Happy Halloween

October 31, 2016 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning Hallow-wieners. Today is Monday, October 31, 2013. The holidays for today are listed below:


Halloween or Hallowe’en (a contraction of “All Hallows’ Evening”), also known as All Hallows’ Eve, is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It initiates the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers. According to many scholars, All Hallows’ Eve is a Christianized feast initially influenced by Celtic harvest festivals, with possible pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic Samhain. Other academics maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and has solely Christian roots.
The word Halloween or Hallowe’en dates to about 1745 and is of Christian origin. The word “Halloween” means “hallowed evening” or “holy evening”. It comes from a Scottish term for All Hallows’ Eve (the evening before All Hallows’ Day). In Scottish, the word “eve” is even, and this is contracted to e’en or een. Over time, (All) Hallow(s) E(v)en evolved into Halloween. Although the phrase “All Hallows’” is found in the Old English mass-day of all saints, “All Hallows’ Eve” is itself not seen until 1556.
North American almanacs of the late 18th and early 19th century give no indication that Halloween was celebrated there. The Puritans of New England, for example, maintained strong opposition to Halloween, and it was not until the mass Irish and Scottish immigration during the 19th century that it was brought to North America in earnest. Confined to the immigrant communities during the mid-19th century, it was gradually assimilated into mainstream society and by the first decade of the 20th century, it was being celebrated coast to coast by people of all social, racial and religious backgrounds.
Although there are still plenty of ghosts and ghouls, Halloween has evolved into a secular, family friendly event, and over 40 million children trick-or-treat in their neighborhood each year. Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related “guising” or “trunk-or-treating”), attending costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.
Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. 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 “threat” to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. Halloween costumes are traditionally modeled after supernatural figures such as vampires, monsters, ghosts, skeletons, witches, and devils. Over time, in the United States, the costume selection extended to include popular characters from fiction, celebrities, and generic archetypes such as ninjas and princesses.
I hope that you have lots of “treats” on hand for all of the spooks, goblins, superheroes, and princesses who come knocking on your door this evening; you don’t want to get “tricked”. As much as you may want to go to the extra effort to reward the little imps, refrain from giving out homemade treats, unless you know the children and their parents well. In today’s sick and twisted (and litigious) society, most responsible parents throw away home-made treats anyway.
Factoid: One-quarter of all the candy sold in the United States is purchased for Halloween.

Reformation Day

Reformation Day is a religious holiday celebrated on October 31, alongside All Hallows’ Eve, in remembrance of the Reformation, particularly by Lutheran and some Reformed church communities. Within the Lutheran church in the United States, Reformation Day is considered a lesser festival and is officially referred to as The Festival of the Reformation. Until the 20th century, most Lutheran churches celebrated Reformation Day on October 31, regardless of which day of the week it occurred. Today, most Lutheran churches transfer the festival, so that it falls on the Sunday (called Reformation Sunday) on or before October 31 and transfer All Saints’ Day to the Sunday on or after November 1.

National Trick or Treat for UNICEF Day

National Trick or Treat for UNICEF Day began in 1950 in the United States when a group of Philadelphia schoolchildren first went door-to-door on Halloween collecting money in decorated milk cartons to help their global peers. Their efforts raised a grand total of $17 that night but kicked off a campaign that now brings in millions of dollars each year to help UNICEF provide medicine, better nutrition, safe water, education, emergency relief and other support to children in more than 150 countries.
Millions of children now participate in Halloween-related fund-raising campaigns in the United States, Canada and Hong Kong, China, among other places. ‘Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF’ is an education and fundraising initiative that, for over 60 years, has given US children, along with their parents and teachers, the opportunity to learn about their peers worldwide who are truly in need – and to raise money on their behalf. US children have collected nearly $160 million by going door-to-door with the trademark orange collection boxes on Halloween and by planning fundraisers with their school or group.
These campaigns, children go far beyond trick or treating in scary costumes with the familiar orange collection boxes in hand. Children and young people take part in various fun and educational events that help them gain a better understanding of child rights and the challenges facing children around the world – including poverty, killer diseases, and armed conflict. They help stage events to raise funds and increase awareness about these issues, and in doing so learn that they can help change the world.

Carve a Pumpkin Day

For all of you procrastinators out there, this is your last chance to carve your pumpkin before the “trick or treaters” arrive. Don’t bother going to the store to buy a pattern, they’re probably already sold out. You’ll have to do it free-form. Be imaginative. Carve something out of the ordinary. You won’t be limited by the “cookie-cutter” patterns that your more prepared neighbors used to carve their boring jack-o-lanterns. Don’t forget to save the seeds for roasting later.

Books for Treats Day

The Books for Treats cause urges you to give your used, gently read children’s books a new home by handing them out to “trick or treaters” at Halloween instead of candy. The motto is “Feed kids’ minds, not their cavities. Give them brain candy.” With that said, while I wholeheartedly support feeding children’s minds through used age appropriate literature, would it kill you to throw in a piece of candy too. After all, isn’t candy what Halloween is really all about. Some people can take their “good intentions” too far.

National Magic Day

National Magic Day is celebrated October 31 in honor of Harry Houdini, the great magician who died on this date in 1926. The Society of American Magicians, known for its professional and charitable works, promotes public events and exhibits for the week leading up to this day.
To celebrate this holiday, read about magicians and illusionists, or learn a magic trick to surprise the “trick or treaters” who visit you tonight.

Increase Your Psychic Powers Day

If you already knew this, probably you don’t need to celebrate this holiday. Many people claim to have psychic powers. We normally celebrate those people on National Nut Day. Why is it that the first thing a ‘Psychic’ asks you is, “How can I help you?” Shouldn’t they already know? They’re psychic! I mean, really!
However, if you believe that you may have psychic abilities, this holiday was created just for you. And, what better time to improve your psychic abilities than on Halloween, the one day a year believed to have the highest concentration of supernatural activity? This website will help you get started. Increase Your Psychic Powers Day appears to have roots in England back to the nineteenth century.

Day of the Seven Billion

Recently, we celebrated Day of the Six Billion to commemorate the date (October 12, 1999) when the population of the earth reached six billion. Day of the Seven Billion celebrates the date, October 3, 2011, when the population of Earth reached seven billion.
According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division, October 31, 2011, was a symbolic date chosen based on data interpolated from its 5-year-period estimates. The estimates were based on data sources such as censuses, surveys, vital and population registers, and published every other year as part of its World Population Prospects. The actual date that the world population reached 7 billion has an error margin of around 12 months owing to inaccuracies in demographic statistics, particularly in some developing countries (even the world’s best censuses have 1–2% error). Assuming a 1% global error margin, the 7 billion world population had been reached as early as March 20, 2011, or as late as April 12, 2012.
United Nations Population Fund spokesman Omar Gharzeddine said, “There’s no way that the U.N. or anyone could know where or at what minute on the 31st the 7 billionth baby will be born,” and the United Nations is not giving official status to this and similar publicity efforts. Nevertheless several newborns were selected by various groups to represent the seven billionth person: On the Day of Seven Billion, the group Plan International symbolically marked the birth of the 7 billionth human with a ceremony in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh where a birth certificate was presented to a newly born baby girl, Nargis Kumar, in order to protest sex-selective abortion in the state. The Indian girl to boy ratio for 0–6-years of age is 914 girls per 1000 boys nationwide, with Uttar Pradesh’s one of the lowest at 889 girls for every thousand boys. Other babies selected include Danica May Camacho, born in the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, Manila, Philippines just before midnight on the eve of the Day of Seven Billion, and Wattalage Muthumai, of Colombo, Sri Lanka.

National Knock-Knock Jokes Day

If you’re looking for the answer to the perennial question, “Who’s there?”, October 31 is your day. October 31 is the unofficial holiday known as National Knock-Knock Day. It’s a day to tell knock-knock jokes to your family and friends. Celebrated on the same day as Halloween, it gives another reason for kids to knock on their neighbors’ doors. Knock-knock jokes don’t have to be funny. In fact, sometimes the louder the groan, the more satisfying the joke.
Knock, knock. Who’s there? Orange. Orange who? Orange you glad I covered this holiday?

National Caramel Apple Day

Caramel apples are created by dipping or rolling apples-on-a-stick in hot caramel, and sometimes then rolling them in nuts or other small savories or confections, and allowing them to cool. More elaborate apples use white chocolate over the caramel to hold a variety of candies, nuts or cookies. Tart, crisp apples such as Granny Smith or Fiji apples are preferred to contrast with the soft, sweet caramel.
My research did not find any information regarding who created National Caramel Apple Day or why October 31 was chosen to celebrate it, but I did discover that caramel apples were invented by Dan Walker, a sales representative for Kraft Foods, in the 1950’s and that red candy apples were created long before caramel apples.

Girl Scout Founder’s Day

World Savings Day

Historical Events

  • 1517 – Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Palace Church. The event marked the start of the Protestant Reformation in Germany.
  • 1864 – Nevada became the 36th state to join the United States.
  • 1868 – Postmaster General Alexander Williams Randall approved a standard uniform for postal carriers.
  • 1922 – Benito Mussolini became prime minister of Italy.
  • 1926 – Magician Harry Houdini died of gangrene and peritonitis resulting from a ruptured appendix. His appendix had been damaged twelve days earlier when he had been punched in the stomach by a student unexpectedly. During a lecture, Houdini had commented on the strength of his stomach muscles and their ability to withstand hard blows.
  • 1940 – The British air victory in the Battle of Britain prevented Germany from invading Britain.
  • 1941 – Mount Rushmore was declared complete after 14 years of work. The busts of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln are 60-feet tall.
  • 1941 – The Navy destroyer Reuben James was torpedoed by a German submarine near Iceland. The United States had not yet entered World War II. More than 100 men were killed.
  • 1952 – The United States detonated its first hydrogen bomb.
  • 1956 – Rear Admiral G.J. Dufek became the first person to land an airplane at the South Pole. Dufek also became the first person to set foot on the South Pole.
  • 1959 – Lee Harvey Oswald, a former Marine from Fort Worth, TX, announced that he would never return to the United States. At the time he was in Moscow, Russia.
  • 1961 – In the Soviet Union, the body of Joseph Stalin was removed from Lenin’s Tomb where it was on public display.
  • 1968 – President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered a halt to all U.S. bombing of North Vietnam.
  • 1969 – Wal-Mart Discount City stores were incorporated as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
  • 1983 – The Defense Department acknowledged that during the United States-led invasion of Grenada, that a Navy plane had mistakenly bombed a civilian hospital.
  • 1984 – Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated near her residence by two Sikh security guards. Her son, Rajiv, was sworn in as prime minister.
  • 1992 – In Liberia, it was announced that five American nuns had been killed near Monrovia. Rebels loyal to Charles Taylor were blamed for the murders.
  • 1993 – River Phoenix died at the age of 23 after collapsing outside The Viper Room in Hollywood.
  • 1994 – 68 people were killed when an American Eagle ATR-72, plunged into a northern Indiana farm.
  • 1997 – Louise Woodward, British au pair, was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of second-degree murder in the death of 8-month-old Matthew Eappen. She was released after her sentence was reduced to manslaughter.
  • 1998 – Iraq announced that it was halting all dealings with U.N. arms inspectors. The inspectors were investigating the country’s weapons of mass destruction stemming from Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
  • 1999 – EgyptAir Flight 990 crashed off the coast of Nantucket, MA, killing all 217 people aboard.
  • 1999 – Leaders from the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church signed the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification. The event ended a centuries-old doctrinal dispute over the nature of faith and salvation.
  • 2001 – Microsoft and the Justice Department reached a tentative agreement to settle the antitrust case against the software company.

Celebrity Birthdays

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