Halloween History

Straddling the line between fall and winter, plenty and paucity, life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating. In a number of countries around the world, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people continue to usher in the winter season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats.

Boooooo to You!

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Shakespeare’s Macbeth-Enter the Witches one of my favorites.


    William Shakespeare (1564-1616)                      from Macbeth
A dark Cave. In the middle, a Caldron boiling. Thunder.
                Enter the three Witches.
       1 WITCH. Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d. 

       2 WITCH. Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin’d. 

       3 WITCH. Harpier cries:—’tis time! ’tis time! 

       1 WITCH. Round about the caldron go; 

    In the poison’d entrails throw.— 

    Toad, that under cold stone, 

    Days and nights has thirty-one; 

    Swelter’d venom sleeping got, 

    Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot! 

       ALL. Double, double toil and trouble; 

    Fire burn, and caldron bubble. 

       2 WITCH. Fillet of a fenny snake, 

    In the caldron boil and bake; 

    Eye of newt, and toe of frog, 

    Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, 

    Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting, 

    Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,— 

    For a charm of powerful trouble, 

    Like a hell-broth boil and bubble. 

       ALL. Double, double toil and trouble; 

    Fire burn, and caldron bubble. 

       3 WITCH. Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf; 

    Witches’ mummy; maw and gulf 

    Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark; 

    Root of hemlock digg’d i the dark; 

    Liver of blaspheming Jew; 

    Gall of goat, and slips of yew 

    Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse; 

    Nose of Turk, and Tartar’s lips; 

    Finger of birth-strangled babe 

    Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,— 

    Make the gruel thick and slab: 

    Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron, 

    For the ingrediants of our caldron. 

       ALL. Double, double toil and trouble; 

    Fire burn, and caldron bubble. 

       2 WITCH. Cool it with a baboon’s blood, 

    Then the charm is firm and good.
 
brinded – having obscure dark streaks or flecks on gray 

gulf – the throat 

drab – prostitute 

chaudron – entrails

The above appears at the beginning of Act IV, Scene 1 as found in:

Shakespeare, William. The Globe Illustrated Shakespeare: The Complete Works Annotated. Howard Staunton ed. New York: Gramercy Books, 1993.

Halloween Safety a MUST!

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Love him!!! Childhood Favorite

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