The Link: It’s a celebration! Smiles, Goblins, Ghouls and More

Join ipl2 in tracking down the roots of Halloween and some of its traditions. Then prepare to celebrate as the ipl2 provides tips for designing your costume and having a monster of a party. If the sites full of ghosts and ghouls become too spooky, you’ll discover there are a number of other holidays you can celebrate in October. From harvest festivals to days of thankfulness, there is something for everyone.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources can already be found in the ipl2 collection.

Halloween ~ History and Traditions

The contemporary celebration of Halloween has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain when the dead were thought to mingle with the living. Many traditions associated with this festival, such as the setting out of food, dressing in costumes, and carrying hallowed out turnips with burning embers all evolved into our modern day Halloween. As for America’s contribution to this evolving holiday, it was replacing turnips with pumpkins, which Irish immigrants found more plentiful in North America. Check out the sites below to discover Halloween history and how to have the best jack-o-lantern on the block.

How Halloween Works (find it on the ipl2

This site provides background information about where Halloween customs and traditions come from. Topics include Celtic roots (Samhain) and Christian roots (All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day), trick-or-treating, jack-o’-lanterns, bobbing for apples, and costumes. Also includes links to related material on how to carve a pumpkin, how to throw a Halloween party, how light sticks work, and more. From: HowStuffWorks.

The History of Halloween (find it on the ipl2)

The History Channel presents a series of video clips tracing the history of Halloween from its origins in ancient times to modern trick-or-treat. Other video clips concern vampires, ghosts, jack-o’-lanterns, and the fear instinct.

Halloween: The Fantasy and Folklore of All Hallows (find it on the ipl2)

An essay about the historical origins of Halloween – the “biggest and most significant holiday of the Celtic year.” Also includes a brief bibliography. From: the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress.

Reverent Remembrance: Honoring the Dead (find it on the ipl2)

Companion to an exhibit that “explore[s] the ancient Celtic roots of Halloween, the colorful Mexican Day of the Dead, mummification and other death rituals in ancient Egypt, Indonesian cliff burials, and modern American memorials, including those following the 9/11 tragedy.” The site includes descriptions of activities and beliefs, exhibit handouts, and links to related sites. From: the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture.

Pumpkin Carving 101 (find it on the ipl2)

Lots of information on this Halloween tradition, including history, selecting pumpkins to use as jack-o’-lanterns, tools, traditional carving and carving with stencils, lighting methods, extending the life of the pumpkin, photographing, burial, and caring for a pumpkin patch. From: Halloween Online.

Halloween Pumpkin Carving Templates (find it on the ipl2)

Tips and instructions for jack-o-lantern carving and pumpkin selection. Features material on how to carve a fancy pumpkin, paint a pumpkin, decorate a pumpkin with flowers or vegetables, and printable pumpkin carving patterns and monogram templates.

Halloween ~ Let’s Party!

From the best roasted pumpkin seeds to the most outrageous costume on the block, these sites will help you prepare for Fright Night. Get great party ideas, spooky sounds to scare your friends and neighbors, and plenty of recipes for good eats to fill up your hungry ghouls. The Link has your Halloween celebration covered.

Halloween Online (find it on the ipl2)

Pumpkins, bats, and spider webs meet and “creep” you at this indispensable Halloween site. It’s been around a long time, since 1994. Everything Halloween in one click—costumes, Halloween parties, pumpkin carving, articles and more. Especially useful are the Halloween decoration tips and Halloween party resources.

Costume Idea Zone (find it on the ipl2)

Are you the creative type? Do you start planning your Halloween costume in May or June? Then, the Costume Idea Zone is the place for you. Offbeat, unusual and just downright clever ideas will set you on the path to winning a best costume contest on Halloween night.

Yahoo! Halloween (find it on the ipl2)

This directory of Halloween websites will leave you howling with joy. One-stop shopping for parties, costumes, invitations, fun sites for kids to explore, and much more. You can search exactly what you need or browse the 25 categories.

Allrecipes: Halloween (find it on the ipl2)

Think Allrecipes is only for food? Think again! This excellent site features articles on many major holidays, including Halloween. Here you’ll find not only great themed party foods (Witches’ Fingers, anyone?) but advice on staging parties and Halloween planning.

NEW! Activity Village: Halloween for Kids

Activity Village features loads of excellent activities for young children and their parents. Crafts, costumes, party games, and coloring pages are among the treats (no tricks!) you’ll find on this site. The Halloween party games page even has how-to videos for making unique and fun Halloween games.

October: Not just for Halloween!

We’re ready for Halloween, but did you know the United States is not the only country that celebrates special events in October? We’ve all heard of Oktoberfest, but what about World Smiley Day, and Diwali? Take a trip around the world with ipl2 and The Link as we view celebrations around the world.

Oktoberfest (find it on the ipl2)

In English or German. This site has everything you ever wanted to know about Oktoberfest in Munich. Includes a gallery of pictures. You can even book your hotel to become a part of this years Oktoberfest.

Polish-American Heritage Month (find it on the ipl2)

Activity ideas and resources for celebrating Polish-American Heritage Month in October, including events to mark the death of American Revolutionary War hero General Casimir Pulaski (October 15). Includes a “tracing your heritage” worksheet, guidelines for sponsoring an essay or coloring contest, posters, and related material. From the Polish American Heritage Center in Philadelphia.

NEW! World Smile Day

Always October 7th World Smile Day celebrates the ever popular yellow smiley. It also offers us an opportunity to do an act of kindness. According to the World Smile Day website, a proclamation of this day was made by the U.S. Congress. Now that should put a smiley on your face. The intent of World Smile Day is to do an act of kindness, or help one person to smile. Why not do both!?

NEW! Cirio de Nazare, Brazil

The largest festival on the River Amazon, not to mention Brazil’s biggest hoedown after the Rio Carnival, Círio de Nazaré revolves around a small statue of Nossa Senhora de Nazaré (Our Lady of Nazareth). Since 1793, pilgrims have come from all over Brazil to honour the Virgin. Having been taken from Belém to Icoaraci, the statue is carried back to the city in a river procession of hundreds of boats. The following morning, millions of people fill the streets, along with the sounds of hymns, bells and fireworks, to accompany the image from Catedral da Sé to the basilica.

The Hajj Ending in Eid-ul-Adha (find it on the ipl2)

Eid-ul-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice), also known as the Greater Eid, is the second most important festival in the Muslim calendar. The festival remembers the prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son when God ordered him to. This festival is celebrated October 26th.

NEW! Festivals of the Hindu Faith: Diwali or Deepavali

Today it is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs across the globe as the “Festival of Light,” where the lights or lamps signify victory of good over the evil within every human being. The festival is also celebrated by Buddhists of Nepal, particularly the Newar Buddhists.

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