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| RV Days, Issue #018– Four H’s at Your RV Lifestyle|
October 11, 2007
|Here is this month’s issue of RV Days, where we focus on everyday living and having fun on the journey.|
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Issue 18 of RV Days is Now Available
Three out of Four:
Well, we had been feeling like we were stuck in summer. Temps in the 80’s and high humidity have now given way to cooler and more typical fall weather. Regardless of the temperature, the mood is one of autumn. The trees are changing and crunchy leaves are underfoot. We are surrounded by farmlands with the remnants of cornstalks. A few weeks ago, the corn was high and green. Gourds and pumpkins abound at roadside stands, in the festive decor of local shops and adorning the sites of our RVer neighbors.
We are very near to “Chocolate Town” at the Hershey Thousand Trails preserve. We’ve taken in the Kisses at Chocolate World and on the lamp posts downtown, and seen some of the other local attractions.
We are very glad we took the time to visit the historic Gettysburg battlefield. This is one of those places where we felt it was worth the money to pay for a tour guide. And Hike enjoyed seeing the cannons and monuments. More here.
And we took off on the motorcycle to tour around the Amish country, visiting shops filled with quality handiwork and sampling delectable foods. We also toured the Harley-Davidson Plant in York, PA. Quite an assortment of things to do in this area. And a great time of year to be here.
History, Harleys and Hershey…
And for the fourth “H”? As you might have guessed, the fourth is Halloween. A good excuse to buy candy (even though trick-or-treaters are usually scarce at RV parks), and a holiday with some interesting traditions.
For one thing, why orange and black? The explanation probably has to do with how the whole thing started. The origins of Halloween are typically traced back to the Celtic celebration of Samhain (pronounced Sah-ween), marking the close of the harvest and the start of the Celtic new year. The time of Samhain was the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death (hence black).
The Druid priests of the Celts believed that all laws of space and time were suspended during the time of Samhain, allowing the spirit world to intermingle with the living. Some accounts of Samhain state that dead friends and relatives would return, with their souls inhabiting an animal (often a black cat, still a symbol of Halloween today).
Another cited practice is the dressing in costume as protective disguise against evil spirits. It is also thought that Celts would go from door to door to collect food as offerings to their deities – perhaps a very early origin for present day “trick or treating”.
Later, with the conquest of Celtic territory by the Romans, two festivals of Roman origin were merged with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain. The first was Feralia, a day commemorating the passing of the dead.
The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees, often depicted with her horn of plenty. The color orange is associated with the harvest, which was celebrated by both the Celtic and Roman people.
The tradition of apple bobbing, like most Halloween customs, has been traced to multiple origins. It is interesting to note that the symbol of Pomona was the apple, there are tales of a magic apple in the Celtic otherworld, and the apple has been associated with harvest celebrations in many cultures.
Another orange-colored tradition comes from America’s harvest of the pumpkin. The original jack-o-lanterns were potatoes or turnips carved by Irish children to light Halloween gatherings. The story goes that Jack was a ne’er-do-well Irishman, unwanted in heaven and rejected by the Devil. So he wandered endlessly looking for a place to rest, with only a candle in a rotten potato to light his way. As the Irish immigrated to America, the plentiful pumpkin emerged as a likely and attractive alternative to the potato or turnip.
Within the Catholic Church, All Saints’ Day was created by Pope Boniface IV in the 7th century, to recognize the saints who were without their own day, and to celebrate saints that the Church had failed to recognize. It originally was held on May 13, but was later changed to November 1, considered to be an attempt to substitute for the Pagan celebrations of Samhain.
All Saints’ Day was also known as All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day). The night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.
All Souls’ Day on November 2nd is a Roman Catholic day of remembrance for friends and loved ones who have who have passed away. In Mexico, celebrations of “Los Dias de los Muertos” (The Days of the Dead) coincide with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. It is a time for both remembrance and rejoicing. Local customs and traditions include the preparation of special foods and festivities such as parades of ghouls and skeletons.
However it all got started, make your Halloween fun! If you happen to be traveling in your RV, here are some ideas for an RV Halloween.
Winterize or Winter Sales:
Maybe for you, this time of year means winterizing the RV. Perhaps you start thinking about buying a new rig…or at least checking out the winter RV shows and sales. Or maybe, like us, part of your winter travels include taking care of needed RV service.
Whatever the case, here are some tips that could save you time and/or money:
RVing with the Stars:
The “stars” are all of us. Special people who can thank our “lucky stars” that we found RVing. As RVers, we really do have some fantastic experiences. We get to visit awesome, quaint and/or unique places in the country, do things that many other people never experience. Many of us love to explore and find new sights to see. Many have found favorite locations, campgrounds or things to do. So share your adventures — help out the next RVer looking for ideas! A funny story, some special places to see, the best RV park you’ve found – we would love to hear about your “Best RV Stuff”.
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Until next time, hoping you Put a Smile in Every Mile!
Jose and Jill
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