An autumn tradition in my family is apple picking. We usually pick more than we need due to the fact that it is fun to pick juicy red apples off the tree. Then for the rest of the month every day an apple goes into the lunch box. During October the aroma of apple crisp, apple tarts, applesauce, and apple pies waft through the house.
To celebrate apples the Norway Memorial Library is pleased to announce on Tuesday, October 10 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm apple historian John Bunker will present his program on Maine apple orchards and their history. John founded Fedco Trees and the Maine Heritage Orchard and has been researching Maine apples for the last forty years. John will talk the history of Maine apple orchards, the variety of Maine apples, disappearing apples, and the future of apples. This program is free and open to the public.
Another tradition in my family is to take a car ride during Columbus weekend to look at the yellow, red, and orange leaves. We never take the same route. Changing it up makes it fun and interesting. We tend to choose places we haven’t been to in a long time or a route we have never traveled. Do you have a favorite route that offers spectacular view of the leaves?
We are happy to announce musical guest the Cobblestones will be performing at the library on Thursday, October 26 from 7:00-8:30 pm. The band plays acoustic rock and Americana music. The band came together locally and now plays throughout southern and western Maine. Members of the band include Carolynn Costanzi, Ken Lloyd, Mike and Mark Plourde, and Danielle Tran (occasionally). You will need a free ticket to attend this concert as space is limited. Free tickets will be available starting on Monday, October 9 at the information desk. Tickets are first come first serve basis and will not be held to pick up before the concert.
I was never a fan of Halloween as a kid. I didn’t like wearing the mask as I found it too uncomfortable. Plus I always had to wear a jacket over my costume. I mean, if I have to wear a jacket then what is the point of a costume? So, I never did Halloween. I did like the candy especially the mini Hershey bars. Now I enjoy seeing children dressed up as their favorite characters and I still like the candy!
A few interesting facts about Halloween:
Historians believe that Halloween originated in Ireland during celebrations of Samhain. This festival consists of bonfires and people in costumes to chase away ghosts. Later Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as All Saint’s Day. The night before was known as All Hallow’s Eve thus Halloween was born.
Halloween in American was slow to take hold due to the Puritans’ beliefs, but those who lived in Scots-Irish settlements celebrated Halloween. It wasn’t until the mid-18th century with an influx of immigrants that Halloween took hold in America. Parties were held with children and some adults dressing up and candy given out. Today the tradition of dressing up and trick-treating thrives with about $8.4 billion was spent in 2016 according to Fortune magazine (http://fortune.com/2016/10/31/americans-spending-halloween-2016/).
Pumpkins/Jack o Lanterns
Again we have the Irish to thank for jack-o-lanterns as an integral part of Halloween. During the Samhain festival turnips or potatoes were carved with scary faces to keep Stingy Jack away. Stingy Jack played a tick on the devil that didn’t turn out well for Jack. The devil sent Jack into night with only the glow of coal. Jack put the coal in a turnip and according to legend still “…roams the earth.” The ancient Irish referred to him as “Jack of the Lantern” which became jack-o-lantern. Pumpkins came into the picture once the Irish landed in America. They used pumpkins instead of turnips.
Suggested Readings for Halloween
Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie
The Hounds of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
The Legend of Sleepy Hallow by Washington Irving
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Frankenstein by Mary Woolstonecraft Shelley
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde