# 200: It's Halloween!
A few traditions for you, dates of note, and next month's Kindness Calendar.
I can hardly believe that this is issue #200 of our newsletter and tonight is Halloween! This special night has traditions that go back hundreds of years and it truly is hard to know where to begin. I’ve included a few fun ones that you might know of and others you might not and a list of some November dates of note. Plus there are links to Pumpkin Chiffon Pie and the Kindness Calendar for November, too. Stay safe tonight, my friends!
There are so many traditions associated with Halloween. I think of it as a passageway from the warmth and light of summer to the cold and quiet of winter. Some believe that this is the night when the veil between the worlds is at its thinest and a time when the souls of the dearly departed look back to their former lives…perhaps engaging in some mischief and magic, too.
Irish tradition holds that on this night fairies ermege from green hills that are opened up. Those bold enough to peep inside may see fairy treasure.
The Benedictine Order first celebrated this as a festival in 998, and in 1006 Pope John XIX celebrated it as Hallowmass—the eve before All Saints Day on November 1st.
In the North of England, the rowan tree is known as one of protection and a sprig is placed above the door to ward off evil. A bowl of oats in water or milk can be left outside to appease any visiting spirits. (Kinda like Santa’s snack?) Of course, carved jack-o-lanterns will be lit and placed in front of many homes tonight, but did you know that this tradition began with faces carved in hollowed out turnips with candles inside to frighten away witches?
Trick? or Treat?
When I was little, we had a grand time going from house to house dressed as ghosts and witches, carrying pillowcase sacks to receive treats—chocolate bars, apples, candied popcorn balls, and licorice sticks—offered to us usually by the good dame of the house. There could be tricks, too, like the year a friend and I sat on my front porch stoop dressed as witches holding my copy of Betty Crocker’s Cookbook for Boys and Girls opened to the page with the recipe for “Good Kid Cookies.” Of course, we deemed that no child was right for the recipe so safe from the oven and we gave plenty of treats to make up for our mischief.
More Traditions and Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
Below you’ll find last year’s newsletter with even more Halloween Lore plus a recipe for Pumpkin Chiffon Pie.
Other November Days of Note
I had no idea that November 1st is National Cinnamon Day. It’s not really an official holiday but one that McCormick spices founded in 2019. It is a good reminder to freshen up your old spices with new ones for the coming holiday baking season.
All Souls’ Day on November 2 is another day when kitchens were kept warm for souls who might return to their former homes and freshly baked Soul Cakes given. My good friend Jolene Handy has just written a lovely piece with a recipe for Soul Cakes, too.
Guy Fawkes Night is celebrated on November 5 as bonfies commemorate the day Guy Fawkes was discovered in the basement of England’s Parliament preparing to blow it up in 1605!
Election Day is November 7th. Please vote!
Carl Sagan Day on November 9th. Of course, my favorite quote of his is “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”
Sesame Street Day. Kermit and Miss Piggy et al, premiered on November 10th, 1969.
World Kindness Week begins November 13. Kindness: First, last, and always every day, all year.
Minnie Mouse's Birthday is November 18, 2023
The day after Thanksgiving (November 23 this year) is Sinkie Day. This special day was founded in 1991 by the International Association of People Who Dine Over the Kitchen Sink (IAPWDOTKS) and I think we can all relate to that! It’s also Buy Nothing Day.
Stir-Up Sunday is November 26. I learned about this day from a UK friend as we made a traditional filling for mince pies at a Pie Camp. All pie campers passed a bowl full of ingredients and, with each turn of the spoon, put a wish in to the filling. The name comes from the Book of Common Prayer of 1549, which begins the collect with, “Stir-up, we beseech thee, O Lord.”
National Day of Giving takes place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This year it is November 28. Please consider giving to non-profit or charitable organization of your choice.
Here’s the Kindness Calendar for November and the link to download the PDF of it.
Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit
Remember to say Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit before getting out of bed tomorrow morning for good luck all month long!
Sprinkle Some Fairy Dust My Way
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