Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween Legend




Sleepy Hallow’s

 Headless Horseman



There are some legends that live on forever and none are more embedded into culture at this time of year than the Legend of Sleepy Hallow. This European folktale about a Headless Horseman and school teacher Ichabod Crane’s journey to win the heart of local beauty has found a home here, becoming one of the most popular stories of all time.

This story takes place in the town of Sleepy Hallow, New York. Ichabod relocated to this region and quickly learned about the ghost of a headless horsemen, a Hessian soldier who searches for the head he lost during battle in the Revolutionary war.

Ichabod, infatuated with Sleepy Hollow’s Katrina Van Tassel, quickly made it his mission to win her hand in marriage. However, wooing her was not as easy as it seems, because she had captured the attention of many men, including Brom, the village muscle man who scared off many of her suitors with his strength and boisterous pranks.

Legend has it that one night Ichabod rode away from Katrina’s home one night feeling despondent. After he passed a haunted tree he saw a figure behind him riding a horse. He did not see the rider’s head, so he grew afraid. It was rumored that the rider hurled his detached head at the school teacher. The next day Ichabod’s horse returned to the farm owner where Ichabod had been staying, but Ichabod was nowhere in sight. In fact, Ichabod was never seen or heard from again after that fateful night.

Some say the Headless Horseman chased Ichabod away. Others say it was the strong man who wanted Katrina all to himself. What do you think?  
To learn more about folklore, click here.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Spice Lore


Curry


Curry was adopted from the Tamil word kari meaning 'sauce', which is usually understood to mean vegetables or meat cooked with spices with or without a gravy. According to this theory, kari was first discovered in the mid-17th century by members of the British East India trading with Tamil (Indian) merchants along the Coromandel Coast of Southeast India.

One curry legend has it that a 19th century British attempt to create a curry spice mix resulted in the invention of Worcestershire sauce. It is believed that this spice became popular in Britain because of the large number of British civil servants and military personnel associated with the British rule of the Indian subcontinent. Following World War II, it became even more common there and in America as a result of an influx of South Asian immigrants.
5 Fun Facts About Curry:
1. The word curry comes from a Tamil word kari or karil, meaning spices or sauteed vegetables.
2. The meaning changed when Portuguese traders used it for the sauces with which rice was served.
3. The first curry recipe in English appeared in Hannah Glasse’s The Art Of Cookery in 1747.
4. The British acquired Bombay in 1661 and Calcutta in 1690 opening the spice trade to a much wider market.
5. The earliest known curry was made in Mesopotamia in around 1700BC.

 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Halloween




Halloween Folk Customs

Halloween hasn’t always been about costumes and Trick-or-Treating. Its history stretches far into the past where it was both a way to honor the spirits and souls of those who no longer lived. Here are examples of how it is celebrated in different countries:


Austria
Austria has Halloween traditions that are more rooted in spiritual overtones. It is common for people to leave bread near a lighted lamp to welcome the dead souls back to earth.
Belgium
Superstitions abound. Crossing the path of a black cat or traveling by ship at this time will lead to bad luck for the foreseeable future. Many light candles of remembrance for loved who that have passed on.
Canada
Modern Halloween traditions began in the 1800s and are similar to those celebrated in the United States: carving pumpkins, fall festivals and trick or treating.
China
There is a popular Halloween festival in China called Teng Chieh. Food, water and photographs of loved ones who have died are placed on altars. These death shrines help souls find their way back to earth at this time.  
Czechoslovakia
In this country chairs are used to signify those that have passed on. They are placed near fire where the living sit in them and welcome the spirits that visit on Halloween night.
England
In the past, children would carve pumpkins into designs of their choice and went out onto the streets with their lit pumpkins. Many also went door to door asking for money. Today candy has replaced the money.
To learn more about the history of Halloween click here.  Want vampires?