And by way of an All Holy Ones (All Hallows – Halloween) Eve posting I thought I’d share a photograph that my friend Larry posted today. He’s a teacher – and a remarkable one – at the Ambrit International School in Roma. Every year to celebrate Halloween – not a holiday greatly known in Italy – the school does the traditional “guising”, trick or treating and pumpkin carving contest. This year’s winner though original may be taking the commercialization of the old holiday a bit far but you have to admit that its original.
This is the first year Laurent and I haven’t carved our own pumpkins in a long time. Back in the day we always got to work with special tools, stencils and sometimes just our imaginations and created, often as many as ten, pumpkins. All to guard the various places we lived in on the evening when “ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties, and things that go bump in the night” menaced our household.
And for many years we had the assistance of our own two “short-legged beasties” Bundnie and Reesie. They were more than willing to lend if not a paw at least their own critique of the creations. Here they are back in October of 1994 helping out in the backyard as the jack o’lanterns were being carved.
|Ever the critic Reese turns up his nose at my hard work!|
|At least Bundnie shows some interest – probably because she thinks there may be food!|
|When your beautiful and blend in with the autumn colours you can afford
to be bored by it all!
And just as a reminder that the celebration of All Hallow’s Eve is not only about children – as many of our friends not always only for children I thought I’d include this wonderful painting by Daniel Maclise. It captures a party that the Irish artist attended in Blarney on October 31, 1832 where the traditional music, dances and games of the feast were played.
In the original exhibition catalogue the caption for the painting read:
There Peggy was dancing with Dan
While Maureen the lead was melting,
To prove how their fortunes ran
With the Cards could Nancy dealt in;
There was Kate, and her sweet-heart Will,
In nuts their true-love burning,
And poor Norah, though smiling still
She’d missed the snap-apple turning.
The reference to lead melting, cards and nuts (walnuts) are old ways of divination which probably date back to the pagan origins of the Feast. And snap-apple is better known to us as bobbing for apples.
And just as I was finishing off this post I received an e-mail from a good friend who moved away from Ottawa a few years ago but always keeps me au courant with what the lads are sporting for trick and treating. Now here are two super heroes if there ever were super heroes!
Trick or treat, everyone!
31 ottobre/october – All Holy Ones Eve