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Saturday, 29 October 2011

It's Halloween, or is it?

Halloween is nearly here, not that we celebrate it much in England. I know Halloween is an American custom rather than an English one but it seems to be dying out again here in England.  I don’t remember anything about it when I was a child and it only seemed to take off over here perhaps in the 1970’s I should think.  It is a great excuse for a party to dress up in all the spooky gear though.

This is a link to a brilliant article I found about Halloween:

There was a time when children used to go round door to door all dressed up in great costumes and people gave them sweets, chocolate and biscuits etc.  Unfortunately it is a sign of the times that kids don't do these things (Halloween, Penny for the Guy, Carol Singing) any more for the enjoyment of it and the perks of a few sweets or small change.  They don't bother really dressing up – an old sheet and a plastic hat is all a lot of them can muster, they don't make a Guy for Guy Fawkes night and they don't even sing more than 2 lines of a Christmas Carol when you get to the door – I wonder if they even know more than “We wish you a merry Christmas, We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.  They just treat it as a chance to make some free money and totally snub you if you don't offer them some decent coinage.  This is why many people don't even answer the door any more. 

The whole atmosphere of these traditions have changed and are dying out here in England.  The kids get all they want these days so they can't be bothered making the effort just to get a few sweets and coins that are plentiful at home anyway.  The excitement has all gone.  I think a lot of the parents also decline from letting their child join in with this as they think it is begging off the neighbours and most parents don't want to escort the kids around scrounging off neighbours either.  

It's a bit like the awkwardness of having to try to sell raffle tickets the children have brought home from school or getting relatives, neighbours and friends to sponsor their children.  Most of the time the parents just make up names on the form and put the money in themselves (LOL - although the authorities probably know this already and just use it as a way to get money out of the parents for school equipment).

Personally I think we should all go back to celebrating Samhain our traditonal Pagan festival.

Here is our trivia for today:

1. Bally: A British word from 1885 which is a euphemism for bloody
2. Laggard: An 18th Century word to describe someone who lags behind or responds slowly
3. Felicitations: From the noun of action felicitate, you would use this word to express   congratulations
4. Rambunctious: Boisterous or unruly, the word is believed to have originated in 1830
5. Verily: From Middle English, simply means true or in truth
6. Salutations: A welcome greeting
7. Betwixt: Originated before 950, and means neither the one nor the other
8. Lauded: From the Latin laudāre, to praise
9. Arcane: Known or understood by very few
10. Raconteur: A person skilled in telling stories,originated in the 19th Century, from the French verb, raconter, to tell
11. Cad: An ill-bred man, originates from 19 Century, derived from the word Caddie
12. Betrothed: The person to whom one is engaged
13. Cripes: Twentieth Century slang for an expression of surprise, euphemistic for 'Christ!'
14. Malaise: A vague or unfocused feeling of mental uneasiness
15. Quash: To put down or suppress completely; quell
16. Swell: Originates before 900 from the Middle English verb swellen, meanings include the verb to inflate and an adjective which describes if something is excellent
17. Balderdash: From the 1590s it was originally a jumbled mix of liquors (milk and beer, beer and wine, etc.), before being transferred in 1670s to 'senseless jumble of words'
18. Smite: To strike, deal a blow
19. Spiffing: From the word spiff, meaning well-dressed, means superb
20. Tomfoolery: Foolish behaviour

And here is our chuckle:

Paddy and his wife are lying in bed and the neighbours' dog is barking like mad in the garden.
Paddy says "To hell with this!" and storms off.
He comes back upstairs 5 minutes later and his wife asks "What did you do?"
Paddy replies "I've put the dog in our garden. Let's see how they like it!" 

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