Monday, October 31, 2005


Halloween or "All Hallowed Eve" can be traced back to Samhain, the ancient Celtic harvest festival honoring the Lord of the Dead. Observed on Nov. 1 in the British Isles and parts of France, Samhain also marked the beginning of the Celtic New Year. Because it was a time of transition between the old and the new, the Celts believed that the souls of those who had died during the previous year gathered to travel together to the land of the dead. It was also a time when those who had died in years past returned to visit their homes. November 1st was considered the end of the summer period, the date on which the herds were returned from the pasture and land tenures were renewed. People lit bonfires to scare away evil spirits and "sacrificed" fruits and vegetables, hoping to appease the spirits of the deceased. Sometimes people disguised themselves in masks and costumes so that the visiting spirits would not recognize them. Charms, spells, and the predictions of the future were all part of the eve of Samhain. In the old Celtic calendar, that last evening of October was "old-year's-night," the night of al witches. (this day

This is the first time I have hear or read of this history of the favorite holiday of children. It is interesting to see what has become of it and how it has changed over the years. (and how similar it is to Hispanic traditions mentioned in the previous post) We had fun visiting Soren at his Pre-School today and taking some cute pictures of him and his class all dressed up. He was a "jack-o-lantern" and very busy and into all his activities. He didn't want us to say goodbye. He loves to swing high, so we pushed him in turn. The foot print "ghost" above may be his. Lots of artwork happens at this wonderful school connected to the Colleges. Lots of one on one help and learning how to play together, take turns, follow the routine and the rules ie. feet on the floor, and clean up before going outside.

Clark is doing a "demonstration" there tomorrow on how to "fire" clay in a kiln. I thought I might visit and take some pictures since I have to go in for my monthly haircut anyway. I may read to the kids too. Today I did my weekly hour at Sundance kindergarten and helped Hector and Evan with their reading and printing. I showed them how to draw "car-words" that have "engine/motors" that sound out the medial vowel or dipthong of the word with pre and post consonant blendings. I then taught the class, on the rug, "The Ghost of Tom" song and talked about El Dia De Los Muertos. There are several Hispanics in this class.

We then went to Disneyland again by ourselves. We enjoyed the redecorated Haunted Mansion with the "Night Before Halloween" theme. We also went to "Infinity and Beyond" with blaster guns...I got to "Pilot" something. It was fun. We had a delicious and cozy lunch at the Storyteller Restaurant at the Grand Californian next to a real fireplace. It was cool in the restaurant but around 90 degrees outside. We left early to beat the traffic and it only took 2 hours and 24 mins. to get home. My chauffeur was very tired. Bob


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