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Newsletter

October
2007
Volume 7 Issue 10
 

straight from the pony's mouth

PAL OF THE MONTH

Scotty P
cougar


our pal
of the month


Each month we feature a different Pal as a thank you to those special people who have shared their support and friendship not only with us, but with the entire community.

check your pal status
update your pal status
past pals of the month

You can also update your pal status at any of our shows. See your host for a -We Don't Wanna Miss A Pal- form.

BIRTHDAYS

Happy Birthday October Pals
l6  Shelby (Pony in training)
l7  Doug (Wolverine)
l10 Laura (Mink)
l11 Warren (Mongoose)
l12 Laura (Jaguar)
l13 Kathleen (Cheetah)
l14 Elise (Phoebe)
l16 Glenn (omega)
l18 James (Helliphino)
l19 Deb (Bee)
l19 Michelle (mickiegirl)
l24 Robin (Armadillo)
l27 Alain
l29 Maurice
l30 Will (moose)
l31 Muriel (Parrot)


l
Add your name to the Pals Birthday Calendar
OBSERVANCES
Thanksgiving Monday Oct. 8- A great time to spend with family, so Swizzles it is then?

The full moon will grace us on Friday the 26th. This will be a great night to howl with our Dog at Swizzles, Hound at O'Brien's & Stray at Puzzles.

Halloween - Wednesday Oct. 31st Drop in to Bytown & The LookOut for some spooky tunes.

...and now for some unusual October observances:

Monthly Observances
- Adopt A Shelter Dog
- Alternate History
- Animals Aloud!
- Billiard Awareness
- Sun Dried Tomatoes
- Celiac Sprue Awareness
- Children's Magazine
- Diversity Awareness
- Eat Better, Eat Together
- Emotional Wellness
- Energy Management
- Gay & Lesbian History
- Go Hog Wild Eat Ham
- Halloween Safety
- Head Start Awareness
- Health Literacy
- Inter Starman
- Inter Strategic Planning
- Lupus Awareness
- Book Month
- Breast Cancer Awareness
- Chili Month
- Communicate With Your Kids
- Construction Toy
- Cookie Month
- Crime Prevention Month
- Dental Hygiene Month
- Depression Awareness
- Disability Employment Awareness
- Domestic Violence Awareness
- Down Syndrome
- Family Sexuality Education
- Go On A Field Trip
- Liver Awareness
- Long Term Care Planning
- Medical Librarian
- Orthodontic Health
- Physical Therapy
- Popcorn Poppin'
- Pork Month
- Reading Group
- Roller Skating
- RSV Awareness
- Seafood Month
- Spina Bifida Awareness
- SIDS Awareness
- Toilet Tank Repair
- Discover America
- Polish American Heritage
- Positive Attitude
- Rett Syndrome Awareness
- Right Brainers Rule!
- Self-Promotion
- Spinach Lovers
- Talk About Prescriptions
- Vegetarian Month
- Women's Small Business
- Workplace Politics

Weekly Observances:
- Divorced Parents For Children 1-7
- Universal Children's 1-7
- No Salt 2-6
- Mental Illness Awareness 2-8
- Mystery Series 2-8
- 4-H 2-8
- Carry A Tune 2-8
- Nuclear Medicine 2-8
- Newspaper 2-8
- Work From Home 2-8
- Squirrel Appreciation 2-8
- California Ride Share 3-7
- Spinning & Weaving 3-7
- America's Walk For Diabetes 4 & 5
- World Space 4-10
- HealthCare Food Service 5-11
- Emergency Nurses 9-15
- Fire Prevention 9-15
- Metric 9-15
- Business Cards 9-15
- Home-Based Business 9-15
- School Lunch Wk 9-15
- Improve Your Home Office 10-14
- Networking 10-16
- School Lunch 13-19
- Achieve Financial Differences 16-22
- Getting The World To Beat A Path To Your Door 16-22
- Kids Care 16-22
- Teen Read 16-22
- Character Counts 16-22
- Chemistry 16-22
- Food Bank 16-22
- Forest Products 16-22
- School Bus Safety 16-22
- Food & Drug Interaction Education & Awareness 17-24
- Freedom From Bullies At Work 17-23
- Businesswomen's 17-23
- Health Education 17-23
- Infection Control 17-23
- World Rainforest 17-23
- Inter Credit Union 18-22
- Celebrate Job Loss 23-29
- Give Wildlife a Break 23-29
- Magic of Differences 23-29
- Massage Therapy Awareness 23-29
- Save Your Back 23-29
- Pastoral Care 23-29
- Disarmament 24-30
- Prescription Errors Education & Awareness 24-31
- Peace, Friendship and Goodwill 25-31

Daily Observances
- Fire Pup Day 1
- Inter Day of Older Persons 1
- Inter Frugal Fun Day 1
- Pumpkin Day 1
- Scare A Friend Day 1
- World Vegetarian Day 1
- Custodial Workers Day 2
- World Farm Animals Day 2
- Intergeneration Day 2
- World Communion Sunday 2
- Child Health Day 3
- Supreme Court Day 3
- World Habitat Day 3
- Ten-Four Day 4
- Toot Your Flute Day 4
- Balloons Around The World 5
- World Teachers Day 5
- Jackie Mayer Rehab Day 6
- German-American Day 6
- Physician Assistant (PA) Day 6
- Depression Screening Day 6
- Diversity Day 7
- World Smile Day 7
- Back to Basics Day 8
- Cosmopolite's Day 8
- Leif Erickson Day 9
- Children's Day 9
- World Post Day 9
- Columbus Day 10
- Hunter's Moon 10
- Kick Butt Day 10
- General Pulaski Memorial Day 11
- Coming Out Day 11
- Inter Moment of Frustration Scream Day 12
- Emergency Nurses Day 12
- Bring Your Teddy Bear To Work & School Day 12
- Inter Day for Natural Disaster Reduction 12
- Navy Birthday 13
- Be Bald and Be Free Day 14
- Lee's Denim Day 14
- World Egg Day 14
- Grouch Day 15
- Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day 15
- White Cane Safety Day 15
- Sweetest Day 15
- Dictionary Day 16
- World Food Day 16
- Boss's Day 17
- Mulligan Day 17
- Facility Service Workers Day 18
- World Menopause Day 18
- Evaluate Your Life Day 19
- Black Poetry Day 20
- Get Smart About Credit Day 20
- Get To Know Your Customers Day 20 (also January 20, April 21, July 21)
- Inter Credit Union Day 20
- Day of Concern About Young People & Violence Day 20
- Mammography Day 21
- Stuttering Awareness Day 22
- Color Day 22
- Make A Difference Day 22
- Reptile Awareness Day 22
- Mother-in-Law Day 23
- Mole Day 23
- TV Talk Show Host Day 23
- United Nations Day 24
- World Development Information Day 24
- Cartoonists Against Crime 25
- Sourest Day 25
- Mule Day 26
- Cranky Co-workers Day 27
- Navy Day 27
- Separation of Church & State Day 27
- Frankenstein Friday 28
- St. Jude's Day 28
- Ugly Pickup Truck Day 28
- Bring Your Jack-O-Lantern To Work Day 29
- Internet Day 29
- Create A Great Funeral Day 30
- Haunted Refrigerator Night 30
- Knock-Knock Jokes Day 31
- Magic Day 31
- UNICEF Day 31

Adding your birthday to the Calendar has never been easier. Simply add your birthday to your profile when you join the forum and it will automatically appear on the calendar each year.

You can also add special events such as your birthday party. Let us all know where and when you will be celebrating.

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WORLD NEWS
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EXPLORE OUR
WEBSITE

 

 IN THIS ISSUE:


l Special Events: Halloween Parties
 
l Pal News: News from and for our Pals
l Venue News: New show at GoGo's, show times & special events
l Staff News: Who's doing what where and with who? welcome ocelot!
 
l Pal Birthdays: Pals don't get older they just have more fun
l Holiday Origins: Everything you never wanted to know about Halloween
 
l Singing Tips: "Power Breathing - How to get the power without the push"
l Library News: New songs on order
   
l Show Schedule: October 2007  [Print Monthly Calendar]

Well, I've had a long hiatus from producing the monthly newsletter. I know some of you were getting a little concerned when they stopped arriving in your email boxes. Not to worry. Life just got in the way is all. It started with a little emergency trip to the hospital to have my appendix removed and somehow turned into a bit of a summer holiday. Now that fall is here, I think it's time to get back into the deriver's seat and send all the news that's fit to print your way once more...

In this newsletter we bring you breathing techniques to help power your singing, news about new venues, paw parties, charity events and halloween costume parties, plus the origin of Halloween and all the other wacky October observances like:
Scare a friend Day on the 1st, Toot Your Flute Day on the 4th, Bring Your Jack-O-Lantern To Work Day on the 29th, and Haunted Refrigerator Night on the 30th plus 'mole day', 'mule day' and 'reptile awareness day' for our party animals to celebrate.

As the seasons change so does our schedule. Another new venue started last month, GoGo's, 349 Dalhousie St. in the market with Stray every Sunday. GoGo's runs from 9pm-2am. Ottawa's ONLY Five- hour Sunday-nite karaoke extravaganza!

Thanksgiving on Monday the 8th will be a great evening to join your extended family at The Royal Britannia for a little music and merriment with Stray.

Halloween
falls on a Wednesday this year with Stray hosting Party-like-a-rock-star at Bytown and Dog hosting Scary-oke at The LooKOut.

Two pre-halloween scaryoke parties give you the opportunity to test-drive those costumes at GoGo's on Sunday the 27th and Swizzles the 30th. We'll keep you up-to-date on where all the Halloween parties are going to be. Be sure to keep checking out the
forum for all the latest info.

We had a wonderful time again at the 5th Annual DOG & PONY Pal BBQ. As always, the annual BBQ took place on Labour Day Monday (remember to mark it on your calendar for next year)! Many old and many new friends joined us at our home to enjoy hotdogs, hamburgers, salads, veggie platters, salsas, dips & chips, cookies, pop, beer, coolers, wine and each other! Everyone brought a little something to share for an amazing day of feasting, laughing, & playing. This year we had an Xbox guitar hero game on one half and a wii sports tourney on the other half of our living room(s). We set up a kiddie pool, picnic table and tents outside to house oodles of play including water fights, pie throwing and lots of pictures. [See BBQ photo gallery]

The 4th Annual Pump Idol Competition was held last month with special guest hosts Eva Avila & Chris Labelle with music by DOG & PONY Sound. This year it was held over 2 days culminating in a street party for the finals to raise over $13,000.00 with 100% of the proceeds being donated to The Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.

Congratulations to:
Constant Bernard 1st place - $1000
Malaika Mvungi - 2nd place - $500
Kim Blanchfield - 3rd place - $ 250

Prizes were also awarded to top pledge raisers. Kim Blanchfield raised the most pledges this year. We're already looking forward to next year. How about you?

And speaking of annual events, we celebrate 6 years of DOG & PONY Sound at O'Brien's on Friday Oct 12th. Hope to see you there!

SPECIAL EVENTS

PRIZES FOR BEST COSTUMES!!!!

SCARYOKE PARTIES
Oct.27 - GoGo's, 349 Dalhousie St. 9:00-2:00
Pre-Halloween Scaryoke Costume Party

Oct.30 - Swizzles, 41 York St. 9:30-1:30
Pre-Halloween Scaryoke Costume Party
. Prizes for best costumes.


Oct.31 - The LookOut, 41 York St. 9:30-1:30
Scaryoke with a random draw for all in costume, plus cash awards for best costumes.

Oct.31 - Bytown Tavern, 292 Elgin St. 9:30-1:30
"PARTY LIKE A ROCK STAR" Scaryoke Party - come dressed and/or perform as your favorite musician to win prizes.

VENUE NEWS

l

BYTOWN TAVERN
292 Elgin St.
(Ottawa Center)

Wednesdays w/Stray 9:30pm-1:30am

Halloween Costume Party Oct. 31

"PARTY LIKE A ROCK STAR"
- come dressed as your favorite rock star.

[map] [photos] [schedule]


l

COCK & LION
202 Sparks St.
(Ottawa Center)


Thursdays w/Dog 9pm-1am
...and the fun just keeps getting funnier!


[map] [photos] [schedule]


l

GoGo's
349 Dalhousie St.
(Ottawa Market)

COME EARLY,
STAY LATE!


Sundays
w/Stray 9pm-2am


Test drive your halloween costume
at the PRE-HALLOWEEN COSTUME PARTY
Sunday Oct. 27

[map] [photos] [schedule]


l

THE LOOKOUT
41 York St.
(Ottawa Market)

Wednesdays w/Dog 9:30pm-1:30am

Bias Free Market Fun!

Halloween Costume Party Oct. 31

[map] [photos] [schedule]


l

O'BRIEN'S
1145 Heron Rd.
(Ottawa South)

Fridays
- w/Hound
9:30-1:30
Saturdays - w/Dog 9:30-1:30



Celebrating 6 years of DOG & PONYOKE
FRIDAY OCT. 12th

[map] [photos] [schedule]


l

ROYAL BRITANNIA PUB
1475 Richmond Rd. (Ottawa West)


Mondays
w/Stray 9pm-1am
Thursdays w/Hound 9pm-1am




[map]
[photos]
[schedule]


l

PUZZLES
344 Richmond Rd.
(Ottawa West)

'
Fridays
9pm-1am w/Stray
Because Westboro Rocks!

[map] [photos] [schedule]


l

SWIZZLES
246 Queen St. (Ottawa Center)

Sundays 8:30pm -12:30 w/Dog
Tuesdays 9:30-1:30 w/Stray
Fridays 9:30-1:30 w/Dog


HALLOWEEN PARTY Tues. Oct. 30

The Dusty Owl Poetry Group gathers the 3rd Sunday of every month for a special featured reader & open stage 5pm before karaoke. Everyone welcome!

[map] [photos] [schedule]

STAFF NEWS

...live & direct from the stables
(all our hosts are guaranteed to be 100% alive at all times,
except for richie, we make no promises on his behalf)

 

Dog gets frisky Wednesdays at The LookOut, Thursdays at The Cock & Lion, Fridays at Swizzles, Saturdays at O'Brien's. and Sundays at Swizzles.

Stray hosts the party every Monday at the Royal Britannia, Tuesday at Swizzles, Wednesdays at Bytown, Friday at Puzzles and Sundays at GoGo's.

Hound hosts the fun at the Royal Britannia every Thursday and O'Brien's every Friday.

This month we welcome Carly, our
Ocelot, who joins the party animals as a host in training.

It would be impossible to tell you when I figured out I loved to sing. I've always be that person who randomly bursts into song, which is sometimes a little startling for the person next to me! I grew up singing along to Oldies 1310 in my parents' car on our way to some hockey or soccer tournament in the middle of nowhere. To this day I still enjoy going for a cruise for no better reason than to roll down the windows and turn up the tunes, and look out when me and my girls get together with a deck of cards and a couple of Zep CD's!

Imagine my delight the first time I got to sing with amicrophone in my hand! I wandered into the Brig a couple years ago and fell face first into a pile of Dog and Pony awesomeness. I was fortunate enough to have Dog as our resident KJ on Thursday nights, and it wasn't long before you could find me there every week. Strangely enough, for those of you who've already met me, my first karaoke performance ever was Angel…. Yes, the Sarah McLaughlin song. With time though, I started choosing songs that helped to expand my vocal range. I discovered that not only could I sing on key (sometimes), but that I could really project!
And then one fateful day, I thought to myself… maybe I could do Dazed and Confused. I did. I loved it, and since then I've been exploring my love of classic rock from a whole new perspective. Karaoke is a rush. It's a great time on more levels than I could express in only three paragraphs, and its ideal for crazy cats like me who love being in the spotlight. Thanks for making me part of the family!

~Carly (a.k.a. Ocelot}

PAL NEWS

DOG & PONY PALS

Kibbles 'n Bits:

Liam Nicholson, our loveable Dingo will air on CMT's Karaoke Star Oct.3
at 11:00 PM on channel 43. Voting begins at midnight. Voting is free and you may as often as you wish. Votes for Dingo can be cast until October 9th.


Join the Facebook Group
:
Liam Nicholson- CMT Karaoke Star Wildcard from Ottawa


Constant Bertrand is peforming in the musical comedy "The Man From Capital" at the GCTC October 9-28.

Congratulations also to Constant who won $1000 for 1st place at this year's Pump Idol Competition. Malaika Mvungi won $500 and Kim Blanchfield won $250.


Do you have news you'd like to share with the pals? Just drop me a line before month's end for inclusion in the next month's Newsletter. ~Pony
Stay in touch with pals through our message forum. There are over 300 registered members or join the Pals on Facebook.

The forum is the 1st place to learn about special events, parties, newest songs and what's happening in the community
the same day we do. I post the newest songs on the forum the day they arrive (although it may take several more days to get the information on the website or printed in the new additions songbooks).

Some areas of the forum are specifically for local patrons and are only accessible to registered users. Drop me a quick message when you register so I can adjust your access.

See our permanently "pawed" pals here.

Puppy Paw Pals have sung at 2 (or more) of our venues and have earned a paw for each venue.

Pony Paw Pals support our singers by coming out to 2 or more venues to enjoy the show.
check your own pal status online
update your pal status

Pocket Pal Paw Cards
(collect the whole set)

All our hosts are equiped with:
pal cards & punches
(if you've attended 2 or more D&P shows ask your host for a card)

What is a DOG & PONY Pal? Update Your Pal Status

DOG & PONY Pals enjoy friendship,camaraderie and so much more including special pal pricing for private home and office parties & weddings.
Green Pal Card
2 - 9 paws


Receive a $25 discount on private party bookings.

Blue Pal Card
10-19 paws

Receive a $50 discount on private party
bookings.

Red Pal Card
20-29 paws


Receive a $75 discount on private party bookings.

Platinum Pal Card
30+ paws


Receive a $100 discount on private party
bookings.
[limit: 2 pal discounts per year]



T-Shirts

SPECIAL PAL PRICING

Regular Price $20
DOG & PONY Pal Price $10
(includes all taxes)

LIBRARY NEWS 


We have a HUGE disk order arriving this month.
Check the forum. They will be posted as soon as they arrive.

Libraries OnlineOnline master database:

3 libraries at a glance (the wholy trinity)
Library #42 by Artist
Library #42 by Title
Library #9¾ by Artist
Library #9¾ by Title
Library #33.3 by Artist
Library #33.3 by Title
French songs
Guide to understanding our song codes
Children's songs

easy popup & print: [weekly calendar] [monthly calendar]

SINGER TIPS 

"Power Breathing" (How to get the power without the push)
by Mark Baxter

Power lunch. Power walk. Power nap.

Hey, as long as weíre making ourselves feel powerful by renaming natural activities, allow me to introduce my superturbo, patent-pending breathing technique for singers. To be honest, there's nothing new about power breathing. Every baby on the planet has the technique down. Power breathing is what allows infants to scream for hours on end. Obviously, newborns donít have a lot of muscle strength. So where does all that energy come from? They instinctively harness two universal properties: air pressure and recoil.

The air around us is pressurized and self-stabilizing. When the pressure decreases anywhere, surrounding air will move in to fill the void. This is the motor which drives the weather, and why the weatherman is always talking about areas of high and low pressure. On a smaller scale, when you open a new jar of pickles, youíll hear a suction sound as the seal is broken. Pickles are vacuum packed, which means the air pressure inside the jar is much lower than outside. Unscrew the lid and air is drawn in. The same thing happens when we inhale. When your lungs are expanded, the air pressure inside drops. Outside air then rushes in to equalize the imbalance. Whatís important to remember is that air doesnít make your lungs expand -- muscles do.

The diaphragm is a dome shaped muscle which sits directly under your lungs. When it descends, the area inside your lungs increases. There are also muscles between your ribs, which spread the cage, and muscles in the neck and shoulders, which can lift your chest. Any of these muscles can enlarge your lung space to create an inhale. Of all these options, the diaphragm is best positioned. We are often too tight in the stomach area, though, and donít give it room to drop. Infants are not tight down there and take full advantage of the diaphragmís ability to pull in air. Notice how their bellyís swell like little Buddhas just before letting go of a wail. Itís a simple principal: the more air you take in, the more pressure youíll have to cry.

Once expanded, your lungs are like two balloons. The air pressure inside an inflated balloon is greater than outside the balloon. Everybody knows that the pressure will come out -- with force -- by simply releasing the balloon, but we fail to apply this universal law to singing. At the beginning of each phrase, we use abdominal muscles to drive the air out of our lungs. Not only is this as unnecessary as squeezing a balloon to empty it, but it causes all kinds of trouble. Singing requires a specific amount of pressure; too much force triggers your throat to hold back air like fingers clamping down on the neck of a balloon. Control is lost.

The other under-appreciated source of power, recoil, also relies on the diaphragm. Most people incorrectly associate the words "breathe support" with push. They tap there tummy and say, "Sing from here. Right?" Well, thatís half right. To better understand how the whole thing ties together, letís get creative with anatomy. Itís been said that the body is a temple but I think it more resembles a tenement. Imagine your body as a building that has one studio apartment on each level. Letís call the first floor the "legs" of your structure. The second floor represents your abdominal cavity and the third level is the thoracic cavity (if you want to get fancy, you can call your head the penthouse). It doesnít take very long when you live in a building like this to appreciate that one personís floor is another personís ceiling. This rule is the same in your body. The diaphragm is both the floor to the lungs (thoracic cavity) and the ceiling to the abdomen. Move this divider up and down, and it enlarges one cavity while compressing the other.

When your diaphragm descends, it pushes on everything inside your abdominal cavity. Since this "room" is jam packed with furnishings like a stomach, liver and intestines, everything gets shoved towards the walls. This is why your tummy sticks out when you inhale correctly. Itís not filling with air down there, itís just a response to the ceiling coming down. Compressing your abdominal cavity doesnít take much effort, as long as its walls are relaxed. Sucking in your tummy when you inhale locks everything in place, so the diaphragm canít come down. The result is a shallow breath that doesnít pack much punch. We learn from infants crying that creating a big inhale is important. Even more important, though, is not pushing once youíre fully loaded. Youíve already worked for the energy; all you have to do is release.

The automatic reaction to compression is recoil. If you push down on a spring and then quickly release it will jump back to its original form. The more force you use to compress, the more force you get back on recoil. Push down on the spring again but this time slowly raise your hand. The spring returns at the handís speed. This is a controlled release. Notice that, to control the motion, your hand only needs to push downward; thereís no need to pull up on a spring. The same is true for your diaphragm. Once the abdominal cavity is compressed, it wants to spring back. As if it was holding back the recoil of a spring, your diaphragm should continue to apply and downward pressure to regulate the air pressure passing through your larynx. In other words, it "supports " your voice by making sure that the vocal folds arenít overwhelmed.

Combine the spring-back action of your abdominal cavity with the momentum of high pressure from fully inflated lungs and youíll have vocal power to spare. Notice that both of these power sources are passive, the work was done during the inhale. If you need more thrust, your abs are always there to add. I know it feels as if you need to push with your abs in order to make your voice powerful. Just remember that this desire is a reaction to half-inflated lungs. Stretching your body will help; start your warm-up routine with some reaches and side-stretches. Reserve abdominal push as a last resort, not a first line of strength. It takes a while to re-train the body to release the abs on every inhale, but the pay-off will be a voice thatís truly bouncing off the walls -- just like when you were a baby.

Mark Baxter is a vocal therapist who offers private and video lessons. To contact him, call: (800)659-6002. Visit his website at: www.voicelesson.com

(reprinted with the kind permission of Singer Magazine)

HOLIDAY ORIGINS

The Origins of Halloween

Ancient Origins

Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).

The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.

Modern Traditions

The American tradition of "trick-or-treating" probably dates back to the early All Souls' Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called "soul cakes" in return for their promise to pray for the family's dead relatives.

The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits. The practice, which was referred to as "going a-souling" was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in their neighborhood and be given ale, food, and money.

The tradition of dressing in costume for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. Hundreds of years ago, winter was an uncertain and frightening time. Food supplies often ran low and, for the many people afraid of the dark, the short days of winter were full of constant worry. On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits. On Halloween, to keep ghosts away from their houses, people would place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter.

Evolution Of A Holiday

As European immigrants came to America, they brought their varied Halloween customs with them. Because of the rigid Protestant belief systems that characterized early New England, celebration of Halloween in colonial times was extremely limited there.

It was much more common in Maryland and the southern colonies. As the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups, as well as the American Indians, meshed, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge. The first celebrations included "play parties," public events held to celebrate the harvest, where neighbors would share stories of the dead, tell each other's fortunes, dance, and sing. Colonial Halloween festivities also featured the telling of ghost stories and mischief-making of all kinds. By the middle of the nineteenth century, annual autumn festivities were common, but Halloween was not yet celebrated everywhere in the country.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, America was flooded with new immigrants. These new immigrants, especially the millions of Irish fleeing Ireland's potato famine of 1846, helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally. Taking from Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today's "trick-or-treat" tradition. Young women believed that, on Halloween, they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings, or mirrors.

In the late 1800s, there was a move in America to mold Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighborly get-togethers, than about ghosts, pranks, and witchcraft.

At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season, and festive costumes. Parents were encouraged by newspapers and community leaders to take anything "frightening" or "grotesque" out of Halloween celebrations. Because of their efforts, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the twentieth century.

By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a secular, but community-centered holiday, with parades and town-wide parties as the featured entertainment. Despite the best efforts of many schools and communities, vandalism began to plague Halloween celebrations in many communities during this time. By the 1950s, town leaders had successfully limited vandalism and Halloween had evolved into a holiday directed mainly at the young. Due to the high numbers of young children during the fifties baby boom, parties moved from town civic centers into the classroom or home, where they could be more easily accommodated. Between 1920 and 1950, the centuries-old practice of trick-or-treating was also revived. Trick-or-treating was a relatively inexpensive way for an entire community to share the Halloween celebration. In theory, families could also prevent tricks being played on them by providing the neighborhood children with small treats. A new American tradition was born, and it has continued to grow. Today, Americans spend an estimated $6.9 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country's second largest commercial holiday.

SHOW SCHEDULES

Weekly DOG & PONY sound Shows for October 2007

SunGoGo's, 349 Dahousie St. 9-2 w/Stray
Sun
Swizzles, 246 Queen St. 8:30-12:30 w/Dog
MonRoyal Britannia,
1475 Richmond Rd. 9-1 w/Stray
TuesSwizzles, 246 Queen St. 9:30-1:30 w/Stray
WedBytown, 292 Elgin St. 9-1 w/Stray
WedLookOut, 41 York St. 9:30pm-1:30am w/Dog
ThursCock & Lion, 202 Sparks St. 9-1 w/Dog
ThursRoyal Britannia, 1475 Richmond Rd. 9-1 w/Hound
FriO'Brien's, 1145 Heron Rd. 9:30-1:30 w/Hound
FriPuzzles,
344 Richmond Rd. 9-1 w/Stray
FriSwizzles, 246 Queen St. 9:30-1:30 w/Dog
SatO'Brien's, 1145 Heron Rd. 9:30-1:30 0 w/Dog

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Library #9¾(Red Library) 
Library #33.3(Green Library)   [ click to see all Libraries ]

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We are extremely proud of our environmental record!

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