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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Thank you, El Niño

Here I am November 14th +6*C, (43*F) and I am still wearing shorts and sandals...
November 14th 2015
November 14th 2015

Was -25*C, (-13*F) last year

Friday, November 13, 2015

Ellen vs Starbucks Holiday Cups

Leave it to Ellen DeGeneres to cleverly make fun of the controversy that has been brewing ever since Starbucks introduced its new minimalistic red holiday cups.

Starbucks is under fire from some Christians who say the designs lack the Christmas spirit such earlier versions that featured such things as snowflakes, snowmen and holiday trees.

‘Look at this cup,’ DeGeneres said this week. ‘You might as well call it a Satan sipper’

She added: ‘Now this holiday season if you want Christmas with your breakfast you are going to have to do it the old fashioned way. You have to get really, really high and then you have to go to iHop and just stare at your pancakes and go, “I see baby Jesus in there.”‘

For those who want to stick with Starbucks, DeGeneres suggests wearing a pair of ‘Starbucks holiday vision glasses’ so that ‘you see Christmas everywhere you look. … Don’t wear them when you’re driving but if you do, let Jesus take the wheel.’

The 411 - Friday The 13th

Friday The 13thA Friday occurring on the 13th day of any month is considered to be a day of bad luck in English, German, Polish and Portuguese-speaking cultures around the globe. Similar superstitions exist in some other traditions. In Greece or Spain, for example, Tuesday the 13th takes the same role. The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia (a word that is derived from the concatenation of the Greek words Παρασκευή, δεκατρείς, and φοβία, meaning Friday, thirteen, and phobia respectively; alternate spellings include:

paraskevodekatriaphobia or
paraskevidekatriaphobia or
friggatriskaidekaphobia, and is a specialized form of triskaidekaphobia, a phobia (fear) of the number thirteen.

Before the 19th century, though the number 13 was considered unlucky, and Friday was considered unlucky, there was no link between them. The first documented mention of a "Friday the 13th" is generally listed as occurring in the early 1900s.

However, documentation aside, many popular stories exist about the origin of the concept:

The Last Supper, with stories that Judas was the thirteenth guest, and that the Crucifixion of Jesus occurred Friday.
That the biblical Eve offered the fruit to Adam on a Friday, and that the slaying of Abel happened on a Friday (though the Bible does not identify the days of the week when these events occurred).
That it started on Friday, October 13, 1307, the date that many Knights Templar were simultaneously arrested in France, by agents of King Philip IV.
However, historically, there is no true date that the Friday the 13th superstition can be linked to.

In the case of Greece, Tuesday, April 13, 1204 was the date that Constantinople was Friday The 13thsacked by the crusaders of the fourth crusade. The first ever fall of the then richest Christian city, and the looting that followed, allegedly gave Tuesday 13 its bad meaning. Ironically enough, Constantinople fell for the second time in its history on Tuesday, May 29, 1453, to the Ottoman Turks, a date that puts an end to the Byzantine empire, and to Greek sovereignty for several centuries, and therefore reinforcing Tuesday as an unlucky day in the Greek world.

Many modern stories (including The Da Vinci Code) claim that when King Philip IV had many Templars simultaneously arrested on October 13, 1307, that started the legend of the unlucky Friday the 13th. However, closer examination shows that though the number 13 was indeed considered historically unlucky, the actual association of Friday and 13 seems to be an invention from the early 1900s.

"It's been estimated that [U.S] $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day because people will not fly or do business they would normally do."
Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they are simply unable to get out of bed when Friday the 13th rolls around. The Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute estimates that more than 17 million people are affected by a fear of this day. Despite that, representatives for both Delta and Continental Airlines say that their airlines don't suffer from any noticeable drop in travel on those Fridays.

A British Medical Journal study has shown that there is a significant increase in traffic related accidents on Friday the 13ths.

The date is well-known in the motorcycle (biker) community: Since 1981, motorcycle enthusiasts and vendors gather every Friday the 13th in Port Dover, Ontario, Canada. This tradition started on November 13, 1981 by Chris Simons as a gathering of approximately 25 friends. The event has grown substantially, with an estimated 100,000 people attending in August 2004, as well as music bands, vendors, a bike show, etc.

In the Spanish-speaking world, it is Tuesday the 13th the day that supposedly brings bad luck; a proverb runs En martes, ni te cases ni te embarques, ni de tu familia te apartes. (On Tuesday, neither get married nor start a journey, or separate yourself from your family.)

All months whose first day falls on a Sunday will contain a Friday the 13th.

Every year has at least one and at most three Fridays the 13th, with 48 occurences in 28 years an average of 1.7 times per year.

The Gregorian Calendar 400-year cycle contains a whole number (20,871) of weeks and 146,097 days, but the number of months (4800) is not divisible by seven. Along with the 146,000 days, (400 x 365 days), there are ninety-seven February 29s and Leap Year Days. The easiest way to explain how and why the Gregorian Calendar rotates during any 400-year cycle is that there are 365 days every year. Ninety-seven of the 400 years are Leap Years and contain a February 29; in them, there are 366 days. Years with 365 days have 52 weeks, with one additional day; years with 366 days have 52 weeks, with two additional days. Just add the additional days, after the fifty-two weeks, during all 400 years. The 97 Leap Years double to 194. Then add the other 303, and the overall total is 497. 97 plus 97 plus 303 equals 497. 497 days equals seventy-one weeks. Add the fifty-two weeks, in the four-hundred-year system of the Gregorian Calendar, (other than the 497 additional days), and there are 145,600 days, equalling 20,800 weeks. 145,600 days plus 497 days equals 146,097 days, which equals the 20,871 weeks and 146,097 days, listed above. Because of this, no chosen day of the month up to the 28th can occur the same number of times on each day of the week. The 13th day of the month is slightly more likely to be on a Friday than on any other day of the week

* Black Sabbath's self-titled debut album was released in the UK on Friday, February 13, 1970.
* Novelist Daniel Handler, also known as Lemony Snicket, released the 13th book of the Series of Unfortunate Events on Friday, October 13, 2006.
* January 13, 2006, and October 13, 2006, were not only Fridays, but the digits in the month, day, and year of each date add up to 13. This last occurred on October 13, 1520, and will next occur on May 13, 2011.
* There is an almost uncanny occurrence (at least in recent years) of the full moon falling on or very close to a Friday the 13th. July 13th, 1984, February 13th, 1987, March 13th, 1998, October 13th, 2000 were all full moons. June 13th, 2003 and January 13th, 2006 were the days before a full moon, and June 13th, 2014 and January 13th, 2017 occur slightly after the full moon. Friday, September 13th, 2019 will be the next year to contain a full moon on a Friday the 13th.[11]
* The asteroid 99942 Apophis will make its close encounter on Friday, April 13, 2029.
* The Harry Potter Movie: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix will be released on Friday, July 13, 2007.
* Hurricane Charley made landfall in Florida on Friday, August 13, 2004

Notable births on Friday the 13th

Georges Simenon - February 13, 1903
Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen - January 13, 1911
Margaret Thatcher - October 13, 1925
Fidel Castro - August 13, 1926
T. J. Cloutier - October 13, 1939
Zoë Wanamaker - May 13, 1949
Peter Davison - April 13, 1951
Max Weinberg - April 13, 1951
Steve Buscemi - December 13, 1957
Julia Louis-Dreyfus - January 13, 1961
Will Clark - March 13, 1964
Tim Story - March 13, 1970
Michelle Sara Cox - December 13, 1974
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen - June 13, 1986
Marco Andretti - March 13, 1987 *From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Today is Friday the 13th!

Today is Friday the 13th!
Bring it on!! The Wizard of 'OZ' is no Triskaidekaphobic!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Weird but funny

Travolta Snow
Starbuck's Holiday Cups
Upon closer inspection, I kinda get why Christians are upset about the new Starbucks holiday cups
Formal picture of C-3PO
why KFC is finger licking good!
Mini Me

Saturday, November 07, 2015

The Love Doctor Presents: How sexy is your name?

According to studies, the first letter of your first name reveals your sexual identity ... What do you think?

You are not particularly romantic, but you are interested in action. You mean business. With you, what you see is what you get. You have no patience for flirting and can't be bothered with someone who is trying to be coy, cute, demure, and subtly enticing. You are an up front person. When it comes to sex, it's action that counts not obscure hints. Your mate's physical attractiveness is important to you. You find the chase and challenge of the "hunt" invigorating. You are passionate and sexual as well as being much more adventurous than you appear; however, you do not go around advertising these qualities. Your physical needs are your primary concern.

You give off vibes of lazy sensuality. You enjoy being romanced, wined, and dined. You are very happy to receive gifts as an expression of the affection of your lover. You want to be pampered and know how to pamper your mate. You are private in your expression of endearments and particularly when it comes to lovemaking. You will hold off until everything meets with your approval. You can control your appetite and abstain from sex if need be . You require new sensations and experiences. You are willing to experiment.

You are a very social individual, and it is important to you to have a relationship. You require closeness and togetherness. You must be able to talk to your sex partner before, during, and after. You want the object of your affection to be socially acceptable and good looking. You see your lover as a friend and companion. You are very sexual and sensual,needing someone to appreciate and almost worship you. When this cannot be achieved, you have the ability to go for long periods without sexual activity. You are an expert at controlling your desires and doing without.

Once you get it into your head that you want someone, you move full steam ahead in pursuit. You do not give up your quest easily. You are nurturing and caring. If someone has a problem, this turns you on. You are highly sexual, passionate, loyal, and intense in your involvement, sometimes possessive and jealous. Sex to you is a pleasure to be enjoyed. You are stimulated by the eccentric and unusual, being free and open.

Your greatest need is to talk. If your date is not a good listener, you have trouble relating. A person must be intellectually stimulating or you are not interested sexually. You need a friend for a lover and a companion for a bedmate. You hate disharmony and disruption, but you do enjoy a good argument once in a while it seems to stir things up. You flirt a lot, for the challenge is more important than the sexual act for you, but once you give your heart away, you are uncompromisingly loyal. When you don't have a good lover to fall asleep with, you will fall asleep with a good book. (Sometimes, in fact, you prefer a good look.)

You are idealistic and romantic, putting your lover on a pedestal. You look for the very best mate you can find. You are a flirt,yet once committed, you are very loyal. You are sensuous,sexual,and privately passionate. Publicly, you can be showy, extravagant, and gallant. You are born romantic. Dramatic lve scenes are your favorite fantasy pastime. You can be a very generous lover.

You are crap in bed! ( Remember....I didn't write this!!!! LOL)

You seek a mate who can enhance your reputation and earning ability. You will be very generous to your lover once you have attained a commitment. Your gifts are actually an investment in your partner. Before the commitment, though, you tend to be frugal in your spending and dating habits and equally cautious in your sexual involvement. You are a sensual and patient lover.

You have a great need to be loved,appreciated...Even worshipped.You enjoy luxury, sensuality, and pleasures of the flesh.You look for lovers who know what they are doing. You are not interested in an amateur, unless that amateur wants a tutor. You are fussy and exacting about having your desires satisfied. You are willing to experiment and try new modes of sexual expression.You bore easily and thus require sexual adventure and change. You are more sensual than sexual,but you are sometimes downright lustful.

You are totally fu*king marvelous!

You can be very romantic, attached to the glamour of love. Having a partner is of paramount importance to you. You are free in your expression of love and are willing to take chances, try new sexual experiences and partners, provided it's all in good taste.Brains turn you on. You must feel that your partner is intellectually stimulating, otherwise you will find it difficult to sustain the relationship. You require loving,cuddling, wining,and dining to know that you're being appreciated.

You are very romantic, idealistic, andsomehow you believe that to love means to suffer. You wind up serving your mate or attracting people who have unusual troubles. You see yourself as your lover's savior. You are sincere, passionate, lustful, and dreamy. You can't help falling in love. You really enjoy stimulating yourself, though you are fairly new to it. You fantasize and get turned on by movies and magazines. You do not tell others of this secret life, nor of your sexual fantasies.

You are emotional and intense. When involved in a relationship, you throw your entire being into it. Nothing stops you; there are no holds barred. You are all consuming and crave someone who is equally passionate and intense. You are willing to try anything and everything. Your supply of sexual energy is inexhaustible. You are very social and sensual; you enjoy flirting and also enjoy mothering your mate.

You need constant stimulation because you bore quickly. You can handle more than one relationship at a time with ease. You believe in total sexual freedom. You are willing to try anything and everything. Your supply of sexual energy is inexhaustible.You are a flirt,yet once committed, you are very loyal. You are sensuous, sexual,and privately passionate. Publicly, you can be showy, extravagant, and gallant. You are born romantic. Dramatic love scenes are your favorite fantasy pastime. You can be a very generous lover.

You are very interested in sexual activities yet secretive and shy about your desires. You can re-channel much of your sexual energy into making money and/or seeking power. You can easily have extended periods of celibacy. You are a passionate, compassionate, sexual lover, requiring the same qualities from your mate. Sex is serious business; thus you demand intensity and diversity, and are willing to try anything or anyone. Sometimes your passions turn to possessiveness, which must be kept in check.

You are very conscious of social proprieties. You wouldn't think of doing anything that might harm your image or reputation. Appearances count, therefore, you require a good-looking partner.You also require an intelligent partner. Oddly enough, you may view your partner as your enemy; A good fight stimulates those sex vibes. You are relatively free of sexual hang-ups. You are willing to experiment and try new ways of doing things. You are very social and sensual; you enjoy flirting and need a good deal of physical gratification.

You require constant activity and stimulation. You have tremendous physical energy. It is not easy for a partner to keep up with you, sexually or otherwise. You are an enthusiastic lover and tend to be attracted to peo ple of other ethnic groups. You need romance, hearts and flowers, and lots of conversation to turn you on and keep you going.

You are a no-nonsense, action-oriented individual. You need someone who can keep pace with you and who is your intellectual equal the smarter the better. You are turned on more quickly by a great mind than by a great body. However, physical attractiveness is very important to you. You have to be proud of your partner. You are privately very sexy, but you do not brag, you are willing to serve as teacher. Sex is important; you can be a very demanding playmate.

You are secretive, self-contained, and shy. You are very sexy, sensual, and passionate, but you do not let on to this.Only in intimate privacy will this part of your nature reveal itself. When it gets down to the nitty-gritty, you are an expert. You know all the little tricks of the trade, can play any role or any game, and take your love life very seriously. You don't fool around. You have the patience to wait for the right person to come along.

You are very sensitive, private, and sexually passive; you like a partner who takes the lead. Music, soft lights and romantic thoughts turn you on. You fantasize, but do not tend to fall in and out of love easily. When in love, you are romantic, idealistic, mushy, and extremely intense. You enjoy having your senses and your feelings stimulated, titillated, and teased. You are a great flirt. You can make your relationships fit your dreams, oftentimes all in your own head.

You are enthusiastic and idealistic when in love. When not in love, you are in love with love, always looking for someone to adore. You see romance as a challenge. You are a roamer and need adventure, excitement, and freedom. You deal in potential relationships. You enjoy giving gifts and enjoy seeing your mate looking good. Your sex drive is strong and you desire instant ratification. You are willing to put your partner's pleasures above your own.

You are individualistic, and you need freedom, space, and excitement. You wait until you know someone well before committing yourself. Knowing someone means psyching him out. You feel a need to get into his head to see what makes him tick. You are attracted to encentric types. Often there is an age difference between you and your lover. You respond to danger, thrills, and suspense. The gay scene turns you on, even though you yourself may not be a participant.

You are very proud, determined, and you refuse to take no for an answer when pursuing love. Your ego is at stake. You are romantic, idealistic, and often in love with love itself, not seeing your partner as he or she really is. You feel deeply and throw all of yourself into your relationships. Nothing is too good for your lover. You enjoy playing love games.

You need constant stimulation because you bore quickly. You can handle more than one relationship at a time with ease. You can't shut off your mind. You talk while you make love. You can have the greatest love affairs,all by yourself, in your own head.

You are sexual, sensual, and very independent. If you can't have it your way, you will forgot the whole thing. You want to control your relationships, which doesn't always work out too well. You respond to physical stimulation, enjoy necking and spending hours just touching, feeling and exploring. However, if you can spend your time making money, you will give up the pleasures of the flesh for the moment. You need to prove to yourself and your partner what a great lover you are. You want feedback on your performance. You are an open, stimulating and romantic.

Sorry, there was no "Z" in this post. Catching "Z's" no doubt

Let's Call BullS#!T

click on either picure to visit Let's Call BullS#!T.com

Sunday, November 01, 2015

This is Me in November!

I am a TRUE Canadian! Temperature +1*C (33.8 F for my American friends)
Flip Flops in November!!!
Flip Flops in November!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The 411 - Hallowe'en

Halloween or Hallowe'en (/ˌhæləˈwin, -oʊˈin, ˌhɒl-/; a contraction of "All Hallows' Evening") also known as All Hallows' Eve is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows (or All Saints) and the day initiating the triduum of Hallowmas, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers.

 According to many scholars, All Hallows' Eve is a Christianized feast initially influenced by Celtic harvest festivals, and festivals of the dead with possible pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic Samhain. Other scholars maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and has solely Christian roots.

Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (also known as "guising"), attending costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.

 The word Halloween or Hallowe'en dates to about 1745 and is of Christian origin. The word "Halloween" means "hallowed evening" or "holy evening". It comes from a Scottish term for All Hallows' Eve (the evening before All Hallows' Day). In Scots, the word "eve" is even, and this is contracted to e'en or een. Over time, (All) Hallow(s) E(v)en evolved into Halloween. Although the phrase "All Hallows'" is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mæssedæg, mass-day of all saints), "All Hallows' Eve" is itself not seen until 1556.

Today's Halloween customs are thought to have been influenced by folk customs and beliefs from the Celtic-speaking countries, some of which have pagan roots, and others which may be rooted in Celtic Christianity. Indeed, Jack Santino, an academic folklorist, writes that "the sacred and the religious are a fundamental context for understanding Halloween in Northern Ireland, but there as throughout Ireland an uneasy truce exists between customs and beliefs associated with Christianity and those associated with religions that were Irish before Christianity arrived." Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of
Halloween in Bangledesh
Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain", which comes from the Old Irish for "summer's end". Samhain (pronounced sah-win or sow-in) was the first and most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Gaelic calendar and was celebrated in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. It was held on or about October 31 – November 1 and kindred festivals were held at the same time of year by the Brittonic Celts; for example Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall) and Kalan Goañv (in Brittany). Samhain and Calan Gaeaf are mentioned in some of the earliest Irish and Welsh literature. The names have been used by historians to refer to Celtic Halloween customs up until the 19th century, and are still the Gaelic and Welsh names for Halloween.

Samhain/Calan Gaeaf marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the 'darker half' of the year. Like Beltane/Calan Mai, it was seen as a time when the spirits or fairies (the Sí) could more easily come into our world and were particularly active. The souls of the dead were also said to revisit their homes. Feasts were had, at which the souls of dead kin were beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them. However, the spirits or fairies could also cause harm, and needed to be propitiated or warded-off. This is thought to have influenced today's Halloween customs. Bonfires, which were deemed to have protective and cleansing powers, were lit and sometimes used in divination rituals. At the household festivities in these areas, there were many rituals intended to divine the future of those gathered, especially with regard to death and marriage. Christian minister Eddie J. Smith has suggested that the bonfires have a later Christian origin and were used to scare witches of their awaiting punishment in hell.

In modern Ireland, Scotland, Mann and Wales, Halloween was celebrated by mumming and guising, the latter of which goes back at least as far as the 18th century. This involved people going from house to house in costume (or in disguise) reciting songs in exchange for food. It may have come from the Christian custom of souling (see below) or it may have an ancient Celtic origin, with the costumes being a means of imitating, or disguising oneself from, the spirits/fairies. In some places, young people dressed as the opposite gender. In parts of Wales, men went about dressed as fearsome beings called gwrachod. In parts of southern Ireland, the guisers included a hobby horse – a man dressed as a Láir Bhán (white mare) would lead youths house-to-house collecting food; by giving them food, the household could expect good fortune from the 'Muck Olla'. Elsewhere in Europe, mumming and hobby horses were a part of other festivals. However, they may have been "particularly appropriate to a night upon which supernatural beings were said to be abroad and could be imitated or warded off by human wanderers". When "imitating malignant spirits it was a very short step from guising to playing pranks". The guisers commonly played pranks in Ireland and the Scottish Highlands, and this practice spread to England in the 20th century.

The "traditional illumination for guisers or pranksters abroad on the night in some places was provided by turnips or mangel wurzels, hollowed out to act as lanterns and often carved with grotesque faces to represent spirits or goblins". These were common in parts of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands in 19th century. They were also found in Somerset. In the 20th century they spread to other parts of England and became generally known as jack-o'-lanterns.

Today's Halloween customs are also thought to have been influenced by Christian dogma and practices derived from it. Halloween falls on the evening before the Christian holy days of All Hallows' Day (also known as All Saints', Hallowmas or Hallowtide) on November 1 and All Souls' Day on November 2, thus giving the holiday on October 31 the full name of All Hallows' Eve. These three days are collectively referred to as Hallowmas and are a time for honoring the saints and praying for the recently departed souls who have yet to reach Heaven. All Saints was introduced in the year 609, but was originally celebrated on May 13. In 835, it was switched to November 1 (the same date as Samhain) at the behest of Pope Gregory IV, on the "practical grounds that Rome in summer could not accommodate the great number of pilgrims who flocked to it", and perhaps because of public health considerations regarding Roman Fever, a disease that claimed a number of lives during the sultry summers of the region. Some have suggested this was due to Celtic influence, while others suggest it was a Germanic idea.

By the end of the 12th century they had become holy days of obligation across Europe and involved such traditions as ringing church bells for the souls in purgatory. In addition, "it was customary for criers dressed in black to parade the streets, ringing a bell of mournful sound and calling on all good Christians to remember the poor souls." "Souling", the custom of baking and sharing soul cakes for all christened souls, has been suggested as the origin of trick-or-treating. The custom was found in parts of England and dates back at least as far as the 15th century. Groups of poor people, often children, would go door-to-door during Hallowmas, collecting soul cakes, originally as a means of praying for souls in purgatory. Similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy. Shakespeare mentions the practice in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1593), when Speed accuses his master of "puling [whimpering or whining] like a beggar at Hallowmas." The custom of wearing costumes has been explicated by Prince Sorie Conteh, who wrote: "It was traditionally believed that the souls of the departed wandered the earth until All Saints' Day, and All Hallows' Eve provided one last chance for the dead to gain vengeance on their enemies before moving to the next world. In order to avoid being recognised by any soul that might be seeking such vengeance, people would don masks or costumes to disguise their identities". Imagery of the skull, a reference to Golgotha, in the Christian tradition, serves as "a reminder of death and the transitory quality of human life" and is consequently found in memento mori and vanitas compositions; skulls have therefore been commonplace in Halloween, which touches on this theme.

All Hallows Eve at an Episcopalian Church
Traditionally, the back walls of churches are "decorated with a depiction of the Last Judgment, complete with graves opening and the dead rising, with a heaven filled with angels and a hell filled with devils," a motif that has permeated the observance of this triduum. Academic folklorist Kingsley Palmer, in addition to others, has suggested that the carved jack-o'-lantern, a popular symbol of Halloween, originally represented the souls of the dead. On Halloween, in medieval Europe, "fires [were] lit to guide these souls on their way and deflect them from haunting honest Christian folk." In addition, households in Austria, England, Ireland often had "candles burning in every room to guide the souls back to visit their earthly homes". These were known as “soul lights”

In parts of Britain, these customs came under attack during the Reformation as some Protestants berated purgatory as a "popish" doctrine incompatible with the notion of predestination. Thus, for some Nonconformist Protestants, the theology of All Hallows’ Eve was redefined; without the doctrine of purgatory, "the returning souls cannot be journeying from Purgatory on their way to Heaven, as Catholics frequently believe and assert. Instead, the so-called ghosts are thought to be in actuality evil spirits. As such they are threatening." Other Protestants maintained belief in an intermediate state, known as Hades (Bosom of Abraham), and continued to observe the original customs, especially candlelit processions and the ringing of church bells in memory of the dead. With regard to the evil spirits, on Halloween, "barns and homes were blessed to protect people and livestock from the effect of witches, who were believed to accompany the malignant spirits as they traveled the earth." In the 19th century, in parts of England, Christian families gathered on hills on the night of All Hallows' Eve. One held a bunch of burning straw on a pitchfork while the rest knelt around him in a circle, praying for the souls of relatives and friends until the flames went out. This was known as teen'lay, derived either from the Old English tendan (meaning to kindle) or a word related to Old Irish tenlach (meaning hearth). The rising popularity of Guy Fawkes Night (5 November) from 1605 onward, saw many Halloween traditions appropriated by that holiday instead, and Halloween's popularity waned in Britain, with the noteworthy exception of Scotland. There and in Ireland, they had been celebrating Samhain and Halloween since at least the early Middle Ages, and the Scottish kirk took a more pragmatic approach to Halloween, seeing it as important to the life cycle and rites of passage of communities and thus ensuring its survival in the country. In France, Christians, on the night of All Hallows' Eve, prayed beside the graves of their loved ones, setting down dishes full of milk for them. On Halloween, in Italy, families left a large meal out for ghosts of their passed relatives, before they departed for church services. In Spain, women, on this night, made special pastries known as “bones of the holy” (Spanish: Huesos de Santo) and put them on the graves of the churchyard, a practice that continues to this day.

North American almanacs of the late 18th and early 19th century give no indication that Halloween was celebrated there. The Puritans of New England, for example, maintained strong opposition to Halloween, and it was not until the mass Irish and Scottish immigration during the 19th century that it was brought to North America in earnest. Confined to the immigrant communities during the mid-19th century, it was gradually assimilated into mainstream society and by the first decade of the 20th century it was being celebrated coast to coast by people of all social, racial and religious backgrounds.

Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. Children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy or sometimes money, with the question, "Trick or treat?" The word "trick" refers to "threat" to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. The practice is said to have roots in the medieval practice of mumming, which is closely related to souling (discussed above). John Pymm writes that "many of the feast days associated with the presentation of mumming plays were celebrated by the Christian Church." These feast days included All Hallows' Eve, Christmas, Twelfth Night and Shrove Tuesday. Mumming, practised in Germany, Scandinavia and other parts of Europe, involved masked persons in fancy dress who "paraded the streets and entered houses to dance or play dice in silence." Their "basic narrative framework is the story of St. George and the Seven Champions of Christendom."

In Scotland and Ireland, guising – children disguised in costume going from door to door for food or coins – is a traditional Halloween custom, and is recorded in Scotland at Halloween in 1895 where masqueraders in disguise carrying lanterns made out of scooped out turnips, visit homes to be rewarded with cakes, fruit and money. The practice of Guising at Halloween in North America is first recorded in 1911, where a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario reported children going "guising" around the neighborhood.

American historian and author Ruth Edna Kelley of Massachusetts wrote the first book length history of Halloween in the US; The Book of Hallowe'en (1919), and references souling in the chapter "Hallowe'en in America":

The taste in Hallowe'en festivities now is to study old traditions, and hold a Scotch party, using Burn's poem Hallowe'en as a guide; or to go a-souling as the English used. In short, no custom that was once honored at Hallowe'en is out of fashion now.

*From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia