Well it is the last Thursday in November and I find myself asking along with 85% of the world’s population (actual statistics) “Where did the year go?“. I also find myself thinking about things I am thankful for. I blame the amount of Americans I know for this thoughtful mood, since it is their Thanksgiving day. This year I decided to join in with my cousins from across the pond, and to do so I would have a traditional American Thanksgiving.
<PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT>
It turns out that if you try to order a batch of smallpox off the internet, to try to genetically modify the strain to wipe out a large racial group you get a visit by a bunch of men in black suits and mirrored shades, and a pat-down that makes the TSA look like a nervous schoolboy with his first above the clothes fumble.
Also, most races are slightly more streetwise these days, and you can not claim their country as your own with the cunning use of flags & the Winchester repeating rifle. Also the men in black will confiscate said Rifle when they leave
</PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT>
So this year due to the restraining orders, and the black vans, & choppers that seem to be just loitering in my vicinity, I have decided to just be thankful for some stuff. I therefore raise my cup of coffee to you dear readers, neh friends and am thankful of you. I am thankful for the internet shrinking the size of the world, and for good friends spread over it’s every shrinking surface. I’m thankful for good food & drink, Good films & Books. And Dear Constant Readers I’m thankful to you, and you, to him and her, but not You, and you know who you are, I’m not thankful to you, not since you did that thing to that cat…
Your meaning of “Have me for Dinner” is different to mine!
Each year, on 11 November, the country falls silent to commemorate our war dead. This ritual, and the ceremonies and symbols that accompany it, have become part of national life.
Remembrance started long before the guns of the Western Front fell silent with people marking the loss or absence of loved ones away at war. 100+ years later, the personal and political resonances of remembrance still stir strong emotions.
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
John McCrae (1872 – 1918)
Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot… But what of the man? I know his name was Guy Fawkes and I know, in 1605, he attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament. But who was he really? What was he like? We are told to remember the idea, not the man, because a man can fail. He can be caught, he can be killed and forgotten, but 400 years later, an idea can still change the world. I’ve witnessed first hand the power of ideas, I’ve seen people kill in the name of them, and die defending them… but you cannot kiss an idea, cannot touch it, or hold it… ideas do not bleed, they do not feel pain, they do not love…
And now I have to re-watch V for Vendetta!
Halloween is one of the oldest surviving holidays, its origins going back thousands of years. Hundreds of years ago in what is now Great Britain and Northern France, lived the Celts (A friendly bunch of People). The Celts were Nature Worshippers, and had many different gods, The Sun God being one of the most common ones, since the sun dictated when they would work,rest and play. The Celtic New Year was on November 1st. It was celebrated every year with a festival and marked the end of the “season of the sun” and the beginning of “the season of darkness and cold.”
On October 31st after the crops were all harvested and stored for the long winter the cooking fires in the homes would be extinguished. The Druids, the Celtic priests, would meet and light new fires and offer sacrifices of crops and animals. As they danced around the the fires, the season of the sun passed and the season of darkness would begin.
When the morning arrived the Druids would give an ember from their fires to each family who would then take them home to start new cooking fires. These fires would keep the homes warm and free from evil spirits.
The November 1st festival was called Samhain (pronounced “sow-en”). The festival would last for 3 days. Many people would parade in costumes made from the skins and heads of their animals. This festival would become the first Halloween.
So Happy Halloween, Merry New Year, Happy Samhain, and any other greeting you wish!!!