Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween! and its National Caramel Apple Day!

Halloween history can be a tricky thing to talk about with your kids.  The metamorphosis of Halloween form the harvest celebrations of the past to the candy and costume fun of today can get a bit confusing.  Since today, the celebration for us is totally different from the celebration of this day from centuries ago we really do not feel it is necessary to get into all the facets of the holiday with the children.  We do not believe in ignorance so a little history can go a long way. Here are the basics of the Holiday so that Children can understand it. 

Many years ago people believed in spirits, both good and bad.  They believed that the spirits did good and bad for people.  Now, a culture of people known as the Celts lived long ago in what is now known to us as Ireland, France and England.  Harvest was a huge time for these people and the fall and when all their crops came in for the winters food supply.  The Celts held a ceremony or festival called Samhain to thank the good spirits for their help in the harvest and healthy crop production. As a part of Samhain, which is pronounced as sow-en, people wore costumes and told fortunes having a great time with wonderful food.  This does sound kind of like our harvest celebrations and carnivals of today.  

Many years later other beliefs and religions spread throughout Ireland, France and England.  November 1st was a holiday that celebrated and honored martyrs, people who died for their religious beliefs, and that day became known as All Saints Day.  The night before All Saints Day was known as All-Hallows, now called Halloween.
Now since November 1st was known to be a holiday for saints and martyrs ,or good spirits as the Celts believed, it was thought that the night before October 31st was a day for bad spirits.  Halloween then turned into a scary time for the people who believed that the evil spirits would wander the earth causing trouble and bad things to happen.  In order to ward off the evil and feel safe they carved vegetables out for lanterns. 

And now onto today, Halloween is a celebration that is to celebrate the fun and food and good times of the Samhain (summers end) festival of the old Celts with the costumes and celebratory aspects and pumpkin carving for happy safe light. 

Great site that has 40 different Halloween Vectors, Fonts, Brushes and Stamps! 

National Caramel Apple Day:

What is a caramel apple?
Caramel apples or taffy apples are created by dipping or rolling apples-on-a-stick in hot caramel, and sometimes then rolling them in nuts or other small savories or confections, and allowing them to cool.

More elaborate apples use white chocolate over the caramel to hold a variety of candies, nuts or cookies. Tart, crisp apples such as Granny Smith are preferred to contrast with the soft, sweet caramel.

Caramel apples are usually consumed as treats at autumn festivals such as Halloween, in the wake of the annual apple harvest.

Origin of this Holiday?
Our research did not find the information of who created this holiday or why October 31 was picked. The red candy apple came first but research says Caramel apples were invented by Dan Walker, a sales representative for Kraft Foods, in the 1950s.

Make your own Caramel Apples!
You can make them in all shapes and sizes.

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