Monday, October 31, 2016

The face of Halloween

Far from an activity for children to do with their parents during October for Halloween, the original Jack-o-Lanterns, of the Irish myth, were actually quite terrifying looking and I can’t imagine children would have want to come close to any of them. This essential Halloween decoration item has a purpose and a story behind it. 
They were carved from turnips or beets rather than festive orange pumpkins, and were intended to ward off unwanted visitors; spirits, goblins and demons. When the Irish and Scots emigrated to America, bringing the tradition along, they found that pumpkins, native to America, made perfect fruits for carving. Pumpkin Jack-o-Lanterns have been an integral part of Halloween festivities ever since. 

The name “Jack O’ Lantern” was originally one of the numerous names given to ignis fatuus (Medieval Latin for “foolish fire”), another of which is “Will O’ the Wisps”, basically the odd light that can occasionally be seen over marshes, swamps, and the like.  “Jack O’ Lantern” first popped up being used this way around the mid-17th century in East Anglia, UK and spread from there through parts of England, Ireland, and Scotland. 
Also this name could originally derive from the practice of calling men generically “Dick, Jack, Tom, etc.”  In particular, men who were lower class, were often called generically “Jack” beginning around the 14th century in England. (This practice popped up again in the late 19th century in the United States where “Jack” was used for the name for a man where his real name is unknown).  Thus, when you see someone carrying a lantern in a distance at night that you see is a man, but you can’t make out who exactly it is, he is literally “man with a lantern”, a.k.a. “Jack of the Lantern” or “Jack O’ Lantern”. 

The truth is that the jack o’ lanterns and pumpkin carving are probably going to be around for a long time, at least that is what I hope so. I could not imagine a Halloween season without this mysterious folks. 

Even though the pumpkin is a simple vegetable, carved with a scary face and that alone makes it trick and it’s a perfect decoration for a spooky night; nowadays it is more commercialized in different ways. Just like masks changed from scary to sophisticated and expensive. The pumpkin has changed. 

Before, the image of the jack o’ lantern alone was commercialized in cards, masks, plates and different decorations items. Today, the pumpkin itself has suffered a major transformation.  Apparently to get the attention of the new generation, new stencils with images of Disney characters, Movie characters, Music Idols were created to carve on pumpkins. We can also count with light and sound effects.  Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about this cool new designs, there are very creative people out there BUT I just hope kids learn first to carve the original face of our beloved jack so this tradition won’t disappear completely. But the question is: the Jack -o-Lanter face,will it disappear? 

It's Halloween! ... if you are not excited then you have problems.

( Me every time it rains)

Scary Halloween my fellow.... Halloweeners !!! 
This is the time (month) of the year that we love! Most of you (especially inside the U.S.) can’t wait to see Halloween decorations, costumes and every product with a Halloween theme.  It’s on TV, on the radio, clothes stores,etc. I couldn't be any happier. 
 October is the best month because you know that you will find new and classic horror movies 24/7 and  of course your childhood Halloween classics. You will go to a restaurant and there will be a special menu and the place will be decorated. If you want to buy clothes you will enjoy it because spiders, bats, cats and ghosts won't be hard to find and don't get me started on the house decor available. 

I can't even start to explain why I like Halloween. As a matter of fact, I shouldn't. 

What's not to like about getting dressed up, using lots of make up and becoming someone else for a night? Actually, wearing more make up than you usually do.

Who doesn't like that? To pretend? or show your real face ? act? or be yourself? and what about the scary stories, the decoration and the sweet morbid atmosphere and the peaceful silence of the spirits. For me is as magical as Xmas but less sentimental and less mainstream. Sure, most people will go out and dress up in their costumes just for the sake of getting drunk but they will never get it, they will never get Halloween 

We really are alive on All Hallows' Eve and we do remember those who have already died. We look for signs all night. Are they real for one night? Are they watching us? Do they walk amongst us? We will never know. 

 Death is in the air. Do you feel it?

Tell me how do you feel about halloween.

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