Jake van Kooten of British Columbia, who won $9,000 at California's Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Harvest and Festival? Did he really ship his pumpkin all the way from Canada to California?
If Mr. Kooten's prize money doesn't cover shipping his gourd back to British Columbia, then perhaps he can paddle his pumpkin home, like the good folks at the world's largest pumpkin boat race at the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival in Germany. Every year enthusiasts don their pumpkin hats and paddle across the moat of a 17th Century castle in 200lb hollowed-out gourds. Between races, visitors can check out the 450 varieties of pumpkins, admire the pumpkin sculptures, and partake in pumpkin pies, stews and curries. Yum. A boat you can eat.
History of Halloween
Unnaturally large squashes aside, Halloween dates back some 2,000 years and in its current form is a mishmash of ancient Celtic practices, Catholic and Roman religious rituals, and of course, modern commercialism. Long before Walmart, October 31 marked the Celtic holiday of Samhain, a harvest festival observing the end of summer, when ancient Celts disguised themselves in costumes and masks and lit bonfires to ward off evil spirits. The harvest holiday was especially important because it marked the seasonal transition between the warm "lighter half" of the year, or the growing season, and the cold, dreary "darker half". This transition from a time of bounty to impending austerity extended into the spiritual world; it was believed that the boundaries between the living and the "otherworld" became especially thin, allowing the dead to pass over into this world.
Samhain and its pagan rituals, and some elements of the Roman festival of Feralia, which honored the dead, became integrated into All Saint's Day and all Soul's Day. In medieval Ireland and Britain, the poor would go from door to door asking for food in return for prayers for the dead, giving rise to "guising", a tradition in which Scottish and Irish children disguised themselves in costumes and went door to door requesting food and coins.
Save on Halloween decorations with these fun, printable Halloween origami and crafts.
|Vampire Bat Origami|
|Black Cat Origami |
Haunted House Origami
|Halloween Monster Origami|
|Monster Mask ||Owl Mask|
|Owl Paper Bag Puppet|
|Pinwheel Spider ||Pumpkin Mask|
|Skull Mask||Vampire (Dracula) Origami|
©2010 Tammy Yee