Halloween is fast approaching | RecordCourier.com

Halloween is fast approaching

Halloween is approaching, this year falling on a Tuesday, and that's when our local trick or treaters will be out. Unless of course, they prefer to hit some local alternatives instead. "Trick or Treat Safety Street" in Minden's CVIC Hall, is Tuesday, Oct. 31 from 3-8 p.m. The Hall is transformed into a colorful Halloween-land filled with fun booths hosted by various local businesses and community groups. There are best costume awards in the child, adult, and the whole family category. Admission is $3 per child. Please call the sheriff's office for details 783-6441.

Another warm and safe alternative is Calvary Chapel's "Harvest Festival" at the Douglas County Fairgrounds on Pinenut Road from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Suggested admission is a donation of two unopened bags of candy per family. Free food, drinks, games and more. Non-frightening costumes are encouraged. Call 265-3259 with questions.

Still need a costume or pumpkin?

It's not too late to check out the 5th annual "Costume Patch" presented by Family Support Council today, from 3:30-6 p.m. at 1255 Waterloo Lane, Unit A, Gardnerville. Free costumes are offered to Douglas County children sizes 0-12 (while supplies last) and the child must be present to receive one. Pizza, face painting and other fun activities are all free.

Pick up a pumpkin on Saturday at Joe Benigno's Tree Service's "Pumpkin Fest," 1460 Industrial Way, from noon to 3 p.m. where you'll even find pumpkin carving stations. Free admission and treats—guests are invited to wear costumes.

Halloween Superstitions

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This holiday filled with mystery, magic, and superstition began as a Celtic end-of-summer festival when people felt especially close to deceased relatives and friends. They set places at dinner tables, left treats on doorsteps and lit candles alongside the road to help loved ones find their way back to the spirit world. Superstitions such as black cats' being considered bad luck began in the Middle Ages when many believed witches evaded detection by turning themselves into cats. Avoiding walking under ladders may have come from the ancient Egyptians, who considered triangles sacred. It also could have something to do with the fact that walking under a leaning ladder really can be dangerous especially if a painter atop one happens to drop a bucket.

Some long-forgotten rituals focused on the future instead of the past and the living rather than the dead. Several related to helping young women identify future husbands in the hopes of being married by the next Halloween. In 18th-century Ireland, a matchmaking cook might bury a ring in her mashed potatoes on Halloween night, hoping to bring true love to the diner who found it (or possibly breaking a tooth?). In Scotland, fortune-tellers recommended eligible young women name a hazelnut for each of their suitors and then toss the nuts into the fireplace. The nut that burned to ashes rather than popping was supposed to represent the girl's future husband. Then to confuse matters others portended it was just the opposite and nuts that burned away did not represent lasting love. Each of these Halloween superstitions rely on the goodwill of the very same "spirits" whose presence the early Celts felt so keenly.

Contact Anita Kornoff at museummatters1@gmail.com