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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 10/26/16

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

WEREWOLVES, MADE UP CREATURE OR REALITY.....OOOOOWWWWWWOOOOOO!!!






    When the moon is full it is said that the canine shape shifters prowl the night seeking new prey! Gypsies around the world tell folktales that warn about the anthropomorphic wolf-men cursed to endure a life of transmutation when the moon is full, becoming a predatory killer until the sun rises.
    Are these half-human, half-wolf "monsters" real, or are they a figment of our imagination, that people ages ago created to explain shadows in the night? Could these shape shifters actually exist? Perhaps Hollywood has instilled a false memory and predisposition for beings of the night, like vampires, zombies and werewolves. Maybe latent fear of the unknown drives the human mind to justify their fear of the dark by creating and believing in strange and bizarre creatures.
     Then it may also be true-werewolves may be more than mythical creatures in stories told by many people with roots that run deep in the old country of their origin. The gypsies may tell tales embellished by years of remembering, but based upon a truth shrouded in mystery and intrigue.

Common Beliefs About Werewolves
  1. The modern day name may come from the Old English "wer-wolf" (where 'wer' means 'man).
  2. Then again the name could come from the Norse legends about the 'berserkers'. who were crazed warriors that dressed as wolves when they savagely raided and pillaged villages in the northern land or Europe.
  3. One more good possibility could be it came from the word "warg-wolf". another name of Norse origin which denotes a rogue or lone wolf type of character prone to stalk their prey before dealing the death blow.
  4. Were-wolves eyebrows come together and there is no skin space between them.
  5. It is said by some that they have "bristles" under their tongue.
  6. When they are in the wolf form they have no tail, keep their human eyes and can speak in human language,not just canine woofs and howls.
  7. When they shift into wolf mode they are said to have super strength and extremely sensitive senses, such as sight and scent.
  8. It is reported in Europe in the 1700's that werewolves would dig up freshly buried corpses to eat.
  9. Scandinavian were-wolves were reported as being old women with poison claws that could paralyze children with their glaring eyes.
  10. The curse which transforms a person into a werewolf is often seen as occurring from a evil allegiance or by being bit or scratched by one who is a werewolf. It has also been deemed by many cultures as being a "divine punishment". During the dark era of the Middle Ages the Catholic Church investigated excommunicated priests who were accused of becoming werewolves.
  11. Taking an oath with Satan or powers of evil is usually the reported path to becoming a werewolf and transformation from bites is rarely a recorded occurrence in historical writings.
  12. The fact that they can be killed by silver bullets is a modern movie generated folk factoid. All tales about werewolves prior to the late 1800's do not talk about silver as a protector from the creatures.
  13. Religious holy water or icons (such as a crucifix) do not keep them away.
  14. Items that will protect you from a werewolf are garland of fresh rye, mistletoe and garlic cloves.
  15. Some modern day researchers believe that werewolves were real people afflicted with a medical condition called hypertrichosis. This is a hereditary disease that caused extreme hair growth all over the body, especially on the face and hands.

THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN RAVENS AND CROWS!!


The Raven


The Crow







   Raven are the largest members of the crow family, so it's only natural that the two species look similarly.  Ravens are clearly spotted when they are next to crows by their sheer body size.  But ravens and crows do not always conveniently stand next to each other when a human observer is trying to identify them.  Then, the observer has to look at other features on the bird.





The Crow




   A Note On Species Differential
   There are several species of ravens, but the most familiar species is Corvus corax, or the common raven.  Unfortunately, this species is not so common now due to hunting and habitat loss.  Other species of ravens in the world do share similar characteristics, including a mostly black body.  There are raven species that have dark brown feathers or white marks on the back of their necks.  Also there are dozens of species of crows in the world.  Many of these species come in other colors, making it easy to distinguish them from ravens.  But sometimes, a species like the carrion crow  comes in an all-black sub-species.  Then, there are species like the American crow that are also all black, no matter what their age, sex or subspecies.

Beak Shape
   Crows have a basic long spear-like beak shape that's similar to many other species of songbirds.  Ravens have vastly different bill shapes than crows.  They almost seem grotesque in comparison.  If looking at the bill profile, it seems to curve upwards into a shape that bird watchers call "hooked".  One species in Africa, the thick-billed raven has a bill so large that it almost looks like a second head.
   Some species like the common raven and the Australian raven will also have feathers on the part of the bill closest to the head.  In comparison, a crow's bill will be feather-free.  Some species of crows will have a small but prominent hook at the very end of the top half of the beak.  In the thick-billed raven, this tip is white while the rest of the beak is black,  however you have to get pretty close in order to see that.





The Raven




Tail Shape
   The only way to see the tail shape of the bird properly is to see the bird in flight.  Since it flies by so fast, just look at the basic shape the silhouette of the tail creates.  In many all-black crow species, this tail shape is triangular.  But in ravens, the shape is usually more like a wedge.

Attitude
   Although individual birds vary, in general ravens are much shyer than crows.  However, juvenile ravens have often been observed behaving as bold as crows while their elders admonish them from their hiding places.

VINTAGE HALLOWEEN TRADITIONS!







   Because of the long and storied history of Halloween, there are many Vintage Halloween traditions that have been associated with the holiday for many years. Halloween, or All Hallows Eve  as was called long ago, has a very special history all its own. The many vintage Halloween customs set this Halloween apart from many other special occasions. The origins of many vintage Halloween traditions are both very colorful and diverse. What we know as modern day Halloween traditions and festivities are rooted in the Vintage Halloween traditions from the original All Hallows Eve  celebrations from centuries long ago.   All Hallows Eve actually evolved from an even older tradition. The pagan festivial, Samhain, was celebrated by ancient Celtic people for many years before it evolved into All Hallows Eve. When Celtic immigrants began entering North America in large numbers during the 19th Century, they brought the

 








 tradition of Samhain with them, thus laying the groundwork for many of the vintage Halloween customs that are still with us today.    Samhain traditions included dressing up in animal costumes and going door to door in search of a feast. This of course, is the vintage Halloween precursor to what we now call trick-or-treating.  With time, the Samhain celebration evolved into what we know of as All Hallows Eve during the19th century.     The origin of the name All Hallows Eve refers to the timing of Halloween, which is the day before All Hallows Day, now commonly referred to as All Saints Day. All saints day is religious holy day, set aside to honor the saints. All Hallows Eve is now referred to as All Souls day, Which is a day set aside to honor the souls of the departed.    The supernatural aspects of Halloween are strongly rooted in vintage Halloween customs and traditions. The association of ghosts and other supernatural elements with Halloween are rooted in the vintage Halloween beliefs that stem from beliefs about what happens in the supernatural world on the day set aside to honor those who have passed into the next life. Many people believed that All Hallows Eve was the












 one night when ghosts come in contact with the world of the living. In light of this belief, a ghost costumemay just be the best selection to honor vintage Halloween traditions in the modern world.   As time went by, All Hallows Eve evolved into what we now know as Halloween. During the evolution of Halloween from its ancient beginnings to modern day Halloween, the celebration was actually known by several other names. Vintage Halloween names include Hallowe’en, which is a contraction of All-hallow-even, which represents, of course All Hallows Eve. Of course, today, the celebration is referred to simply as Halloween.    The next time you are enjoying a Halloween party, haunted house, or candy obtained through trick-or-treating, remind  yourself that in continuing to observe the traditions of Halloween in the modern world, you are also paying tribute to vintage Halloween celebrations of centuries past.   While you don’t have to know the history of  Halloween to enjoy the many fun and exciting events associated with modern day Halloween celebrations, it is very interesting to look at the long and storied origins of the vintage Halloween traditions that we still enjoy today.

BONN PCHUM BEN-SPIRITS OF THE DEAD FESTIVAL FROM CAMBODIA!





 Bonn Pchum Ben is the festival held for commemoration of the spirits of the dead. The highlight is on the 15th day of the waxing moon during the tenth month of the Khmer calendar, called Pheaktrobotr.
   The festival does not just begin and end on one day. In fact, it lasts 15 days, each of which is called a day of Kan Ben. A Ben is an offering. The word of Ben is derived from Sanskrit pinda, or balls of rice to be offered to the souls of the dead.During the first 14 days, people take turns offering food to the monks of their local pagoda in the hope that their offering will reach the souls of their ancestors by virtue of the monks’ sermons.







Ancient traditions

   Inscriptions in stone left by King YaƧovarman (889-910) tell us that he built numerous monasteries during that period, and that pinda were offered on a monthly basis, not only to “abandoned souls” – souls with no family to make offerings to them – but also to souls of combatants who had died for their country.

Rich and poor

   The present-day Ben are balls of glutinous rice, cooked in coconut milk and mixed with various ingredients according to local customs. The way a Ben is held also differs slightly from locality to locality.
   The final day of Pchum Ben is the most important for all followers. On this day, at every pagoda around the country, the mass collection of offerings (Bens) is dedicated to the souls of ancestors.










   If this duty is ignored, it is believed that the soul is cursed and will haunt the neglectful descendents for the rest of the year.
  In the early morning of the last day of the Pchum Ben Festival, visitors can join the throngs at the pagodas and take photos of local people of all ages in traditional costume. Women especially, don their best traditional dress, and come wearing their silk, embroidered blouses and scarves, bearing offerings, candles and incense.
   Num Onsam and sweet Num Korm (steamed cakes wrapped in banana leaves) are taken to pagodas during the festival to share among participants. Num Onsam is a kind of cylindrical cake of glutinous rice wrapped around a mixture of pork, salt and other ingredients. Num Korm is shaped like a pyramid and made of rice-flour and filled with a coconut and palm sugar mixture.










   Money offered to monks goes towards the construction or renovation of temples and community development such as the construction of bridges and schools, tree planting, or as donations to needy families.
   Khmers believe that fraternal feelings are fostered with the exchange of food and Num Onsam and Num Korm cakes. This ensures that visitors to any pagoda during the Pchum Ben festival will be warmly welcomed and invited to taste these cakes and enjoy the festivities.
   Urns of ancestors placed at the temples are cleaned and taken to a main prayer room. Names of ancestors are listed and invited to in the celebrations, if they do not receive an invite they are unable to receive offerings. At the end of the day participants will join the monks in prayer and chanting in the main prayer room called a ‘viheara’.










   Prior to the midday sun, candles and incense sticks are lit and the food preparations are given the monks. The invitation list with names of ancestors are read out loud and then burned. This ritual is performed to allow the ancestral souls to where their families are. It is said to that families then come together to celebrate and commemorate life. After eating the wonderful foods prepared, the monks pray and shower holy water over families and their ancestors. This time is a spiritual time of remembrance and to receive good karma that the ancestors are said to bring them with them.
   On the last day of Pchum Ben, the above ceremony is performed on a larger and grander scale. The importance of the last day is centred around those souls who may have bad karma, Priad spirits, as this is the only day that they may receive offerings and it’s said that they could benefit from the good karma going around. It is believed that Priads are afraid of light and will only connect with their living relatives during the darkest day of this lunar cycle, the day of Pchum Ben and receive prayers and offerings.









  Reincarnation is deeply enrooted in Cambodian and Buddhist culture, and Pchum Ben is a time of reunion, remembrance and celebration. When families have the opportunity to show appreciation for one's ancestors and show their love for them. The offerings of food and good karma may aid lost souls and guide them back into the cycle of reincarnation. If ancestors are reincarnated, their second chance is to collect good karma for themselves and nurture a peaceful inner spirit this is the final blessing living relatives wish for their ancestors.

Sues’day Bonn Pchum Ben…!!!