Thursday, October 23, 2008


I am going to be an authority on Halloween by the end of the month. Hope you have enjoyed learning a little more about this time of the year and the customs, poems, and recipes of October.


This story of the Jack o'Lantern comes from Irish folklore. Jack was a crafty farmer who tricked the Devil into climbing a tall tree. When the Devil reached the highest branch, Jack carved a large cross in the trunk, making it impossible for the Devil to climb down. In exchange for help getting out of the tree, the Devil promised never to tempt Jack with evil again. When Jack died, he was turned away from Heaven for his sins and turned away from Hell because of his trickery. Condemned to wander the Earth without rest, Jack carved out one of his turnips, took an ember from the devil, and used it for a lantern to light his way. He became known as "Jack of the Lantern."


There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with orange the color of pumpkins.
Turnips and beets served as the original jack-o-lanterns.
Jack-o-lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep spirits away and ghosts on the Samhain holiday.
Pumpkins also come in white, blue and green.
Pumpkins originaed in Central America.
Growing big pumpkins is a big time hobby.


Halloween was originally a Celtic holiday celebrated on October 31.
Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who would celebrate the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.
Orange and black are Halloween colors because orange is associated with the Fall harvest and black is associated with darkness and death.
Mexico celebrates 'The Day of the Dead' instead of Halloween.
Halloween is the 2nd most commercially successful holiday, with Christmas being the first. People spend as much as over $2.5 billion during Halloween on candies, costumes, decorations and parties.
Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States.
Chocolate candy bars top the list as the most popular candy for trick-or-treaters.
It is believed that the Irish began the tradition of Trick or Treating.
The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night.
Black cats were once believed to be witch's familiars who protected their powers.
Samhainophobia is an intense fear of Halloween.


A daring vacationer in Vienna is walking through a graveyard on Halloween when all of a sudden she hears music. No one is around, so she starts looking to see where it’s coming from.She finally locates the source and finds it is coming from a grave with a headstone that reads, “Ludwig van Beethoven.” Then she realizes that the music is the Ninth Symphony and it is being played backward. Puzzled, she leaves the graveyard and persuades a friend to return with her.By the time they arrive back at the grave, the music has changed. This time it is the Seventh Symphony, but it is also being played backward.Curious, the ladies agree to consult a music scholar. When they return with the expert, the Fifth Symphony is playing and the expert concludes that the symphonies are in fact being played in reverse order.By the next day the word spread and a huge group gathered around the grave to hear the Second Symphony being played backward. Just then the graveyard's caretaker approaches the group. Someone in the crowd asks him if he has an explanation for the music."Oh, it's nothing to worry about" says the caretaker. "He's just decomposing!!"


Rinse pumpkin seeds under cold water and pick out the pulp and strings. (This is easiest just after you've removed the seeds from the pumpkin, before the pulp has dried.)
Place the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet, stirring to coat. If you prefer, omit the oil and coat with non-stick cooking spray.
Sprinkle with salt and bake at 325 degrees F until toasted, about 25 minutes, checking and stirring after 10 minutes.
Let cool and store in an air-tight container. myspace graphic comments


Balisha said...

Hi Judy,
This place is so much fun. The music, colors, pictures all make it fun in the morning. Sometimes I drive my husband crazy with your music...Monster Mash especially. LOL

Beth said...

What a great post, Judy! Fascinating story of the origin of Jack o' lanterns! And that joke is hilarious! In fact, I just love all your jokes---I can tell you love word play as much as I do!

Thanks for a very interesting post. I'm glad you were able to get everything un-underlined. Maybe you're right about that Halloween blog curse! :-)

Jeannie said...

Fun post, Judy. I didn't know the history of the jack-o-lantern at all and I had no clue that turnips were used for this purpose.

The Beethoven joke was very funny. :D

Pearl said...

Loved the Top Ten signs that you're too old to trick or treat. :-)


Hi Judy, enjoying your Halloween blogs, also the music.
Take care.

Yvonne. TN said...

Another fun post Judy, I just found out...I'm too old to trick or treat! (from your side bar)

Linda said...

I have a hard time picturing a turnip to represent Halloween. Lots of fun things to read here. Very festive.

lom said...

Great post Judy, loved the joke

Kate said...

Hi Judy, Great post, how on earth do you get so much information on these things - fantastic !
Cheers Kate x.
p.c. back to normal - thank goodness!

Lilly's Life said...

Judy - that was really interesting. In fact I learnt the most I have ever learnt about Halloween from reading your post. How great are bloggers - just like we said!!! Your blog should get an award for the best Halloween themed blog! I am printing your facts in this post to give to a friend who is right into it - unusual in my part of the world!

Sweetie said...

Your post is both fun and interesting. It's full of facts that never entered my mind. I also checked out your recipe blog. It's great also.

Island Rambles Blog said...

Wooo Wooo getting very scary around you will have fun with your grandson on Halloween are like the best Mom or Gramma Blogger with all the good ideas to do...your blog is also a good reference blog for me to get recipies and ideas from. Judy is the Martha Stewart of Blogs!!!!

Nancy said...

Lots of interesting information again, and I loved the joke! I, too, am too old to trick-or-treat. Roasted pumpkin seeds are a yummy benefit from carving a pumpkin.

June Saville said...

Your thunder scared me witless Judy - I'm alone in the house late at night. Never mind Monster Mash kissed it better in no time.
Tomorrow it's roast pumpkin seeds.
June in Oz

Ewa said...

Dear Balisha,
Thank you for reminding that Haloween came to America from Europe - I always thought it is opposite :)
Thank you also for good wishes for Atomik :)
Greetings from Poland,

Aleta said...

I'll have to ask Greg (who is Irish) if he knows of the Halloween heritage. Lol. Loved this post!

Jamie Dawn said...

DEcomposing!! ha, ha, tee, hee!

I didn't know they used turnips and beets before they used pumpkins.
I used to like going to houses where they gave out full sized candy bars. Those houses were few and far between, but they were the best!

Poor Jack, roaming the earth... I like that he trapped the devil in a tree though. Too bad he let him go!

Jamie Dawn said...

I tried adding you to my Blogger Reading list, but it won't let me.
Yours is the second one that I've tried to add that would not go through.

Rachel said...

You are in the spirit of Halloween and I think we all are after visiting here!! Great music!! Beethoven decomposing--hahahaha!!!

Oh dear. I think I'm a people plumkin!!

Leigh said...

Hey Mom,

I have learned so much about Halloween from your blog. Thank you so much for the late lunch this afternoon and letting me use your coach to take a nap. :) You are the worlds best mom! I love you bunches!!!


Amber Star said...

Judy, You are getting all the good fun facts and presenting them in such a fun way. We didn't do a real pumpkin this year. Last year it got so hot our punkin went bad and we had to throw it away.

Did you guys ever get any rain?? We haven't had any in a while and I'm ready for more. There are frost warnings for tonight here. Brought plants up under the patio cover to try to keep them for a little while longer.

We worked on the greenhouse this afternoon and I got splinters in my thumb. Not good news for the knitting projects. Got antibiotic ointment on it and am icing it. It is pretty sore after messing with it trying to get the splinter out.

Grannyann said...

I have to tell you I copied all the Halloween jokes and each day I tell my grandson one and he remembers it and tells his family. He gets the biggest kick out of telling jokes and he cracks up at himself for being so funny. He asks the question but gets so excited he tells the answer before a person asks what is the answer. That list of jokes is priceless! Thanks Judy

Anonymous said...

I love your blog! I learned a few things here and that's way cool! Thanks for adding me!

Kelly said...

Wow Judy!! I've been kind of taking a blogging pause and have so much to catch up on. This is a wonderful post!! My goodness, you are so creative and your posts are so educational and interesting! No less are your pictures and moving animations! I'll have to have you teach me to do those too (if you would want to share that information!) Anyway, I'm trying to get back in the swing of things and I appreciate so much your comment and really enjoy reading and learning so much from your blog! Have a great day!!

bobbie said...

'great post! Great music!

patsy said...

yes judy i know it was a joke. a halloween trick i guess.