October 30, 2013 by Joanne T Ferguson
I don’t see many hands up in Computerland!
I don’t know whether it is because I am American born and bred that Halloween has always taken on a special meaning to me, or is it in the “preserving of holiday traditions from yesteryear” that pulls at my heartstrings every year.
Let’s start at the beginning briefly, eh?
Halloween dates back more than 2,000 years where the Celtic people (now Ireland, The United Kingdom and Northern France) celebrated their New Year festival of Samhain (pronounced “sew in”) on the 1st of November.
The day marked the “end of harvest” and the beginning of winter which many people associated the weather with the words “cold” and “death.”
On the night before, the Celtics believed that the line between the worlds of the living and the dead were joined together; ghosts of the dead returned to earth.
Believe me, I have seen and experienced many!
Celtic people thought the presence of spirits would help the Celtic priests be able to foretell the future; bonfires were lit with sacrifices to their gods were made to protect them during for the pending winter.
FAST FORWARD many years!
When Princess Svetlana and I were in primary school (elementary school in the States), we were always invited to Halloween house parties where everyone dressed up, games were played, special foods were made (including unique cupcakes) and I can still close my eyes and “hear” the Halloween laughter and S-Q-U-E-A-L-S of delight (maybe this is where my squealing started lol) in looking forward to picking out a complete costume that came in a see through box ALL for 99 cents US!!!
My, my, I think I must be dating Princess Svetlana! lol
We are the same age “almost” too!
While witches and goblins were always popular (before the ballerina aka pre princess fairies lol), Princess Svetlana and I always coordinated our outfits in a theme like Batman and Robin…well, you get the picture!
On of my favorites things to do was “bobbing for apples.”
With hands behind your back (no cheating lol), your head went into (and usually under) the water to grab an apple with your teeth.
In the “olden days of yesteryear” lol, the Halloween host mum and dad used to put coins in slots in the apples!
To win a US nickel (5 cents) brought the BIGGEST S-Q-U-E-A-L of delight as everyone else “only got a penny”, the winner would say!
Another favorite Halloween party game for Princess Svetlana and me was Pin The Tail on the Pumpkin!
Do you know what I like in re-living these memories?
We did not care or even “think” about WHY we were pinning a tail on a pumpkin that does not have a tail! lol
When Princess Svetlana and I were in high school, the “tradition” of the house parties continued and we were more aware about the annual (now in its 40th year!) Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village in New York City.
The Parade is telecast “LIVE” in New York with over 2 million people lining the 1 mile street seeing over 60,000 participants “colorfully and creatively scare” people all in good fun!
I “must watch” if you are ever in New York for Halloween!
I am sorry to disappoint you…no… BUT Princess Svetlana and I used to make cookies and cupcakes to bring to our classmates at school.
Our class had one teacher with 60 students in one classroom!
We “survived”, “were taught”, “learned discipline, sharing and helping
unconditionally” ; all important future life lessons that Princess Svetlana and I demonstrate daily every day!
Did I mentioned we loved making Halloween cookies and Halloween cupcakes?
I’d like to share a very special Halloween memory dedicated to my mum who is smiling down from the heavens above.
When I was in high school, my mum thought it would be fun to make my Halloween costume.
“Don’t tell your Nana!”, she said to me!
My Nana (her mum) had given my mum some beautiful pink satin material to make a baby blanket when I was born.
My mother decided it was time to make the baby blanket (I was 15 lol) that was “going to be” a circus clown costume.
I WISH I had a photo to share.
My mum knew how to sew (had the original Singer sewing machine), but following patterns were not “her thing.”
When my mum went to sew my clown outfit together, one half of the outfit (looking at it from the front), was the shiny side of the satin, the other side dull, but I thought mum had purposely made it that way to look even funnier!
Luckily for me, I was not aware of her innocent mistake and saw it as how much she must have loved me to make a baby blanket aka clown outfit 15 years later!
My mum was “chuffed” (Aussie lingo for excited) with the costume; it looked GREAT!
Mum decided she would help me “decorate” my face with some fun black tear drops. (telling me they were tears of “fun and joy” which every day one should have in their life!)
She then got “VERY creative” and (if you can imagine) made vertical rectangular boxes down my facial cheeks (lol), made a criss-cross design and colored them in with beautiful magic markers!
Needless to say, I won MANY costume awards at all the parties I was invited to that year…HOWEVER…
The first time I came home from the Halloween home party and tried to remove “my decorative face”, mum “realized” (after I left) that she had used PERMANENT Magic Marker (called Sharpies or Textas in Australia) and there was nothing we did or tried that removed “my magical face.”
Okay, yes, um, well, I “hear” you laughing WITH me!
Could ANYTHING be ANY worse? (as YOU are STILL laughing I can see!)
Yes, it could, as I had to got to school for over two weeks (at the age of 15) with a face like a clown! mmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Over the years, it had been the source of MANY Halloween memories and jokes, much laughter within our family and of course now that it is only Chef Georgio (from Matt Preston’s Fast, Fresh and Unbelievably Delicious Lemon Love Notes) and me and Princess Svetlana and her family, we remember and relive that Halloween’s All About Tradition and Food Fun.
A VERY special thank you to The Cupcake Queen from Rocco’s Macarons Rule and Rocco’s Macarons Rule Follow Up -Mission Accomplished, who, without her “TREMENDOUS help”, you might not have gotten to see Halloween cupcakes and cookies so I could share my wonderful New York childhood memories with thee!
Happy Halloween and even if you don’t celebrate, please take away from this post Halloween’s All About Tradition and Food Fun!