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Friday, October 15, 2010

Feature Friday


So in the spirit of the upcoming holiday we are going to feature Halloween today and I am going to give away two books! I think Halloween should be a month long celebration and not just one day. So check back often, you never know when you’ll find some more Halloween themed goodies, woohoo!

So here is a little history on the origins of Halloween:
As you know Halloween is a holiday celebrated on October 31. Though Halloween is thought to have several different origins (All Saints’ Day, The Festival of the Dead, ect. ) it is most closely linked to the Celtic/Gaelic festival of Samhain.  

Samhain is a festival held on October 31 – November 1. It is an Irish name derived from the Old Irish that means “summer’s end.” Samhain marks the end of the harvest, the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half". They believed that the veil between this world and the next became thin on Samhain; because some animals and plants were dying. Villagers would make large bonfires and people and their livestock would walk between two bonfires as a cleansing ritual, and the bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames.
The wearing of costumes was an attempt to placate the evil spirits and to also disguise themselves and avoid harm. In Scotland young men with masked, veiled or blackened faces, dressed in white, impersonating the dead.
Which is where dressing up comes from. Though today’s imagery is usually derived from classic novels, horror movies and fictional characters instead of trying to placate or scare off evil spirits! 
Samhain was also the time to stock up on food and slaughter livestock for the coming winter. Turnips, which were hollowed-out and carved with faces to make lanterns, were used to ward off harmful spirits.  Guisers, men in disguise, were prevalent in 16th century in the Scottish countryside. Children would go door-to-door "guising" in costumes and masks carrying turnip lanterns, offering entertainment of various sorts (tricks) in return for food or coins (treats).
Or otherwise known as “Trick-or-Treating”. Today children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy or sometimes money, with the question, "Trick or treat?" The word "trick" refers to a "threat" to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given.

So you can see where I a lot of our Halloween traditions came from right there!

 How did the making of jack-o’-lanterns come about?
Well, it was adapted from the Samhain tradition of carving turnips. Pumpkins are used in North America because they are so plentiful here, much larger and therefore easier to carve and also associated with harvest time.
Where did we get the colors black and orange?
The colors are associated with Halloween because of the darkness of night and the color of bonfires, autumn leaves, and jack-o'-lanterns.

The word Halloween is a name that first came about in the 16th century because of a Scottish shortening of the fuller All-Hallows-Even.

Check back next Friday for more Halloween Fun Facts!!!



Onto some fun news...
AND THE WINNER IS: random.org came up with Angel as the winner of A Safe Harbor. Congratulations! Angel, I will forward your email info to the author. Look for an email back containing the digital book! Thank you to both Angel & Tracey for playing! 


And onto our next giveaway:
I have two books from my own collection that are awesome anthologies. Two winners, the first winner will get to choose which book they want and the second winner will receive the remaining book.




24 new short stories from the hottest names
Fall in love with someone out of this world.
If love transcends all boundaries then paranormal romance is its logical conclusion. From the biggest names around, here are 24 tales to take you to another time and place.
Let Alyssa Day, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Cheyenne McCray, Jeaniene Frost, Ilona Andrews, Kelley Armstrong, Maria V. Snyder, Carrie Vaughn, Allyson James Marland and others show you powers beyond your wildest imaginings.
Within these pages mythical beasts, magical creatures of all shapes and sizes, heart-stoppingly handsome ghosts, angels, and mortals with extra-sensitive sensory perception play out the themes of extraordinary desires.


What do you do with three dukes‚ a dog named Duke‚ and a devil? You put them into an anthology! We′ve combined five of today′s bestselling and popular authors into one volume to deliver romance like you′ve never experienced before.

ALSO, I will include a Halloween themed goodie bag with each book that includes a cute witch teddy bear and candy/cookie character themed lollipop! Yum, yum.

The Rules:
US Residents only on this one, sorry. 
For this contest you must be a blog follower so go ahead and click ‘follow’ on the top right of the side bar!
Then comment with your answer to this question: How do you celebrate Halloween?
This contest will run until Thursday October 21st and winners will be announced Friday October 22nd in the Feature Fridays post. Make sure to check back then and if you are the winner contact me with your shipping info!

Have a fun & spooktacular weekend everyone! 

4 comments:

Seduced By Books said...

I love this post about Halloween!!! and the origins. Great contest, I'm a new follower found you on the 18+
Ok, here goes, both Amy and I LOVE Halloween, How I celebrate is lots of decorations (actually Amy's house has be beat there) but we start planning the kids costumes in April or maybe even right after Halloween the year before. Then on the actual night, we have at least 11 kids here from friends and we all have pizza get dressed up and trick r treat in my neighborhood, it's been a tradition for 6 years now. :) This year I'm so proud of my twins - Dominic (5) will be Eric Northman, Jazmin (5) will be a traditional mermaid, her costume is so cute. My oldest will be (10) an ARF trooper from Star Wars. All picked on their own!

Angel said...

Great post!
For Halloween I don't have any regular traditions. I usually try to go over to my daughters house for that day and night if I can so I can go with them to take the kiddo's trick-or-treating. She goes all out of their costumes and decorating so it's a lot of fun.

darkreader said...

We decorate our yard with tombstones and such. My kids are too old to go trick or treating but we love to make candy packets to give out to our friends children.

Crystal ♥ said...

Our first winner chosen by random.com is Angel. Please contact me at readingbetweenthewines10@gmail.com with your mailing info and let me know which anthology you would like.
Our second winner for the remaining anthology is Seduced By Books. Please email me also with your mailing address as well and I’ll get these out to you guys.
Thank you to everyone that participated. I will have another giveaway up today!