My Adventure To Surprise Part 6

Hey, everyone! I went to Surprise, AZ for the end of May/beginning of June with my grandparents (also known as The Romano Duo). I would just like to share my adventure with you. By the way, some of the times aren’t accurate. Anyhow, I hope you enjoy!

May 31st, 2018:

I woke up around 9:00 am and just hung around the house all day.

Anyway, it was a little bit of a relaxing day for me. Around 9:30 pm, I coded and got ready for bed (regardless, I was very tired). I hit the pillows late that night again (What I mean by that is I fell asleep).

June 1st, 2018: 

I woke up around 7:00 am. Anyway, I took my time waiting for Patty to be done in their bedroom. Before breakfast, Frank said, “Happy National Donut Day” as I told him the day before. After breakfast, I wrote a lot. After lunch, I had a bit of fun swimming.

I also wanted to add that I finished a blog post which is: http://lilliandarnell.com/2018/06/01/how-donuts-came-to-be/ sometime that day.

After swimming, I got dressed and had Frank get the powdered donut out of the donut package (we got them sometime that week). After dinner, I talked to Patty and Frank some.

Anyway, I started getting ready for bed after a conversation with Patty and Frank. Afterward, I got in the bed around 10:00 pm even though I stayed up way later than that. Shortly around 12:30 pm, I fell asleep.

Hawaiian flower

See part 7 here

My Adventure To Surprise Part 4

Hey, everyone! I went to Surprise, AZ for the end of May/beginning of June with my grandparents (also known as The Romano Duo). I would just like to share my adventure with you. By the way, some of the times aren’t accurate. Anyhow, I hope you enjoy!

May 28th, 2018:

I woke up at 9:00 am and since that day was Memorial Day I just hung around their house all day until lunch and dinner. I also worked on a blog post: http://lilliandarnell.com/2018/06/04/fundraising-for-the-2018-chromosome-18-family-conference-rainbow-mandala/. After dinner, I just hung out some until 12:00 am that night. After I got in the bed, I read and played games on my phones until around 12:30 am.

May 29th, 2018:

I woke up early again. I just hung around the house for a while and was very excited to hang out with Katie the next day. Anyway, I made plans to try my new swimsuit on in the morning and Patty and I also made plans to go to Walmart to look for clothing.

I also worked on a blog post which is: http://lilliandarnell.com/2018/06/04/fundraising-for-the-2018-chromosome-18-family-conference-rainbow-mandala/ while I was down visiting Patty and Frank (the Romano Duo).

I stayed awake late but made sure to wake up early enough to give me enough time in the morning. So, I went to sleep.

USA flag. I got this photo from Google Images.

See part 5 here

A Happy World

Hey, everyone! I just got inspired by a drawing I drew. You’ll see a picture of my drawing at the bottom in this blog post. Anyway, here’s a story based on the drawing.

One day, a bird picked up a seed to eat. A few minutes later, the bird decided that it wasn’t the right seed. The bird threw it back down. That was the beginning of the Happy World.

As the years past, the tree grew until it had several branches and a strong trunk. The strong tree became known as the Happy Tree. The Happy Tree decided to produce a seed. The seed grew with happiness and love. One day, the seed blossomed into a young beautiful tree that didn’t grow much after that point.

The young tree became known as the Amazing Beauty Tree. The Amazing Beauty Tree saw the Happy Tree. Suddenly, she realized that she wanted to know who produced her. She asked the Happy Tree if it was him who planted her. He said yes and Amazing Beauty wanted to produce a seed of her own.

She let the bird fly the seed to the Happy World. The seed became a thin beautiful conifer tree. The tree produced identical seeds until there was almost no room to plant seeds. After that the trees started planting grass seeds. After the grass had grown, there was no room to plant seeds.

A few years later, the several earthquakes that would become the mountains shook the world. The trees, birds, and grass survived. They noticed something different about the landscape and they saw triangular tall figures. They soon realized that they had saw a mountain. About the same time, their roots filled with water and animals.

One year later, humans discovered the Happy World and decided to make a small town out of it. They also made cars, rockets, and kites. The sun, clouds, rain, hail, snow, and thunderstorms were always there but they were nicer than outside of the Happy World. Everyone lived happily. If you go into a forest, you will realize that the Happy World is the forest.

Happy World

The happy world includes geese, ducks, rabbits, birds, car, rocket, city, trees, grass, and more. I hope you enjoy!

Books I Recommend: Who Stole Grandma’s Million-Dollar Pumpkin Pie?

Hey, everyone! This is my 32nd book recommendation. I appreciate everyone who reads my book recommendations! I hope you enjoy.

1. Who Stole Grandma’s Million-Dollar Pumpkin Pie? by Martha Freeman

2. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

3. Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert

4. The Third Wish by Emily Rodda

5. The Life and Art of Georgia O’Keeffe by Susan Goldman Rubin

6. Abigail the Breeze Fairy by Daisy Meadows

7. The Arendelle Cup by Erica David

8. The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh

9. Stallion by Starlight by Mary Pope Osborne

10. The Princess and the God by Doris Orgel

11. Ling-Li and the Phoenix Fairy by Ellin Greene

12. Gift Days by Kari-Lynn Winters

13. The Festivals of Mexico by Colleen Madonna Flood Williams

14. Cultural Traditions in Mexico by Lynn Peppas

15. Cultural Traditions in the United Kingdom by Lynn Peppas

16. Halloween by Fay Robinson

17. The Cowgirl Aunt of Harriet Bean by Alexander McCall Smith

18. The Calling by Cathryn Clinton

19. The Crow-Girl by Bodil Bredsdorff

20. Monkey Trouble by Gertrude Chandler Warner

21. Anne of Green Gables Retold from the Lucy Maud Montgomery original

22. A Good Night for Ghosts by Mary Pope Osborne

23. The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay

24. Socks by Beverly Cleary

25. The Lost Princess by Debbie Dadey

26. An End to Happiness? by M.L. Welsh

27. The Woods Beyond by Kiki Thorpe

28. Waiting for the Queen by Joanna Higgins

29. Tua and the Elephant by R.P. Harris

30. Bubble Gum Rescue by Helen Perelman

31. The Guide Dog Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner

32. Magic by the Book by Nina Bernstein

33. The Truth of Me by Patricia MacLachlan

34. A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff

Books I Recommend: The Hidden Folk by Lise Lunge-Larsen

Hey, everyone! This is my 31st book recommendation list and I hope you enjoy!

1. The Hidden Folk by Lise Lunge-Larsen

2. A Mirror to Nature by Jane Yolen

3. Fireflies at Midnight by Marilyn Singer

4. An Egret’s Day by Jane Yolen

5. Poetry for Young People Robert Louis Stevenson by Frances Schoonmaker

6. Quiet Night by Marilyn Singer

7. Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes

8. Nachshon, Who Was Afraid to Swim by Deborah Bodin Cohen

9. Luck by Jean Craighead George

10. Thanks to Josefina by Valerie Tripp

11. The Chocolate Sundae Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner

12. It’s Halloween by Jack Prelutsky

13. The Ghost at the Drive-In Movie by Gertrude Chandler Warner

14. The Great Turkey Heist by Gertrude Chandler Warner

15. The Mystery on Stage by Gertrude Chandler Warner

16. Waiting for Unicorns by Beth Hautala

17. Changes for Josefina by Valerie Tripp

18. Meet Kit by Valerie Tripp

19. Changes for Molly by Valerie Tripp

20. Happy Birthday, Molly! by Valerie Tripp

21. Molly Learns a Lesson by Valerie Tripp

22. Meet Julie by Valerie Tripp

23. Touching the Waves by Ben M. Baglio

24. Under the Stars by Ben M. Baglio

25. High Times for Heroes by Mary Pope Osborne

26. Dragon’s Breath by E.D. Baker

27. Heidi by Johanna Spyri

28. The Zippy Fix by Graham Salisbury

29.  Following the Rainbow by Ben M. Baglio

30. Leaving the Shallows by Ben M. Baglio

31. Samantha’s Special Talent by Sarah Masters Buckey

32. The Cry of the Loon by Barbara Steiner

Books I Recommend: Before the Bell by Kiki Thorpe

Hey, everyone! This is my 29th book recommendation. I hope you enjoy!

1. Before the Bell by Kiki Thorpe

2. Jess by Mary Casanova

3. Chasing the Dream by Ben M. Baglio

4. Forever Rose by Hilary McKay

5. Alice in Lace by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

6. Mrs. Claus Takes a Vacation by Linas Alsenas

7. Tiger’s Story by Harriet Blackford & Manya Stojic

8. Cinders by Jan Brett

9.  Grandmother’s Song by Marion Dane Bauer

10. St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning by Eve Bunting

11. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

12. The Magic Bed by John Burningham

13. Liberty’s Journey by Kelly DiPucchio and Richard Egielski

14. The Story of the Easter Robin by Dandi Daley Mackall

15. Sunflower Sal by Janet S. Anderson

16. God Bless America by Irving Berlin

17. Rosie’s Nutcracker Dreams by Patricia Reilly Giff

18. When Heaven Fell by Carolyn Marsden

20. Fiddle Fever by Sharon Arms Doucet

21. A Fairy Gift by Kiki Thorpe

22. A Gaggle of Goblins by Suzanne Harper

23. The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

24. Russia by Julie Murray

25. Central African Republic in Pictures by Matt Doeden

26. Katie the Kitten Fairy by Daisy Meadows

27. The Time of the Fireflies by Kimberly Griffiths Little

28. Little Author in the Big Woods by Yona Zeldis McDonough

29. Far From Shore by Kiki Thorpe

30. The Loud Silence of Francine Green by Karen Cushman

31. The Unfinished Angel by Sharon Creech

32. Rose by Holly Webb

33. The Salamander Spell by E.D. Baker

(The blue links are Amazon Affiliates). 

Mischievous Popsicles

Hey there, everyone! As you know summer coming up, I thought a popsicle would give the weekly emotion story a summer touch. Tell me what you think in the comments of this blog post (you don’t have to tell me).

One day, a popsicle named Lemona was causing mischief but she didn’t want any popsicles to see. Apparently, her popsicle friends, Lime-Meringue and Minty Rainbow thought she was hiding something.

So they asked questions but she just ignored them. “I want to find out who she’s against,” said Minty and Lime. Finally they found Licorice Popella in Lemona’s ice room. Minty asked if Lemona is against her.

Surprisingly, Licorice responded yes. They wanted to know why Lemona was against her. Lemona wanted to cause mischief on Licorice. So they went to find Lemona to tell her what they’d found out.

Lemona realized her mistake and quickly apologized to Licorice. She was surprised to find out that she had been caught. So Lemona explained to Lime and Minty that she wanted to find a red hat to go with her lemon scented dress.

She had thought it would be okay to borrow Licorices’ scented hat. So Lemona asked Licorice if she could borrow her hat. Licorice said, “You may use the scented hat. Next time, come to me if you feel mischievous and I’ll help you snap out of your mischief”!

So Lemona agreed to come to Licorice if she felt mischievous. From that day forward, you can see Lemona, Minty, and Lime, and Licorice in your popsicle you eat hanging out. I hope you enjoy my story!

Pretty rainbow popsicles!

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I help to support my family with my writings. I share my writings for free for the benefit of others. If you benefit from this writing, would you like to toss a tip in the love offering “bucket”? Oceans of love and gratefulness …xoxo

Learn About Christmas

Gallery

Tweet Hello, everyone! You might want to know more about Christmas. Thank you for visiting my blog! Christmas is my favorite holiday. In Argentina, the weather is almost always warm at Christmas. Preparations for Christmas begin very early in December … Continue reading

Jealous Crayons

Hey there, everyone! I wrote Emotions With Animals: Jealous ParrotsAngry Candy StoryEmotions With Animals: Angry Ducks,  A Sad Princess StoryEmotions With Animals: Sad CatsA Happy FairyHappy DogsA Mindful Mermaid Story, and Mindful Goslings. I hope you enjoy my crayon story!

Once upon a time, a crayon named Brick was almost always jealous of his twin Periwinkle Strawberry Star ever since Periwinkle was born. One day, their parents called Indigo and Violet thought they should find a plan to stop the jealousy.

So they called, asked, walked, explored and traveled. Finally, they found a crayon named Blueberry Midnight Indigo. The trio crayons headed back to their colorful home. Indigo and Violet called Brick when they got home. Violet pretended to adopt Blueberry. Indigo pretended to tell Brick,”Periwinkle has been sent away.”

Over the next few days, Brick got to know Blueberry. Little did she know, that Indigo and Violet were with Periwinkle who was still in the colorful home. Soon a year passed since Brick had been jealous and Brick had become a great friend (good fake sibling also) to Blueberry.

One day, Violet and Indigo thought it was about time that Brick knew the truth. So Violet and Indigo told Brick the truth and showed Periwinkle who explained she had been in her colorful red and blue room while Indigo and Violet had visited her every day.

So Brick apologized to Periwinkle for being jealous about Periwinkle’s name. Periwinkle told her brother that she could change his name to Atomic Brick Red. Brick loved it and from that day forward he was Atomic. As for Blueberry, he married Periwinkle. Atomic Brick and Blueberry became brothers in law. If you look closely, you can hear the new trio laughing, talking, and having fun.

I hope you enjoyed my crayon story! Tune in next Friday for the next round of Emotions With Animals. Also, don’t forget to check out Camilla’s website at Mindful Musings.

Colorful Crayons found on Google Images!

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Halloween History Around the World

Hi there! I’m doing a special blog post for Halloween but it’s a little late. Hope you enjoy anyway!

In Austria, some people will leave bread, water, and a lighted lamp on the dinner or kitchen table when they go to bed at night. The reason why they leave bread, water, and a lighted lamp on a dinner or kitchen table is that they believed by doing so the objects on the table would welcome the dead souls back to earth for this particular night is a night of strong cosmic energies. In Austria, Catholics celebrate the entire portion between October 30 and November 8 as Seleenwoche or All Souls’ Week.

On All Saints’ Day, Catholics attend church services in honor of the saints, the martyrs and those who have died for the Catholic faith. Some people may also visit their family’s graves to beautify the graves with wreaths and small lanterns. Sometimes, a mass is said at the gravesite and the grave is sprinkled with holy water.

On November 2nd which is All Souls’ Day, Catholics attend a special Requiem masses, where they can remember the people who may be close to them that have died. Prayers for the dead are said and votive candles are lit to honor their memories. In Belgium, people believed that it was bad luck for a black cat to cross your way.

Some people believed that it was unlucky for a black cat also to come into their homes or travel on their ships. In Belgium, people light candles in memory of their spiritless relatives. In Great Britain, everyone wants to welcome the friendly spirits with special soul-cakes for them.

When children in costumes called upon their neighbors’ homes on Halloween they would be given soul-cakes also! In some parts of Britain, Halloween was known as Mischief Night in the past. It was a night for mischief making.

People would take the doors off their hinges on that night. The doors were often tossed into ponds, or taken a long way away. In England, it is said that elves rode on the backs of the villagers’ cats. The cats had fun but the villagers didn’t and would lock their cats up so that the elves couldn’t catch the cats.

Children were told not to sit in the circles of yellow and white flowers where fairies have danced as they may be stolen by the fairies. It was also considered bad to sit under the hawthorn tree because the fairies loved to dance on the hawthorn tree and if the children saw them, their tempers would be prickled. In England, the black cat was considered to be good luck and a white cat was considered to be bad luck.

In England, children make punkies out of large beets. The children cut out a design of their choice into the beet. The children carry them through the streets and sing the Punkie Night Song afterward.

The children knock on doors and ask for money. In some parts of England, turnip Lanterns are placed on gateposts to protect homes from the evil spirits. In England, Halloween was nicknamed, Nutcracker Night or Snap Apple Night.

Families would sit before a great fire in the hearth, roasting nuts and eating apples. The families told stories and played holiday games. It was an evening of great fun and merriment.

In England, they continued to practice their deep-rooted, ancient pagan rites well after the arrival of Christianity in the middle of the sixth century. The Church fathers had become concerned that the popularity of non-Christian festivals was growing at the expense of Christian holy days. Pope Gregory I, in 601 issued a decree to his missionaries about the faith and customs of the people whom he wanted to convert to Christianity.

Gregory knew that it would be impossible to eradicate the beliefs of the natives totally and so suggested to his priests that they convert them whenever possible. If the native people worshipped at a well, or sacred grove, Gregory informed his missionaries to enshrine them to Christ and let the worship continue. Gregory’s successor Pope Boniface IV in 609, declared May 13 All Saints’ Day.

Unfortunately, while pagans were happy to add All Saints’ Day to their calendar, they were unwilling to give up their existing festival of the dead and continued to celebrate Samhain. Intent on eliminating the ongoing power of the pagan beliefs, Pope Gregory III followed in the footsteps of the earlier Christian leaders and intentionally united the Christian All Saints’ Day to the festival of Samhain. He then moved All Saints’ Day to November 1, which became more commonly known as All Hallows.

Because Samhain had traditionally fallen the night before All Hallows, it eventually became known as All Hallows’ Even’ or Halloween. Previous church leaders to Gregory III discouraged the Samhain tradition of wearing frightening costumes, but Gregory decided to allow people to dress up in honor of the saints. Other traditions, such as begging for food and kindling, were made legal by the Church, providing that any food that was given to the beggars would be given to the poor, rather than to appease the evil spirits.

The Church also added a second day to the festival that fell on November 2 and was called All Souls’ Day and was dedicated to the souls of those who are still left in purgatory. These souls had to endure the punishment of purgatory for their sins. It is believed that the lighting of candles and the saying of prayers for the dead would shorten the time they were to suffer in purgatory before they would rise to heaven.

The tradition of begging for food soon was replaced with souling or Soul Caking. The idea was for children to go from door to door asking for money to give to the poor and a soul cake to have for themselves. Every cake they would receive, the children would say a prayer for the souls of the dead.

Soul cakes were called several different names throughout England such as Saumas or soul mass cakes which were dark fruitcakes, another cake was covered in caraway seeds and made into a bun. In North England, the tradition of lighting bonfires was central to the Halloween celebration. Superstition was still very strong as a result of the aftermath of the witch-hunts; witches were believed to take to the air to harass everyone at Halloween.

Halloween was called Tan Day for the township of Lancashire. Tan Day was named as it was the Celtic tein, or fire and pitchforks full of burning hay were flung into the air to scare the witches. Another reason was the heat and the smoke of the bonfires would also drive away any airborne witches.

In Canada, people welcome trick-or-treaters by placing pumpkins called jack-o’-lanterns in their windows. Also in Canada, it is bad luck for a black cat to cross your path, enter your home, or even enter your ship. In Canada, people give trick-or-treaters treats to make sure they are not being played a trick on.

Children also make Jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween. Dressing up as witches, ghosts and beasts for trick-or-treating is done also. It was believed these costumes would protect people from bad luck.

Thousands of years ago there was a tribe of farmers called the Celts. They knew that the sun helped make their crops grow, so when autumn came the sun began to fade and they believed that the sun would be winter’s prisoner for six months. They were worried that the sun would not return so to make sure it did they held a festival on October 31.

During which, they asked the sun to return safely in the summer. All the cooking fires were put out and a huge bonfire was lit on the hillside. Here they prayed the sun would shine brightly after winter was over.

The next morning, they would return to the hillside take a piece of the burning wood from the remains of the bonfire and light new fires so as to bring good luck. Feasts were held over the new fires and people would dress up in costumes made out of animal skins. It was believed these costumes would protect people from bad luck.

This is how Halloween is said to have begun and is still celebrated today. Cats were considered by the Celts to be spirits and that cats could predict the future. In Ireland, the black cat was considered to be bad luck and if it crosses your path while walking or crosses the threshold of your home or ship it was considered bad luck.

In Ireland, children would cut scary faces into hollowed-out turnips, large rutabagas, or potatoes. Then place a candle inside them. Children once enjoyed throwing cabbages and turnips at doors at Halloween time.

Smashing bottles near windows was also done for fun. The Celts referred to Halloween as The Samhain Festival. It was during this time that you would lead your livestock home from summer pastures to the winter shelters.

Samhain Eve was a time when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead grew thinner, and ghosts ventured toward the warmth if people’s homes and hearths. On the Eve, the Celts built bonfires in memory of their departed ancestors and left food and drinks on their tables overnight for eating by the ghosts. The tenth-century abbot of Cliny Odile changed Samhain’s name to All Saints’ Day.

October 31 became All Hallows’ Eve or Hallowes’ Even, and eventually would become Halloween. Halloween is now for the children, whose practice of trick-or-treating has its roots in the English custom of soul-caking. From medieval times onward, poor people would beg door-to-door for spiced cakes that the householders would award as payment for prayers the beggars promised to say for the householders’ ancestors.

This song was referred to as the soul-cakers song. In Ireland, they continued to practice their deep-rooted, ancient pagan rites well after the arrival of Christianity in the middle of the sixth century.

The Church fathers had become concerned that the popularity of non-Christian festivals was growing at the expense of Christian holy days. In China, the Halloween festival is known as Teng Chieh in which food and water are placed in front of photographs of relatives of people. Bonfires and lanterns are lit to light the spirits path back to earth.

Another Halloween festival is called The Feast of the Hungry Ghosts. In China, the souls of the dead, particularly
during the seventh lunar month, wander the earth in search of affection. They are known as the hungry ghosts because of their hunger for recognition and care.

The number of souls is usually increased by those who died unnatural deaths, and who may not have been given a proper burial or burial place which their families could visit in order to pay them respect. Other such Hungry ghosts that are abroad during this month are the spirits of people whose families had either died out or who showed no concern for their welfare in the beyond. Bereft of comfort, they feel abandoned and, lacking ancestral worship, may turn malignant and become powerful threats to the living.

The purpose of the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts, is dedicated to the earthbound spirits. It’s purpose is to make them feel welcome and to satisfy their spiritual hunger. This will placate any possible anger they might have and gain their gratitude.

In the sacred ritual of the day, the spirits are offered joss sticks, food and gifts. The gifts that are made of paper represent objects with which they were familiar while on earth and are intended to make them feel at home. Paper money is burnt on their behalf, to pay for their expenses in the netherworld.

Fires are lit to light the way for the hungry ghosts and a gesture of welcome. In Czechoslovakia, chairs are placed by the fireside. There is a chair for each family member and one for each family member’s spirit.

In Germany, people put their knifes away. This has to be done so they don’t risk hurting the returning spirits.
In the regions of Bavaria, Austria, and Southern Germany, Catholics celebrate the entire period between October 30 and November 8 as Seleenwoche or All Souls’ Week. In Hong Kong, there is a festival similar to Halloween.

During the Hungry Ghosts Festival or Yue Lan, ghosts and spirits roam the world for 24 hours. Some people burn pictures of fruit or money. This was believed to reach the spirit world and comfort the ghosts on this day.

In Italy, they make cakes in the shape of beans. These cakes are called Beans of the Dead. In Southern Italy, families prepare a special feast for the souls of the departed on All Souls’ Day.

When the family came home to find that their offerings hadn’t been consumed it meant that the spirits disapproved of their home and would work evil against them during the coming year. In Italy, November 1 has become a public holiday. In Japan, O-Bon festival celebrates the memory of the dead relatives.

Food and water is placed in front of photos of the dead. Bonfires and lanterns light the spirits’ path back to earth. O-Bon celebrated by some people from July 13-15 and others from August 13-15, O-Bon gets its name from the Sanskrit word for “to hang upside down.”

It refers to a legend about a Buddhist monk who is deep in meditation was able to see his long-lifeless mother hanging upside down in the Buddhist equivalent of misery. This was her punishment for eating meat during her lifetime which is a Buddhist taboo and refusing to repent of it. The monk was holy enough to go to misery and buy his mother’s passage to Nirvana with some of his own excess goodness.

On the first day of O-Bon, people decorate their loved ones’ graves with fruit, cakes, and lanterns. On the second day, spirit altars or they are referred to tamadana are assembled at home. Atop a woven rush mat stand the ancestors’ memorial plaques, tempting vegetarian dishes, and cucumbers carved to represent horses on which the spirits are invited to ride.

On the third day, whole communities gather for the bon-odori, a hypnotic, slow dance that moves in concentric circles or multiple lines. Hundreds of people often dance together. As evening falls, tiny paper lanterns are set adrift on river or sea: these omiyage gently light the spirits way back to the other shore.

Buddhist Japanese remember their dead at the time in autumn of equal days and nights. The festival that is celebrated is called Higan. It is a time when people visit the graves of friends and family who are dead.

They tidy up the area and think about the dead people. In Mexico, they have picnic lunches on the graves of their relatives. As this is a day of remembrance, happiness and celebration.

They bake bread and make candy in the shape of skull and crossbones, a casket, or a skeleton. The children run through the streets with lanterns and ask for coins. People light bonfires, set off firecrackers, and hang lanterns on trees to guide the souls of the dead home.

In Mexico, All Saints’ Day is devoted to all the departed children. This is a prelude to November 2’s Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead which is a national holiday on which all the grown-up ghosts will be arriving in full force. The littler ghosts get a head start.

To help them find their way back to the homes where they once lived, parents and still alive family members often shoot off firecrackers. In some parts of Mexico on this night, they strew a path of flower petals from the graveyard to the front porch. Mexico’s Day of the Dead calls for happy all day picnics beside the graves of dead relatives.

At home, people assemble little altars called ofrendas, stocked with the departed loved ones favorite foods and drinks, their photos, and other memories, as well as candles and pungent marigolds, a flower long associated with death. The Mexican custom of Erecting Day of the Dead altars has caught on north of the border, where the altars serve as the focus of ancestor rituals and memorials.

In Mexico, October 27 is the Feast of the Holy Souls or Fiesta de las Santas Animas, families begin the fiesta by cleaning their relatives’ graves and adorning them with pine needles and flowers. The families assemble a temporary altar near the gravesite, stocking the altars with candles and all kinds of foods such as meat, beans, chilies, salt, tortillas, fruit and sometimes adult beverages. Each person in the family then takes turns in talking to the departed spirit, offering it the food and assuring it that it is loved.

The ceremonies go on for several days, as every family has more than one grave to attend to. In the United States, trick-or-treaters are welcomed by placing lighted pumpkins known as jack-o’-lanterns in their windows. The North American tradition of trick or treat comes from the original idea that you must be kind to dead ancestors or they will play a trick on you.

Neopagans of North America honor their ancestors on October 31. It was once believed that on this night any souls who had not yet passed into the paradise of the summer lands might return to wander the streets and visit their old homes once more. Neopagans celebrate the festival today as a turning point between the old and the new year, as well, the date of October 31 as the gateway between the worlds.

Many neopagans also believe that on the eve of Samhain, the veil that separates each world that of the living and that of the dead is at its thinnest and that on this night, there is a better chance of being successful in communicating with their ancestors. In the Philippines, people will light candles in the memory of their dead relatives. In Poland, doors and windows are left open to welcome the spirits or the visiting souls.

In Portugal, they have feasts of wine and chestnuts at the cemetery. In Portugal, they bake special sugar cakes with cinnamon and herb flavoring. Parentalia the Roman holiday dedicated to honoring dead family began precisely at the sixth hour on the thirteenth day of February and lasted a full nine days afterward.

These English parental days weren’t a spooky time for the average Roman citizen. Rather, these were days of obligation and feasting, quiet and respectful, introspective, like a wake. During the Parentalia, all temples were closed, weddings were forbidden, and governmental magistrates uncharacteristically appeared in public devoid of the insignia of their office.

People visited their parents’ and other relatives’ graves, bringing objects such as milk, wine, honey, oil, and spring water. Some brought sacrificial blood from the bodies of black animals. They decked the graves with roses and violets.

Dining with the dead at the grave site, the celebrant would offer the traditional greeting and farewell of the holiday which is Salve, sancte parens and Hail, holy ancestor. The Vestal virgins, the priestesses who tended the goddess Vesta’s shrine in the Forum performed rites of their own at the Parentalia. The senior Vestal paid a ceremonial visit to the group’s parental tomb which was the early Vestal, Tarpeia.

On May 9 is the Lemuria a festival held to remove the more hungry ghosts. The Lemuria is a festival held for homeowners to rid their homes of resident lemures. A celebrant would walk through the house barefoot at midnight walking from room to room with one hand upheld in the fig gesture which is the thumb held between the second and third fingers.

The celebrant’s mouth would be filled with dried black beans which he would spit out one by one as he walked. The beans were used as ghost bait. As he walked he would spit a black bean out and say the chant nine times: With these I redeem myself and mine.

The idea was that the lemures would be following him, eating the beans that had been spat out by the celebrant. While the celebrant was walking around with the ghosts following him people weren’t to look back during the ritual. Once the celebrant had come full circle, he would wash his hands thoroughly then he would beat brass pans together making as much noise as possible so as to bid the lemures leave.

A festival held called Feralia is much like the Day of the Dead ceremony. The name feralia comes from the verb ferre meaning to carry, or to ferry. The Roman families would go to the ancestral graveyard, ferrying offerings.

The reasons was that they believed the ghosts were hovering around the graves, so they take food to extinguish the pyres. Once the ancestors were honored and fed, comes the ceremony Caristia from the word Cara meaning dear. This was a holiday to re-affirm, a day of affectionate family reunions.

All fighting was forbidden, old feuds would be forgotten, and sibling rivalries would have to be set aside. In Russia, the blue cat is said to bring good luck. Blue cats like the Russian Blue, British Blue and Burmese.

In Scotland, Soul Cakes were known as Dirge Loaves and were flat, round buns of oat flour. Scottish superstitions ran deeper and darker than most. In memory of the fact that Scotland had been the only country to burn to death its supposed witches, children in Aberdeenshire would run around their villages, banging on doors and shouting.

This practice continued until the early twentieth century. Effigies of witches were burned on the Halloween bonfire. A dummy of an old woman called the shandy Dan was wheeled in a cart to the center of a large gathering of villagers and then tossed onto the fire with much celebration.

They also smashed bottles near windows. March 13-19 in Spain is Las Fallas which is in honor of St. Joseph whose feast day is on March 19. There are fireworks, bullfights, music, costumed revelers and parades.

Giant models of people or papier-mâché effigies called ninots are stuffed with fireworks and burned. The bonfires and burning of effigies is done to blazing away the last vestiges of winter and welcoming the glow of the summer Sun. In Australia, they celebrate Guy Fawkes Eve as the day for Halloween or as it is also known Mischief Night or Danger Night.

On this night, it is a day for children to create mischief by doing tricks or getting a treat. It is not widely done in Australia as it is in America and elsewhere, in fact most children in Australia celebrate it as dancing at their schools or in other activities. Not as a day to create lawless or other mischief.

In Estonia, folktales tell of unsuspecting people who wander into village churches on All Saints’ Day night only to find all the pews filled with ghosts who sit and kneel attentively while a ghostly priest celebrates mass at the altar. French bellmen would walk through the streets warning of the arrival of, “The spirits are about to arrive!” Once everyone heard this they would all hurry to bed and shut their eyes.

Today, the French children beg for flowers with which to decorate churches and the graves of loved ones. In Guatemala, the advent season is a time of men dressing up as the devil in costumes playfully chasing children through the streets. To bring the season to a close on December 7, people are to light bonfires in front of their homes.

They would toss accumulated garbage and other debris onto these. In the City, fireworks explode into the night. This event is called the Burning the Devil or La Quema del Diablo.

Saint Martin’s Day, November 11th, is a celebration in Holland has a lot in comparison to “trick-or-treating”. People in Holland go around getting treats by ringing on some doorbells, singing songs for which they are given sweets or tangerines. They go around with lanterns and here is one of the songs they sing:

Elf November is de dag,
Dat mijn lichtje,
Dat mijn lichtje.
Elf November is de dag,
Dat mijn lichtje branden mag.

Those were the words to the Sint Maarten Song. This is the story of why the Dutch celebrate Saint Martin. It was a dark and stormy night.

Martin was quite alone on that dark stormy night. He only had a cloak and a singular piece of bread. He was returning home when suddenly a poor and homeless man appeared in the darkness.

Martin felt pity for the man and gave him half his piece of bread, and half his cloak and offered him hospitality in his home. Now he is called Saint Martin and is known for his kindness to the stranger. That is why they celebrate Saint Martin’s Day.

It is popularly a night for mischief and is called Mischief Night or Danger Night, which is on November 5th. The Odo Festival is held to mark the return of the dead which is the Odo to those still living, this occurs in the village of Igbo, Nigeria. The festival has three stages.

The first stage is observed with ritual celebrations and festivities to welcome those returning from the spirit world. The spirits stay for six or more months. Their departure is an emotional affair as they will not return for two years.

There are Odo plays featuring different characters in costumes. Most roles are by men with women as chorus members and as spectators. Children in Sicily go to bed on November 1 well aware that outside, in all the graveyards, the dead are rising from their tombs and coming like Santa Claus to deliver candies, cookies, and gifts to leave for them in celebration of All Saints’ Day.

On All Souls’ Day, the Sicilian chefs mark the holiday with almond-flavored “bones of the dead”, bone-shaped biscotti, with molded-sugar dolls, and with fave dei Morti, little Venetian cookies in the shapes of fava beans, a legume associated since ancient times with rites of the dead. Vu-Lan or Wandering Souls’ Day is a festival celebrated by all Vietnamese. When a person dies, it is believed their soul goes to inferno where it is judged and, depending on the person’s behavior on earth, is sent to heaven or kept in inferno.

Souls in inferno can gain release by the prayers of the living. Wandering Souls’ Day is the best time for these rituals. Inferno’s gates are opened at sunset and the bare hungry souls fly out, returning to the family altars.

Tables are spread with a meal for the ancestors and ‘wandering souls’, and incense sticks and votive papers are burned. This takes place in large rooms or outdoors so there is plenty of room for the ‘wandering souls’ who have no relatives, or whose relatives have forgotten them. In Wales, people build Halloween fires on the Vigil of Samhain.

The celebration is very somber. Each of the family is to write his or her name on a white stone which is then thrown in the fire. Then all of the family members march around a fire, praying for good fortune.

The next morning, after the fire has died out, each member sifts through the ashes to search for the stone. If any stone is missing, it means that the spirits will call upon the soul of that person during the coming year.

I got this photo at http://www.dltk-teach.com/minibooks/halloween/felt.h2.gif but I got this orginally at Google Images.

Pumpkin Pictures

Source I Used:

http://www.jackolanterns.net/traditions.htm