NIP Rallies Votes for $50k Grant
Goblins Invade Clay Cyberspace
A brief tour of Clay Aiken message boards, blogs, and Facebook walls reveals that ghosts and goblins this Halloween Weekend have once again possessed the Internet landscape as well as real life terrains.
The same talented graphic artists who treat fans to handsome designs year round have taken the lead in decorating Clay Cyberspace for Halloween 2010. Seasonal decor in Clay Land features creative banners, avatars, as well as graphic designs.
Fledgling composers have blossomed within the ranks of my music students as many have created spooky songs for their instrument. High tremolos abound in songs by violinists while pianists have utilized the lowest and highest ranges of the keyboard, minor modes, and generous helpings of the damper pedal.
Text & Treat for Inclusion Project
Amidst all the Halloween fun, the campaign for a $50,000 grant for the National Inclusion Project is still top priority as supporters continue reciprocal voting with other charities in the Pepsi Refresh Challenge and enlisting new votes from friends, family, and associates.
The October campaign closes at midnight Sunday ET, and the Inclusion Project needs every vote -- Internet, Facebook, and text -- foundation supporters can rally.
Register and vote through the National Inclusion Project website for a chance to win a new iPad if the foundation is successful. You can also vote for the NIP, alliances, and several reciprocating partners with the widget in the Carolina sidebar.
Origin of Holiday Customs Varied
Ever wonder where this October celebration originated? The word Halloween comes from a contracted corruption of All Hollows Eve (or "All Saints Day"), a Catholic day of observance in honor of saints.
In 5th century BC Celtic Ireland, the holiday marking the official end of summer, Oct. 31, was called Samhain (sow-en), heralding the Celtic new year.
The Romans adopted Celtic practices as their own. In the first century AD, Samhain was assimilated into celebrations of other Roman traditions, among them their day honoring Pomona, Roman goddess of fruit and trees.
The symbol of Pomona is the apple, which may be the precursor for the modern day Halloween tradition, bobbing for apples.
From Souling to Trick-Or-Treating
The custom of trick-or-treating is thought to have originated with a ninth-century European practice called souling. On Nov. 2, All Souls Day, early Christians walked from village to village begging for soul cakes. The more soul cakes the beggars received, the more prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the donors' dead relatives.
From Irish folklore comes the Jack-O-Lantern custom. Jack, an evil, fun-loving man, made a deal with Satan that backfired; and when he died, he was denied access to both Heaven and Hell.
To light his way through the frigid darkness, Jack was given a single ember, which was placed inside a hollowed-out turnip.
Though some cults have adopted Halloween as their favorite holiday, it is important to remember the tradition did not come from evil practices. Today many churches sponsor Halloween parties, traditional pumpkin patches, as well as pumpkin-carving events and "haunted houses."
HALLOWEEN CELEBRATIONS: Selected for their spooky themes, these clickable graphics are just in time for this weekend's ghosts and goblins. Featured are designs by Claystruck, 1; Clayquebec1, 2; AmazingCA, 3; Ashes, 4; and Fountaindawg, 5. Thank you for giving the visual artists a shout-out in the comments below.
Ghost Stories a Carolina Tradition
As a North Carolinian, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the plethora of famous Tar Heel ghost stories.
Even the titles are scary: Blackbeard's Queen Anne Revenge; A Colonial Apparition; Buried Alive; The Scull Hangs High; Bells, Books, and Rafters; The Headless Haunt; The Peg-Legged Ghost; The Greensboro Hitchhiker, The Devil's Tramping Ground.
For this Wilmington native, The Maco Light easily tops the list of favorite ghost tales. Visiting the Maco Light was the theme of many an autumn hayride in my youth. Maco is located in Brunswick County, 12 miles northwest of Wilmington and in the past was a stop along the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad.
Briefly, in 1867 conductor Joe Baldwin was riding the last car of his train when it somehow became uncoupled from the engine.
As he watched another train fast approaching his slowing car, Joe wildly waved his lantern back and forth in warning; but his efforts were in vain. The oncoming train barreled into the car, and Joe was decapitated in the accident.
Just seconds before the crash, Joe's lantern was hurled away by a mighty, unseen force, landing in an upright position. Shortly after the horrible accident, the Maco Light began appearing along the tracks. To this day, Joe's ghost "appears" swinging his lantern and searching for his head.
Have a wonderful weekend, Clay Nation!
Special thanks to Linda (ABM)
for my sassy pumpkin signature
and the above Halloween greeting!
Here is one more Halloween greeting: Midnight Madness
Thank you for your visits and remarks in the Carolina blogs. To leave a comment, scroll to the bottom, click on the "Post a Comment" link, and write in the box provided.
I appreciate your props for the contributing visual artists. Have an awesome Halloween Weekend! - Caro