OMG, IHA or Why Americans Love Acronyms

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Recently I have been browsing Amazon in an effort to figure out what Christmas gifts would be the most desirable for my family and I saw an intriguingly looking T-shirt like this: 8704CB96-5212-4CE6-BA6E-0534AD199038

 

 

Five capital A’s… An absurdly wit abbreviation that meant American Association Against Acronym Abuse. I wish such an association existed in reality. I would definitely become its member. Well, I cannot deny that I have a weak spot for T-shirts with witty ironic wordings but this one was truly brilliant! 

Perhaps, I won’t exaggerate if I say there are no other people in the world who use abbreviations, initials and acronyms as often as Americans do. Probably, there is nothing to wonder, given the fact that the country’s name itself—USA—is an acronym. Being curious by nature, I asked my American born and raised husband:

 —Why do you people here have constant need for shortening everything they say? Names, diseases, common words in text messages, you name it?

 —Simply because nowadays people are too lazy to pronounce words or even phrases completely, he replied philosophically.

In fact, I did notice that for an average American there is nothing more important in the world than comfort.

 “Why do you prefer walking to the playground if you can drive there!”

 “Spending more than 20 minutes on the commute ? It’s too much for me. ”

 “We will buy vegetables and fruits in the supermarket, I don’t feel like making an extra trip to the farmers market,” etc.

Flashback 1

It was my first Philadelphian winter. Five months have passed since I came to the United States of America. I took a medical interpretation course in Center City. Our teacher used to constantly point out some “chop” … 

“He originates from Peru, so it’s quite unlikely that he knows the name of the extreme point of Western Ukraine, a town called Chop”, overloaded with medical terminology, my head was spinning around.  “Neither does he resemble a cook, so why is he always trying to “cut something in chunks”?” Soon enough the mystery of a strange word was solved! It turned out that our lecturer referred to the acronym CHOP or the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Even then such a verbal shortening seemed weirdly inappropriate to me. It gives any English-speaking and English-thinking brain wrong connotations. In a million years I couldn’t have guessed that CHOP had something to do with medicine. However, everyone else was accustomed with the term and had no mental barrier using it. Everyone but me.

Flashback 2

Two years have passed. I work as an interpreter for the NSC ( Nationalities Service Center—surely another acronym 😊). I am at the session and the social worker asks me to interpret: “Could you, please, ask the client if she has COPD or STD?”  “Well, COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, but the second acronym… I couldn’t place it… Later, I found its meaning in the medical terminology book. A young social worker named Jack asked a 85-year-old lady, whether or not she suffers from STD-Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Protocol…there is no getting around it…

Even my daughter’s teacher often writes me text messages full of “np” or “ty”, possibly, she has no time to type “no problem” and “thank you”. But thanks for keeping me updated anyway…

And finally, when I started getting acquainted with the fact that KFC has to do with chickens fried in Kentucky😊, DOT is not a period but the Department of Transportation and the largest airport in New York has become just a JFK for me as well, I discovered the next unexpected acronym disguised as a short word.

—By the way, do you know how people used to call IHOP and now nobody remembers that the breakfast diner is actually called the International House of Pancakes?, asks my husband. 

—No, I had no idea that IHOP is an abbreviation, I thought it meant “I hop”! Apperantly, its full name went out of use because of the invincible American desire for speech comfort as well as simple laziness to pronounce long and  twisted lexical constructions. 

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I think, I know what kind of a gift I personally want from Santa this year…will go write my letter to the North Pole. 

P.S. OMG, IHA stands for  Oh, my God, I hate acronyms ( in case you are not an acronym abuser).

 

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Thank You, My Dear Enemies!

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Tomorrow we are going to have a Thanksgiving dinner. It will be my 4th Thanksgiving in life. I didn’t celebrate the holiday when I lived in Ukraine. But I like its family-uniting spirit and people being thankful for something or someone in their lives. 

We all forget to be grateful for what we have, instead we always want more money, bigger house, better relationships, more successful careers, etc. 

I believe that there is nothing more important for everyone of us than to live in TODAY and feel deep appreciation for our blessings as well as for our challenges.

At this very moment of my personal journey I am incredibly thankful for…my enemies who do everything possible to make my life miserable and unbearable. But instead of following the darkness of anger and revenge, I am learning to truly believe in God, Divine Light, Guardian Angels and Higher Energies who all protect me and my family from all the hatred being constantly sent our way. 

I have no doubts, that everything in our lives happen for a reason. There are no odd people entering our path. Everyone is either a blessing or a lesson.

In a couple months I am turning 33. I am sensing great changes coming my way. If it wasn’t for my beloved enemies I would have never known how strong I am, I would have never dared to take a step into the unknown, I would have never stood my ground so passionately and fiercely, I would have never become the person I am now.

So I am sending my best wishes to those who hate me. You are making me more and more powerful by showing how low someone’s soul can fall. You are an everyday example of the dark side I don’t want ever to end up on.

Thank you for your efforts. I hope you will see one day that I was a great lesson in your lives. And until then keep on making me more confident in my beliefs about the Universal Truth mentioned in one of Katy Perry’s songs: “Karma is not a liar, she keeps receipts”…

Saving Thanksgiving Turkey

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The homework of my 7 year old daughter always reminds me that Thanksgiving is on its way: “Hey, mom, we need to camouflage the turkey so well that no hunter could ever catch it and eat it!” A piece of paper with a bird symbolizing the Holiday of Pilgrims is lying in front of me. We don’t know yet whether this poor turkey turns into a rabbit, maybe a mermaid or even a Christmas elf. We are hesitant. But when the imagination starts spinning and the air is filled with creativity-it’s always fun!

“Americans are ambiguous people”, I think to myself. “They love to eat, turkey is the main dish on every Thanksgiving table, but the Presidents have a tradition of solemn ceremony “pardoning the turkey”. And even school students  compete in their ability to hide the holiday bird from the hungry people’s eyes”. 

 Although, it was President George Washington, who officially declared the Thanksgiving Day to be a national holiday in 1789, the tradition of “pardoning the turkey” appeared many decades later.

 It is believed that the first “lucky one who got away” was the turkey sent alive to the White House in 1863 for Christmas dinner of President Abraham Lincoln’s family. His son Teddy felt sorry for the future symbol of Thanksgiving and no one ate turkey that evening.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to follow the traits of all the turkeys ever sent to the White House since there is no historical evidence that all further turkeys  were pardoned for each Thanksgiving. 

 However, it is known that one of the favorite American Presidents —John Kennedy—showed his care for the birds by sparing a turkey four days before his assassination. The turkey born with a silver spoon in its beak, wearing a sign reading, “Good Eating Mr. President” on its neck. Kennedy said: “We’ll let this one grow” and that’s how a symbol of Thanksgiving was pardoned.  However, nobody knows what happened to that bird afterwards. Its fate is vague. 

Although we do know for a fact that the turkeys spared by President Richard Nixon were originally accepted as a gift by his wife Patricia but then these birds were sent to a local petting zoo or a kids-friendly farm.

In 1978, the wife of another American “turkey life saver” Jimmy Carter —Rosalynn, following the tradition set by his predecessor, sent a festive turkey to a mini zoo.

Since 1981, the practice of sending Thanksgiving turkeys away to the farms has become a tradition. And the ceremony of the turkey-gifting to Presidents turned into an inexhaustible source of satire and humor for journalists. And so it goes that they could not help but notice that on November 23, 1987, then-US President Ronald Reagan used the word “pardon” for a turkey named Charlie as a good reason to divert the reporters’ attention and deflect the unpleasant questions about the Iran-Contra affair. The bird bearing a royal name had also found its final shelter at the petting zoo.

Two years later, George W. Bush gave an entire performance entitled “How I Pardoned a Turkey”.  The main audience of the play were the animal-rights activists: “Let me assure you — and this fine tom turkey — that he will not end up on anyone’s dinner table, not this guy. Allow him to live out his days on a children’s farm not far from here.”

As for President Obama, he has expanded the tradition of “pardoning the turkey” by sparing life not to one, but to two birds at once (probably this innovation is due to the fact that Obama has two daughters). So, in 2009, at the request of Sasha and Malia, two turkeys: Courage and Carolina were pardoned.

Later, in 2013, the White House website introduced a vote for the turkey that will be granted a presidential pardon.  However, even the losing turkey has always been pardoned by the winner. From peaceful and witty Obama’s presidential speech of Thanksgiving 2016: “And it is my great privilege—well, it’s my privilege—actually, let’s just say it’s my job—to grant them clemency this afternoon. As I do, I want to take a moment to recognize the brave turkeys who weren’t so lucky, who didn’t get to ride the gravy train to freedom—who met their fate with courage and sacrifice—and proved that they weren’t chicken”.

In a week we will see if President Trump keeps pardoning tradition going on strong. In January 2017, almost immediately after his inauguration, Real News Right Now issued an article stating that Donald Trump had decided to execute five of sixteen turkeys previously pardoned by Obama. It turned out that the article was a satirical report rather than true news. Once again journalists joked about Trump’s habit of nullifying or denying any Obama’s achievements as the US President (such as trying bury the Obamacare health insurance for the less fortunate).

One way or another, I hope that the 2018 Thanksgiving turkey will be spared and happy to go to a petting zoo or a kid-friendly farm. My daughter and I sincerely wish for such an outcome!  Our school mission is accomplished: we disguised the paper turkey into a bee, encouraging everyone to eat honey ham instead of turkey for Thanksgiving. Long live the Turkey!

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Scarecrow

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There are two major things I was tremendously fascinated with living in the USA: scarecrow festivals and turkeys.

There is something absolutely magnetic in a hand-made scarecrow: they are out of the ordinary ideas embodied in physical matter. Every single one of them is unique. Regarding a turkey-talk, I am planning to write a post about these beautiful birds closer to Thanksgiving. 

Anyway, about a year go my family went to Peddlers Village in Lahaska, Pennsylvania. It was a warm sunny day so we decided to stroll through the boutiques and vote for the most impressive scarecrow in their annual Scarecrow Festival/Competition. I loved the scarecrow called Pablo Pumpkinzo ( it’s an allusion to Pablo Picasso)—it was a creative idea wrapped up in a good artwork. Witty and charming—that’s how I saw it. Sadly, the Pablo Pumpkinzo scarecrow didn’t get the First Prize but, I have no doubts, that the Spanish jokester artist would reward its’ authors creativity if he had a chance.

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Admiring the rows of the original “bird frightening tools”, I wondered where these cute strawmen came from.

It turned out that the homeland of a scarecrow is…Egypt.  On the banks of the River Nile, fishermen started wrapping a wooden log with a fishing net in order to protect the wheat fields from quails. Such a primitive design actually worked—the wheat calmly grew, and the net served as an easy tool to catch hungry quails. As a result, the Ancient Egyptians killed two birds with one stone.

Later, the Greeks followed that very same path. They also made wooden scarecrows, looking like Priapus—a minor rustic fertility god, protector of livestock, fruit plants and gardens. According to the Greek mythology he was the son of the fertility god Dionysus and the beauty goddess Aphrodite. These imitations of gods were painted in purple. They held a sickle symbolizing good harvest and a stick intimidating the birds.

The Ancient Romans shamelessly stole the idea of ​​scarecrowing from the Greeks and introduced them to rest of Europe during numerous military campaigns.

Although the Japanese are the ones who can not be suspected of stealing a scarecrow idea. Being on the other side of the world, they invented their variant of a scarecrow to protect rice fields. And it happened almost simultaneously. “Kakashi” (“scarecrow” in Japanese), was a real breakthrough in the art of creating “bird field fighters”. The Japanese dressed their scarecrows in a coat and a round straw hat, adorning them with bows and arrows for a scary look. By the way, Kakashi Hatake is a fictional character in the Naruto manga and anime series created by Masashi Kishimoto. He is depicted just like a real man – 181 cm in height, weighing 67.5 kg, “born” on October 15.

But let’s return to the historical evolution of the scarecrow effect. In Medieval Britain, great minds went even further and decided to use boys and girls as field guards. Kids were strolling through the fields and, if a bird approached the crops, they began to wave their hands and throw stones at the perpetrators. Apparently, children were not too fond of such a daily activity, thus, the occupation of “a bird hustler” gradually disappeared. So farmers had nothing left to do than to master the art of making a stuffed scarecrow: a sack of hay was its body, a pumpkin represented its head and a metal spin was used as a scarecrow’s spine. 

Alongside the discovery of America, the popularity of scarecrows grew considerably.  The New World was happy to adopt the new way of protecting their crops.  “Straw Twins of People” won not only the farmers’ hearts but also those of writers and readers.

Let’s just think of the Scarecrow from the immortal masterpiece “The Wizard of Oz” by Lyman Frank Baum. The Scarecrow reveals that he lacks a brain and desires above all else to have one. Throughout the course of the novel, he demonstrates that he already has the brains he seeks and is later recognized as “the wisest man in all of Oz.” It was the Scarecrow who comes to the witty conclusion that “…some people without brains do an awful lot of talking… don’t they?”

Centuries later, scarecrows still do not lose their popularity. There are regular “bird field fighters” festivals in the United States, Canada, and the UK. Children love to compete in creating the most outstanding scarecrow. I wonder what the future holds for them…

By the way, it was the Scarecrow who Dorothy bonded the most with. Saying her goodbyes she confessed: “ I think I’ll miss you most of all”.

And in my turn, I can confess that I will miss the Annual Scarecrow Festival at Peddlers Village too. Fortunately, there are only 365 days left to wait until the next colorful event. 

Philly Flea Market Philosophy and Destinations

I don’t know how about you but I adore flea markets, specially antique ones. They can be golden mines in disguise! In the spring and summertime season people tend to spend more time outdoors. In colder weather conditions there are plenty of indoor flea activities. 

Whether you like hiking or simply walking in the park, there is one activity Philadelphians love when degrees are going up and birds are in the chirping mood—it’s called “a flea market surfing”. It’s a fun and adventurous way to spend your Saturday or Sunday, it’s free and, sometimes, if you get lucky, it’s rewarding. From my own experience, I highly recommend to visit these hidden treasure spots of Philly at least once ( it will be enough for you to keep coming back over and over again). 

Probably, the best thing about flea markets is that you can choose what “role” you want to play: be a vendor, or a buyer, or simply a lazy market surfer. Personally I have been in all three roles and equally liked them all but in different ways. 

In order to become a vendor at any outdoor Philadelphia flea market, you will have to pay a fee of $20 to $60 ( the price depends on the size of your vehicle and the number of parking spaces you need). Another must-do is to wake up early and get to your flea market location at 6-7AM bringing as much valuable items for selling as you wish. 

The benefits of being a vendor are numerous: all day long staying outdoors adds up to the strength of your immune system, making some extra cash out of no longer needed things (that would have, otherwise, ended up in the trash can) increases your family budget and, finally, brightening someone else’s day by selling them little something they were looking for or dreaming of, makes your karma better. If you are ready to become a flea market vendor in Philadelphia, you should visit http://www.philafleamarkets.org for submitting your application and prepare for an unforgettable life experience coming your way. By the way, the schedule of upcoming flea market locations is available there as well.

In case you feel more like a pirate in search of hidden treasures, you should surf flea markets outside Philly. I was astonished by the antique flea store in Allentown, Pennsylvania: truly precious items and collectibles were in abundance there last May. 

The most exciting thing about flea shopping is that you never know what you can find there. For example, I had the best luck in purses twice: the first time I got a zebra patterned clutch for a couple of dollars and the second time a woman sold me a purse bought by her mother on vacation in Italy for only $5. Both times I felt like a jackpot winner! I think it’s worth going to a flea market solely for the adrenaline feeling of a lucky lottery ticket owner, a feeling which a pleasant purchase can provide you with.

As for the flea market destinations, check out the most popular in Philly, Quaker City Flea Market. It was established back in 1974 and since then is open three days a week: on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 7 AM till 2PM (Friday) and till 4PM on weekends. Unlike majority of flea markets, Quaker City Flea Market doesn’t care about weather conditions, it has both outdoors and indoors spaces. For professional flea marketers there is Jerry’s Corner—a 6 days a week open flea market founded by Jerry Schiazza in the 1930’s and rebuilt 20 years later. The hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 8AM to 8PM. It’s located in South Philadelphia. Smaller flea markets are held on Saturdays and Sundays when weather is permitting everywhere in the city. Just keep your eyes open and they will guide you to a treasure chest item! 

If there is anyone also fond of flea markets, please, share your experience as a seller or a buyer or a window shopper in comments!

Philadelphia —Mother of All American Cities

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It’s Not Only About History…

The most astonishing fact that I have recently learned is that the city of Philadelphia in the state of Pennsylvania where I live is NOT the only Philadelphia in the world! Did you know that there 12 places named Philadelphia in the USA? Other “Philadelphias” are located in the states of: Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, New York, New Mexico, Missouri, Mississippi, Indiana, Illinois, Arkansas and Alabama. Not to mention multiple “Philadelphias” around the world! Precisely in Brazil, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Turkey, Paraguay, Namibia, Liberia, Jordan, Jamaica, Germany and Costa Rica. 

But my article is about the one and only Philadelphia that is, undoubtedly, the historical heart of the United States.

The Declaration of Independence signed here was a major step of establishing the new nation. And the Liberty Bell became a symbol representing the rights and freedoms of people from all around the world. Nevertheless, Philly has so much more to offer to the tourists than a plain typical set of historical monuments.

As a rule, city guides start their story mentioning the origin of “Philadelphia”. It’s a well known fact that the pacifist William Penn founded “the City of Brotherly Love” (by the way, the state of Pennsylvania was named after him), but few know that even centuries later the atmosphere of Philadelphia still perfectly suits its name.

The Atmosphere

“In Boston they ask, how much does he know? In New York, how much is he worth? In Philadelphia, who were his parents?”

These Mark Twain’s words outline the essence of the city population philosophy. Here people remember their roots and proudly display them. Philadelphia reminds me of a friendly, caring mother who had “adopted” dozens of children from different parts of the world…I have never seen so many different people in my whole life! I get a feeling as if I have travelled around the world staying at one place. With the impressive diversity of people of all origins, races and religious beliefs, Philly resembles to a mini New York, just without crazy traffic jams and yellow taxi cabs everywhere. Each ethnic group here exists within its community and carefully protects traditions, but, at the same time, it is gently integrated into a large and friendly family of fellow Philadelphians.

 An “A-student” Syndrome 

Did you know that in the middle of the XVIII century Philadelphia was called “American Athens”? The reason for such nickname was simple enough-under the influence of the free Philly spirit American arts and medicine bursted in development. Glory of being a pioneer  firmly entrenched in the soul of the city. The first zoo as well as the first children’s hospital, alongside with the first library and the first commercial bank were all opened in the City of Brotherly Love.

The Cultural Life

Whenever you visit Philadelphia, have no worries about the lack of fun activities. If you happen to be a loud street holidays’ fan, the annual New Year Mummers Parade, Thanksgiving Parade or a bright orange-green St. Patrick’s Day March will fill you up with the spirit of joy and endless happiness.

Foodies will definitely appreciate the diversity of street food festivals, the brightest star among which is a famous Philadelphia Cheesesteak festival. No one can leave Philly without trying its specialty. 

For those seeking to feed their mind with new information, the city on the banks of the Delaware River is eager to open the doors of the Art Museum, the Franklin Institute and Please Touch Museum, where all the exhibits can not only be contemplated at but touched as well.

The Transportation 

The total majority of locals drive cars. Though in downtown it is much more convenient to use the subway ($ 2.25 per ticket), since finding a parking spot can be a real challenge. But there is some good news for cyclists: Philadelphia is one of a few cycling-friendly US cities: 435 miles (about 700 km) of cycle tracks are an excellent proof of my point. Prices for bike rental start at $ 4 per trip.

Every 15 minutes from 10 AM to 6 PM Express Philly Phlash buses take you along 22 city sights for $2 per trip or $5 per day). Isn’t it a great alternative to often exhausting walking excursions?

Top 5 Things to Do in Philadelphia: 

  1. Try cheesesteak in two rival restaurants-Geno’s and Pat’s to decide which steak you prefer; eat a soft pretzel together with an Italian ice at Rita’s (like a true Philadelphian would).
  1. Stroll along the Benjamin Franklin Boulevard to find the Ukrainian flag among 109 flags of other countries and be impressed to read “Україна” under the English “Ukraine”. 
  2. Copy Rocky Balboa’s jogging routine (through the Italian market to the foot of the Art Museum) and,afterwords, take pictures with the statue of the most famous movie boxing champion.
  3. Look at the early edition of the Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens’ stories at the Free Library. Glance at the black stuffed Raven that once belonged to Dickens, and served as an inspiration for Edgar Allan Poe’s writings.
  4. Dare to experience a 10-minute flight on the height of 400 feet (122 meters) inside a hot air balloon to see Philly from a bird’s-eye view and, finally, fall in love with our incredibly authentic city (12$ per person or $40 per family of 4 people).

P.S. Hopefully, I managed to make at least one person want to come to Philadelphia! Welcome! 

Why Halloween Isn’t as Scary as It Might Seem

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“Today is October 31—Halloween has finally arrived!” That’s what my 7 year old daughter yelled first thing in the morning rubbing her sleepy eyes and waiting for breakfast. Kids do love Halloween. It’s only natural—lots of candy is always a good idea, isn’t it? Meanwhile, adults are divided into three large groups: Halloween fans and supporters, people who don’t mark the last day of October with a red marker on their calendar and people who are strongly opposed to the very idea of celebrating Halloween or even mentioning it in conversation. Attitudes to the most creepy holiday of the year are ambiguous.  While Jack-o-Lantern enthusiasts organize themed parties, joyfully trick-or- treating alongside their children on the Sweets Hunt, Halloween’s ardent opponents ignore the ancient feast of All Saints. They wholeheartedly believe  that the spooky holiday comes straight from the devil and, thus, does not deserve a good word. So is it worth spending time to decorate your home and front yard, buying rather expensive costumes and packing up on sweet threats?

The United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom are indisputable leaders in the scale of Halloween celebrations. There is no surprise here, since  the holiday with an afterlife taste originated from the Celtic pagan festival Samhain. Celts observed it as the the end of the harvest season, marking the beginning of winter. Over time, Samhain partly overlapped the Roman Catholic holiday of All Saints, which was celebrated on November 1, and, having mixed up with the European folk traditions, it was reborn in today’s Halloween, which we either joyfully celebrate or steer clear off.

The ancient Celts believed that on the All Saints Eve, the dead returned to the earth, blurring the lines between the worlds of the living and the dead. Therefore, in order to mislead and confuse evil spirits, people dressed up as ghosts and witches, lit torches and jumped through the fire, cleansing themselves from filth. Interesting…

Personally I find a bunch of similarities between the old Halloween celebration and the St.John the Baptist holiday which used to be a pagan festival.  The essence of the latter is purification by means of two most powerful natural forces: the Fire and the Water. It is the oldest type of enchantment. The attributes of the two holidays are also very alike: hearths and ritual ceremonies protecting from all the evil. Our ancestors believed that in order to repel the dark forces attack, they should place sheaves of nettle on the windowsill and doorstep. And what about our ancestors’ belief in the magic power of fern blossom and wreathes on the water fortune telling? Sum it all up and you will clearly see that mysticism and superstition go side by side with any pagan rooted holiday—and Halloween is no exception.

Generally speaking, many of our favorite holidays emerged from the pagan beliefs and rituals. Let’s take for example, Christmas. It was born from the holiday of the winter solstice, or Easter—the result of spring fruitfulness rite. The difference between these red-letter days and Halloween is only the timeline. Under the strong influence of Christianity most ancient feasts had abandoned  their pagan features much earlier than Halloween. The mysterious holiday of skeletons and werewolves started losing its magical after-tone in the nineteenth century.  And a century later it turned into a children’s fancy dress party with sweets and parades.

 A little bit of magic dust still remains in the countries of Latin America.  There Halloween is celebrated as a preamble to a well-respected holiday – El Día de Muertos – The Day of the Dead.  It is commemorated on the first day of November and still acquires religious tint. Families get together and pay tribute to their dead members (in certain ways, The Day of the Dead reminds me of the Dead Memorial Week that Orthodox Eastern Rite Christians have after Easter).  However, Latin Americans also wear death-themed costumes of witches, mummies, ghosts, etc. and take part in the street parades.

While thinking whether it is worth celebrating All Saints Eve, I came across an article written by someone called Alan Rudnik—a pastor at the Baptist church in the United States, who is currently earning a Doctor of Divinity degree, entitled “Seven Reasons Why a Christian Can Celebrate Halloween”.  I advise reading it to those who are still on the fence about Halloween celebrations, who are afraid the Lord will punish them for “flirting with death”. Here is a link to the article: 

http://www.alanrudnick.org/2010/10/28/7-reasons-why-christians-should-celebrate-halloween

To summarize all thoughts, I am planning on introducing my profoundly religious friends with pro-Halloween reasons to celebrate. 

After all, how often do we, adults, have the opportunity to imagine ourselves as some mythological characters or superheroes accompanying our “monstrous sweethearts” on a quiet evening chocolate hunt? Have to run! School Halloween parade is about to start!