While American cinema has often turned Halloween into an evil or gory holiday, it actually has its roots in religious traditions and celebrations. The term Halloween is shortened from All Hallows’ Even (both “even” and “eve” are abbreviations of “evening”, but “Halloween” gets its “n” from “even”) as it is the eve of “All Hallows’ Day” which is now also known as “All Saints’ Day”. In the ninth century, the Church measured the day as starting at sunset, in accordance with the Florentine calendar. Although All Saints’ Day is now considered to occur one day after Halloween, the two holidays were, at that time, celebrated on the same day. Liturgically, the Church traditionally celebrated that day as the Vigil of All Saints, and, until 1970, a day of fasting as well. Like other vigils, it was celebrated on the previous day if it fell on a Sunday, although secular celebrations of the holiday remained on the 31st. The Vigil was suppressed in 1955, but was later restored in the post-Vatican II calendar. As part of the “All Saints’ Day” belief, Halloween was perceived as the night during which the division between the world of the living and the otherworld was blurred so spirits of the saints (the dead) and inhabitants from “the underworld” were able to walk free on the earth. It was believed necessary to dress as a spirit or otherworldly creature when venturing outdoors to blend in, and this is where dressing in costume for Halloween comes from. This gradually evolved into trick-or-treating because children would knock on their neighbors’ doors, in order to gather fruit, nuts, and sweets for the Halloween festival. Salt was once sprinkled in the hair of the children to protect against evil spirits. The carved pumpkin lit by a candle inside, is one of Halloween’s most prominent symbols in America, and is commonly called a jack-o’-lantern. Originating in Europe, these lanterns were first carved from a turnip or rutabaga. Believing that the head was the most powerful part of the body containing the spirit and the knowledge, the Celts used the “head” of the vegetable to frighten off any superstitions. The name jack-o’-lantern can be traced back to the Irish legend of Stingy Jack, a greedy, gambling, hard-drinking old farmer. He tricked the devil into climbing a tree and trapped him by carving a cross into the tree trunk. In revenge, the devil placed a curse on Jack, condemning him to forever wander the earth at night with the only light he had: a candle inside of a hollowed turnip. The carving of pumpkins is associated with Halloween in North America, where pumpkins were readily available and much larger, making them easier to carve than turnips.
1 Jessica Paschal
2 Carol Nissen
9 Richard Fawcett
10 Dana “Sachi” Dootson
17 Tim Osorio
26 Valerie Hite
31 Glenna Allender
31 Karen Davis
This is exciting progress, but there are still women who do not take advantage of early detection at all and others who do not get screening mammograms and clinical breast exams at regular intervals.
According to the experts, if all women age 40 and older took advantage of early detection methods – mammography plus clinical breast exam – breast cancer death rates would drop much further, up to 30 percent. The key to mammography screening is that it be done routinely – once is not enough. So if you are a woman age 40 or over, get tested, and if you are not, tell them women in your life that it is important.
The holidays have begun…..yes, I said it. Halloween is just around the corner and stores have begun to put out the Christmas decor. Before we turn the page on the calendar, plan now how you are going to “pace yourself” and take care of yourself as life picks up pace and demands on your time, energy and pocketbook increase. Here are some important tips on how to care for yourself and be resilient.
• Turn off the TV and get off of social media. (Yes, that is what I said) What you read on social media isn’t always reality and we can’t allow other people’s opinions to shape our opinion of others or ourselves. If you want to be on social media for entertainment or to keep in touch with family and friends, don’t read stuff that will stress you out.
• Exercise – Just 20-30 minutes a day of aerobic activity like walking, biking or swimming will make a huge difference in how you feel. Exercising will help you stay healthy too, and keep up your physical stamina.
• Get more sleep – Lack of sleep results in decreased alertness, impaired task performance and poor decision making. Instead of trying to get more sleep each night, think about getting more sleep each week. Getting 49 or more hours of sleep a week will make you feel better and others will notice it.
• Be proactive in your time management. Get together with your family and plan how you want to spend your week. Then write that on a calendar and follow that plan regardless of how you feel. People say “if I only felt better I’d do that.” But the truth is that if you do something, you’ll feel better and not miss out on opportunities.
• Take care of yourself. Tend to your own needs and feelings. Participate in activities and hobbies you enjoy. Eat a healthy diet. Practice stress management and relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, guided imagery, deep breathing, prayer or journaling.
• Get connected. Building strong, positive relationships with loved ones and friends can provide you with needed support and acceptance in both good times and bad. Establish other important connections by volunteering. Spend time in prayer and reflection to strengthen your relationship with God.
• Make every day meaningful. Do something that gives you a sense of accomplishment and purpose every day. Set goals to help you look toward the future with meaning.
• Learn from experience. Think of how you’ve coped with hardships in the past. Consider the skills and strategies that helped you through rough times.
• Remain hopeful. You can’t change the past, but you can always look toward the future. Accepting and even anticipating change makes it easier to adapt and view new challenges with less anxiety.
• Be proactive. Don’t ignore your problems. Instead, figure out what needs to be done, make a plan, and take action. There are resources available. Feel free to ask for guidance and referrals.
Take good care and Merry Christmas, I mean, Happy Halloween, Karen