My favorite month of the year has arrived! Since I was a child, October has enchanted me with it’s foliage color, harvest, and Halloween celebration. It’s a time to honor the dead in many ancient and recent traditions and a time to rally around the sports world with baseball, basketball and football playing simultaneously in the same month. October is truly a mystical month.
October is the tenth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and one of seven months with a length of 31 days. The eighth month in the old Roman calendar, October retained its name (from the Latin “octo” meaning “eight”) after January and February were inserted into the calendar that had originally been created by the Romans.
Throughout the month of October, I’m going to be bringing you more fall and Halloween themed post in order to not only fill your thirst for all things autumn, but to fill mine as well. Here are some great things about October.
The Leaves Start to Turn Color
One of the best parts of Fall is the turning of the leaves from green to vivid reds, oranges and yellows. Then when they fall off and make a big mess of your yard, you can rake them up into a big pile and jump into them like you were a kid again.
Fun Things To Do With Leaves
• Find a lollipop. Hide a wrapped lollipop under a leaf pile. The first one to find it keeps it.
• Stuff a scarecrow. Break out an old shirt and overalls and stuff until firm. Complete with a pumpkin head.
• Make a sun catcher. Using a low setting, iron a leaf between two pieces of waxed paper with a sheet of plain paper on top. Hang in a sunny window.
• Preserve a leaf. Bring a mixture of 2 parts water and 1 part glycerin (available in most pharmacies) to a boil in a saucepan (adults only). Pour the solution into a heat-proof container. Drop in a few brightly-colored leaves and gently submerge with a wooden spoon. Keep the container in a cool, dark place until there is a slight change in the leaves’ tints. Then remove them and blot dry with a paper towel. Instead of turning brown and crumbly, the leaves will retain their brilliant hues.
• Rake them into a huge pile and jump in!
In Ireland and Scotland, the Halloween tradition of carving pumpkins originally began with turnips and potatoes. There the people began to make their own versions of Jack O’Lanterns by carving scary faces and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. When the Irish immigrated to the United States. they found the native pumpkins to be easier to carve.
Oktoberfest is a 16-day festival celebrating beer held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, running from late September to the first weekend in October. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and is the world’s largest fair, with more than 6 million people from around the world attending the event every year to descend on the beer tents of Munich to celebrate the 16-day Oktoberfest extravaganza.
To the locals, it is not called Oktoberfest, but “die Wiesn” – after the colloquial name of the fairgrounds themselves. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture, having been held since 1810. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations, modeled after the original Munich event.