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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

On this day in 1512, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo, is exhibited to the public for the first time.

On this day in 1512, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo, is exhibited to the public for the first time.

Today is All Saints’ Day, also known as All Hallows’ Day, Hallowmas, Feast of All Saints, or Solemnity of All Saints.

holy

The Write Side Shop

All Saints’ Day is a Christian festival celebrated to honor saints known and unknown. Western Christianity, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Community, the Lutheran Church and other Protestants, celebrate All Saints’ Day on the first Sunday of November.

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trickortreat

Thank you for your patience as we were out dealing with a family emergency last week.

We return today with Five Halloween Blogs that We Love. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend some $8.4 billion on Halloween in 2016.

Keep in mind that not all of these are for the kiddies.

Neatorma brings the neatest, weirdest, and most wonderful stuff from all over the web…so they tell us. Check it out.

Halloween Love is a horror blog with a team of writers contributing their work.

The Write Side Shop

The Write Side Shop

Mystic Halloween Blog. It’s bewitching.

Instructables Halloween for when you want to Do it Yourself.

Pumpkingutter.com an amazing gallery of pumpkin carvings. Don’t miss the tutorial if you’re willing to accept the challenge.

Have a favorite Halloween blog or tradition? Share it in the comments below.

Happy Halloween!

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On this day in 1955 Harry Belafonte rercorded “Day-O” also known as the Banana Boat Song.

Like we mentioned the other day, we think the best version comes from the movie Beetlejuice. Just in time for Halloween.

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If you love the fun of Halloween you can’t help but love some of the classic Halloween movies. No, we’re not talking about Jason, or Chucky or any of those. But the fun, somewhat more innocent movies that we all love. Or should.

Here, in no particular order, is a list of ten great movies for Halloween. They’re not all officially Halloween stories, but they all have some element of scary.

By no mean is this a list of “best of” movies. Just some favorites.

Young Frankenstein

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An all-time movie favorite. It’s hysterically funny and oh how we miss Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle and, of course, the recently departed Gene Wilder.

Rocky Horror Picture Show

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It’s campy. It’s bawdy. It’s a cult classic. Truth be told after the first 30-45 minutes (after the Time Warp), it can get a little boring. Still, it’s a favorite.

Little Shop of Horrors

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The plant is scary enough, not to mention everyone’s childhood dentist.

Beetlejuice

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Worth it simply for the Banana Boat Song.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

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It’s not Halloween without this. Sure it was a television special and not a movie. But it’s pure Halloween gold.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

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Any of the Harry Potter movies could be on a favorite Halloween list. They’re filled with witches and wizard and all kinds of creatures. We chose this one because of the Death Day Party.

Arachnophobia

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Spiders! Do we have to say anything else?

Sweeney Todd

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How could you not love a movie with Johnny Depp, Alan Rickman and the amazing Helena Bonham Carter. Truth be told, the stage version is far superior, but this is an awesome movie.

Fantasia

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Included for “Night on the Bald Mountain.”

The Birds

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Leave it to Alfred Hitchcock to make birds seem scary. It’s creepy in a fascinating, can’t take your eyes away kind of way. With Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette, and Jessica Tandy.

Have some favorite Halloween movies? Tell us in the comments.

This post is based on an original 2013 post from The Write Side of My Brain.

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halloween

Halloween is believed to have originated with the Celtic festival of Samhain. People would light bonfires and put on costumes to fend off ghosts. Pope Gregory III designated November 1st as a day to honor all saints and martyrs in the eighth century. Known as All Saints Day, some of the traditions of Samhain were incorporated into the day. The night before was known as All Hallows’ Eve which evolved into Halloween.

Here’s how some of today’s traditions began.

Jack-O-Lanterns
Jack-o-lanterns originated in Ireland where they were made with turnips, not pumpkins. They’re based on a legend of a man named Stingy Jack who trapped the Devil and made him promise Jack would never go to Hell. But Jack died and found heaven didn’t want him either and he was condemned to wander the earth. Jack carried around in a turnip a lump of burning coal given to him by the Devil. People soon carved faces into gourds of their own to ward off evil spirits like Jack.

Ghosts
The ancient Celtic festival of Samhain marked the beginning of a new year. Bonfires were built to ward off the ghosts.

Trick-or-Treating
There are lots of ideas about where this tradition came from. The Celtic people would leave out food to satisfy the ghosts. In Scotland children and poor adults would go to homes in search of food in exchange for offering prayers said for the dead. In German-American communities children would dress in costumes and call on their neighbors to see if the adults could guess their identities. Children were rewarded with food or treats if no one could guess their identity.

Bobbing for Apples
Bobbing for Apples dates all the way back to ancient Rome and a festival in honor of Pamona, the goddess of agriculture and abundance.

Those are just a few of today’s Halloween traditions. What are your favorite customs and traditions?

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Smile

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It’s World Smile Day

The first Friday of October is celebrated as World Smile Day. Probably because we all tend to smile a little more on Fridays.

It was initiated by Harvey Ball, a commercial artist known for creating the Smiley Face in 1963. The first World Smile Day was held in 1999 and has continued every year. When Ball died in 2001 the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation was created to honor his name and memory. The Foundation carries on the work of “improving this world, one smile at a time.”

So, smile today.

It won’t cost you anything but you might get something in return.

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Boo!

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It’s October. It’s the scary season.

Haunted houses, or trails, or park events are a lot scarier than they used to be. But many people love it and millions of dollars are spent each year on Halloween decorations, costumes, candy and tickets to scare events.

If you’re in the Richmond, Virginia area, here are some great opportunities to be scared out of your socks.

The two biggest are associated with the nearby amusement parks.

Halloween Haunt at Kings Dominion
Recommended for ages 13 and above
Weekends through October 31.

Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Not appropriate for young children.
Weekends through October 31.

Blood Lake Haunted Trail
Blood Lake Haunted Trail in Midlothian has three haunted trails to experience. Opens October 7 and continues Fridays and Saturdays through October 31.

Creepy Hollow Scream Park
Experience Scream Forest in Glen Allen. Opens October 7. Dates vary.

Haunted Evenings at Ashland Berry Farm
What’s not to love about Booger Woods? October 1-31. Select nights, mostly weekends.

RVA Fright Nights at Chesterfield Berry Farm
Open for the season beginning September 30

Red Vein Haunted House at Hanover Vegetable Farm
Not for children under 13. Opens October 14.

If you’re not frightened yet it’s not because you don’t have the opportunity.

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