Welcome to the final week of...
Hello everyone. It is LISA HERE with the final image in our Too Cute To Spook Collection. Today I bring you...
Jack-o'-lanternsJack-o'-lanterns were traditionally carried by people dressed up in costumes on All Hallows' Eve in order to scare off evil spirits. There is an old Irish folktale that tells of a man who encounters the devil on his way home after drinking throughout the evening. The devil tricks Jack but his quick thinking traps the devil and they strike up a bargain that the devil can never claim Jack's soul. Well, let's just say that Jack doesn't live the best life and when he dies heaven refuses him entry. Keeping his promise, the devil won't let Jack into hell and instead whips a live coal from the fires of hell at poor Jack who catches it and places it within a hallowed out turnip. Since that time it is said that Jack and his lantern have been wandering the earth looking for a place to rest his soul. Jack of the lantern--Jack'o-lantern. The idea was that hallowing out the turnip and carving a scary face in it would keep Jack and any other restless spirit away during the time of year when it was thought that the veil between the land of the living and the land of the dead was the thinnest.
As you may have noticed during the above folk tale, it was a turnip that was referenced. Traditionally, in Ireland and Scotland it was the turnip that was hallowed out and carved each year around Halloween. It was only when immigrants from these countries came to North America that they switched to using pumpkins which were not only softer to work with but also larger making the carving process much easier. The American tradition of carving out pumpkins was first recorded in 1837 and was originally associated with harvest time in general. It didn't specifically become associated with Halloween until the mid-to-late 19th century.
WitchesHow did witches become associated with Hallowe'en? Let's start with the concept of the witch in general. In some cases, it is believed that the people referred to as witches were actually the very first scientists. Scientists had a different way of looking at and thinking of things and these strange beliefs were seen by the common people as sorcery, magic and witchcraft. Samhain was a time of year when the spells, charms and predictions of these wise people were the most powerful and thus would be sought out. Wisdom was and still is associated with power and so their knowledge about plants, herbs and animals were generally only passed down within families and to trusted friends. This is actually where the word witch comes from. In the Wicca religion the word witch means 'wise one'. One of the major witch Sabbaths was held on October 31st as the day for hunting and celebrating the capture of animals.
Unfortunately, as Wican beliefs became more popular than Christianity, and a whole lot of religious and political stuff got in the way, these practices started to be looked on as evil, the witch hunts began and that my friends, is a whole other history lesson.
Black CatsBlack cats have long been seen as being spiritual animals and have had the unfortunate luck to be associated with witches. They were also seen as being able to sense the difference between good and bad spirits. Superstitions link them to being bad luck. The colour itself has been associated with mystery and magic. Other beliefs have them serving as vessels to allow ghosts to return to the earth during that time of year when it was easier to do so--Hallowe'en. It's no wonder then why these poor little black fur balls are thought of so negatively!
Other SymbolsUnfortunately I don't have time to get into the symbolism of the other things that are linked to Hallowe'en but here is a list of them, just to name a few:
It is easy to see why Hallowe'en gets such a bad wrap.
Anyways, it is time to check out what two of our DT came up with to showcase Naomi's fabulous Petrified Pumpkin...
Look at all that sparkly goodness. You can check out the details of this creation over on Jen's blog Krafty Keepsakes.
Vicky found the perfect sentiment to go with her great card! You can check out the details of this project over on Vicky's blog Crafting Vicky. And check out that cool skull stand? I wonder how many different ones Vicky has?!
Sneak peek guesses...I went from not fooling a single one of you last week to fooling you all this week which means I get a bit of break from having to create any special treats! I'll enjoy the break while it lasts since I am not able to fool you guys all that often.
We are really hoping to get a fantastic name for Naomi's latest new release which is a sweet little witch. The prize for the name we choose is a total of three images and depending on the number of entries there might be more prizes offered. We want to have lots of ideas to choose from so if you haven't already offered up a name, please go and check the details of that post out HERE.
Time for another Hallowe'en joke...
Q: Why didn't the skeleton cross the road?
A: He didn't have the guts!
Well that is it for this post. Things will be a little different next week. Next Thursday there will be no new release so I won't be here on Saturday with a sneak peek. However we do hope that you come back and visit on Hallowe'en Day, Thursday, October 31st, because the team and I have something fun planned for all of you.
Until then, stay well and stay crafty!
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Author Unknown. (1999-2013). Halloween's Origins. Available: http://www.brownielocks.com/halloweenhistory.html. Last accessed 21st Oct. 2013.
Brand, Patricia. (2007). Halloween Symbols - Meaning. Available: http://suite101.com/a/halloween-symbols-a34313. Last accessed 21st Oct. 2013.
Matthews, Bob. (1998-2014). Halloween Traditions, Customs, Symbols and Terms . Available: http://www.pumpkinnook.com/halloween/halloweentradition.htm. Last accessed 21st Oct. 2013.
Mendoza, Jean. (2011). Halloween Symbols – What do They Mean? . Available: http://www.lomography.com/magazine/lifestyle/2011/10/31/halloween-symbols-what-do-they-mean. Last accessed 22nd Oct. 2013.