Wednesday, 10 October 2018
Friday, 8 December 2017
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What is Halloween?Well, Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of All Hallows' Evening), also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve, is a spooky celebration observed every year in a number of countries on October 31 - the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day, also known as All Saints' Day. In 2017, Halloween falls on a Tuesday.
The Americanised (Americanized?) Halloween that we experience today actually originated in the Celtic fringes of Britain, and was adapted over the decades by Christian traditions, immigrants' conventions and an insatiable desire for sweets. http://hulumagazine.com
What has Halloween got to do with dressing up?Celts dressed up in white with blackened faces during the festival of Samhain to trick the evil spirits that they believed would be roaming the earth before All Saints' Day on November 1st. By the 11th century, this had been adapted by the Church into a tradition called 'souling', which is seen as being the origin of trick-or-treating. Children go door-to-door, asking for soul cakes in exchange for praying for the souls of friends and relatives. They went dressed up as angels, demons or saints. The soul cakes were sweet, with a cross marked on top and when eaten they represented a soul being freed from purgatory.
Halloween trick-or-treatingThe phrase trick-or-treat was first used in America in 1927, with the traditions brought over to America by immigrants. Guising gave way to threatening pranks in exchange for sweets. After a brief lull during the sugar rations in World War Two, Halloween became a widespread holiday that revolved around children, with newly built suburbs providing a safe place for children to roam free. Costumes became more adventurous - in Victorian ages, they were influenced by gothic themes in literature, and dressed as bats and ghosts or what seemed exotic, such as an Egyptian pharoah. Later, costumes became influenced by pop culture, and became more sexualised in the 1970s. Many of us have fallen victim to a scary Halloween prank, or even played the nasty trickster ourselves. From jumping out of bushes dressed as zombies or spooking people in their sleep as ghosts - the terrifying list of possibilities is endless.
Why do we carve pumpkins?The carving of pumpkins originates from the Samhain festival, when Gaels would carve turnips to ward off spirits and stop fairies from settling in houses.
Six peculiar Halloween traditionsIn Czech culture, chairs for deceased family members are placed by the fire on Halloween night alongside chairs for each living one. In Austria some people leave bread, water and a lighted lamp on the table before going to bed. It is believed that this will welcome dead souls back to Earth. Meanwhile in Germany, people hide their knives to make sure none of the returning spirits are harmed – or seek to harm them! Barnbrack, a fruitcake, is used as part of a fortune telling game in Ireland. Muslin-wrapped treats are baked inside. If a ring is found, it means that the person will soon be wed; a piece of straw means a prosperous year is on its way; a pea means the person will not marry that year; a stick means an unhappy marriage or dispute; a coin represents good fortune.
Thursday, 7 December 2017
Which Celeb Had the Best Year? ►► More Celebrity News ►► If you had to be stuck under the mistletoe with one celebrity, who would it be? We asked stars like Becky G, Fifth Harmony, Lucy Hale, Bridgit Mendler, Rita Ora and more who would be their dream smooch. For More Clevver Visit: Website: Like us on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter: Keep up with us on Instagram: Add us to your circles on Google+: Tweet Me:
Hong Kong, China - Mocking China's national anthem in this semi-autonomous territory will soon be punishable by three years imprisonment following new legislation drafted by Beijing.
While the law must still be finalised, football fans have made a stand at recent games where the anthem - March of the Volunteers - was played.
A number of Hong Kong people have booed, held banners, and chanted "We are Hong Kong" despite claims by China's adviser to the special autonomous region, Elsie Leung, that the law could be applied retroactively. http://hongkongeye.orgThe football pitch is an unlikely spot for a political match to go down, but in Hong Kong this is where opposition to the so called "anthem law" has been heard most fiercely. Student Kin Wa Chung was one of the attendees who booed and brought a "Hong Kong is not China" flag to recent matches. He explained through an interpreter that - following the ousting of four pro-democracy lawmakers in July - he felt like protest was the only way to speak out. "Since these people have been disqualified, we don't have a channel to raise our voice and express our views," he told Al Jazeera. Chung said the government doesn't hear the voice of the people, or listen to the reasons why the anthem was booed. He called this "a kind of oppression".
|Kin Wa Chung was one of the people booing at recent matches [Jeremy Smart/Al Jazeera]|
Outlawing boosUnder the governing "one country, two systems" formula, Hong Kong's legal system is separate from that of mainland China. The anthem legislation has already been approved by the National People's Congress and brought into effect on the mainland. But in Hong Kong, it must be locally drafted before it can be enacted as law and ultimately enforced. Initially agreeing with Leung's threat to backdate the legislation, Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam later clarified this was unlikely. Despite uncertainty around retroactive enforcement, the boos continue. Pro-establishment politician Holden Chow said while protesters and their message only make up a minority in Hong Kong, he considers the booing concerning. "Those sort of behaviours certainly show disrespect to the national anthem and also shows some sort of disrespect to our own country. I think that provoked many people – including myself," he told Al Jazeera from his office in the Legislative Council Complex. "These sort of incidents would trigger concern in the mainland, because from the central government's perspective, or even from a Chinese perspective, you wouldn't like to see that sort of thing happening. You don't want people to insult your own country."
|Pro-establishment politician Holden Chow says booing the anthem at football matches is disrespectful [Jeremy Smart/Al Jazeera]|
'Respect earned, not demanded'Claudia Mo is a pro-democracy politician who believes the legislation is purposefully forceful and at odds with Hong Kong's identity. The territory was under British rule from 1841 until 1997 when it was returned to China. "In the last 20 years, Hong Kong people have woken up to the fact that communism is really incongruous with the way we've been living in Hong Kong," Mo said. "To the Chinese, it's a huge loss of face: 'How dare the Hong Kong people, especially the young, display such a disrespect to the national anthem.' They want to make sure that if you're disobedient, you know the price to pay and that is they can put you in jail." While incarceration may be an effective scare tactic, Mo said this will not generate respect among those who want political change. "In English we say respect is something earned, not demanded. They think that once the law becomes law, everything will settle, and that's just idiotic on their part. And I don't think they are actually that idiotic. "They knew they couldn't win Hong Kong people back, especially the young, so they can only do it the harsh way. It's this parental attitude: 'I'm your mother, I'm your father. I'm the provider, so you better listen to what I have to say.'"
|Pro-democracy politician Claudia Mo said the proposed law is 'just idiotic on their part' [Jeremy Smart/Al Jazeera]|