chance to give free reign to my creativity, but I've been feeling a little blah this year and perhaps this would be a good time to celebrate it with something deeper.  Since I have a pretty strong Shinto/other Eastern influence on my beliefs, I usually follow their custom of welcoming visits from passed loved ones in the middle of summer( which has the advantage of making it a combined celebration with my birthday), but...perhaps I'll give it a try...now the question is how?


Scroll down (waaaaay down) and there's a bunch of links for Samhain. Should give you some inspiration.

Here is a solitary ritual that you can perform at Samhain. It was written by Ceiswr Serith, a Pagan author that happens to post on another message board that I participate on. Cei is the author is "The Pagan Family" and "The Book of Pagan Prayer". He also has a version of this ritual for a group if anyone is interested, however since it seems that most here are solitaries, I'll post the solitary version:

Solitary Rite for Samhain (by Ceiswr Serith)

As befits this festival, you should dress in a particularly striking and “magical” manner. Jewelry, ornaments, and ritual instruments you have used in previous rites or which you feel are of particular personal value to you should be used in this rite. This is the one ritual in which you may, if such is your taste, wear a dagger, sword, or other weapon: the purpose is to emphasize the power that you, the Pagan, have over those forces that are not of this world. Such power is at its best when it is available, but not flaunted.

The altar should be set as usual, but with three candles placed on it. Five candles of varying, seasonal colors, should be placed before the altar, to be lit later. A pentagram should be marked on the ritual area, centered on the spot where you will be sitting before the altar. The pentacle should be about eight feet across. It would be appropriate to place a pumpkin and some ears of corn to one side of the altar and a small cauldron (or suitable substitute) to the other side. On the altar place a bit of bread and some red wine. Much incense should be available, and used liberally throughout the ceremony.

Set up the ritual area in advance, then retire to bathe before robing for this rite, fixing in your mind that the water is cleansing not just the physical body, but also the heart, spirit, and soul of all guilt, stain, and imperfection . . . . . leaving behind only that which is strong and good.

When you are prepared, meditate for a while. Consider that in ancient times this night marked the end of the year, and that on this evening the veil between the worlds was thin. And that this was a night of warmth, welcome, and good cheer towards family, friends, and for those who had passed beyond.

Go alone to the place of the ritual, and kneel before the alter. Light the candles on the altar, saying as you do so:

(light candle) This I light for the Maiden’s bright glory.
(light candle) This I light for the passion and triumph of the Lady.
(light candle) This for the wisdom of the Crone.

Light the incense, and then the five candles which sit before the altar, saying:

These do I light in honor
Not only of the Three-Fold Goddess
But for Her strong, horned consort.
He who is sometimes laughing, sometimes grim
And close nearby on this night.

Stand pointing the wand out before you, calling:

On this, the sacred night of Samhain
Do I build this small temple
In honor of the Goddess, and of the God
And of the Ancient Ones
From the times before Time.
To all I do give my love
And my warmest greetings.

Place the five candles at the points of the pentagram, touching each with the wand. Rap thrice upon the altar with the wand, then replace it. Kneel before the altar and hold your arms out over it, crossed, and give the incantation:

This is a time that is not a time
In a place that is not a place
On a day that is not a day
Between the worlds
And beyond . . . . .

Pause for the space of 13 heartbeats. Then hold your hands over the bread, the salt, and the wine in an attitude of blessing, and say:

For this salt, bread, and wine
Do I ask the blessings
Of Maiden, of Lady, of Crone
And of the Horned One
Who guards the portal of the Worlds.

Take the bread and touch it to the salt, saying:

May I, and those whom I love
Have sufficiency and good health.

After eating the bread, take the wine cup and hold it forth in a toast towards the north, saying:

May our spirits be strong.

Drink the wine, and proclaim:

By the Threefold Goddess
And by the Horned God
So be it!

At this time you may relax, play a musical instrument, and sing or recite poetry, if these are your inclinations. Or you may improvise that which you feel is appropriate for this occasion. Song or rhyme may concern death, the supernatural and times far past, but they should also include love, joy, and good fellowship. If a source of music is available you may want to improvise a solitary “Dance of Hallowe’en” or suitable procession clockwise about the ritual area. When you feel that the ritual should end, put out the candles at the points of the pentacle, then those on the altar, saying:

Though these flames
Of the material world
Be darkened,
They shall ever burn
In the worlds beyond


#27 Mrs. Bryan

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 10:56 PM

Here, we Celebrate Halloween Double.
We Celebrate First, Halloween, then Dias de Los Muertos where we build an Altar to our Loved Ones and then Visit the Graves.
There is also a Dias de Los Muertos Carnival Locally.
It is Truly Fun and Unique.

#28 greenman



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Posted 17 October 2006 - 06:10 PM

I'll be lighting a candle in remembrance of my father and other ancestors who have passed on during Samhain Eve. (Oct. 30)

To the other pagans out there on the board: Merry Meet and may you all have a safe and wonderful samhain celebration.
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#29 seakla


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Posted 20 October 2006 - 06:48 AM

I have 2 young children so we trick-or-treat. The first couple of years we were in South Carolina we tried the neighborhoods but there wasn't much going on. I think because this is such a religious town and most people do parties at the churches for kids. We are pagans and don't belong to a church, so don't feel right going to the parties. The mall does do a trick-or-treat and so we go to that now. It's inside, safe, and they gets lots of candy as well as have games and costume contests.
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#30 ravenhecate


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Posted 27 October 2006 - 04:33 AM

My favorite memories of Halloween was when I was in High School, my best friend and I were in drama club and the local Jaycee group asked our director to send some of us to help with their yearly haunted house. We worked it for like three years and had so much fun. We were in the witches room. It was a small room with a big cauldron in the middle and small little picket fence in front.

The way that this haunted house worked is they would let about ten people in at a time and the small groups were led through the house by a tour guide. The tour guide had a prepared little script that they read about each scene. We had this great system worked out. We would pull the fence as close to the cauldron as we could and encourage the people to come into the room, as many as would fit. Then when the tour guide was done with their little spiel, we would cackle, scream and rush toward the door, pushing the fence along with us. This trapped people in the corners of the room. Someone bought us pieces of raw liver that we kept in little jars and would wiggle around in front of the trapped people. Gross I know but it scared the crud out of people. Most of the tour guides were our friends from drama club, so when they saw someone that they really wanted to scare, they would send one of the guides not with a group at the time to our little area and tell us "So-n-so is in the next group, this is what they are wearing." That way would could give a little extra attention to that particular person. In my school, being part of the drama club was like the kiss of death. You were an automatic outcast if you were a regular drama geek. All of us had some jock or beauty queen making our lives miserable. We just had fun getting them all back. And the best part is that all of us were so unrecognizable that none of these "victims" knew it was us. What a blast.
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