Halloween!

It’s Halloween weekend! A pretty exciting time of the year if you are either a child or a college student. Halloween, as we know it today and as seen in pop culture, is something that used to be celebrated mostly in the US, but the holiday has started to make its way abroad. Here’s some background on the holiday.img_1632

All Hallow’s Eve is celebrated on October 31st, and it is the day of the dead. Lots of cultures have a variation of this, in the Czech Republic it’s Dušičky, celebrated in November, or in Mexico there’s Dia del Muertos, it is a holiday during which you remember the dead. It was originally a pagan holiday that carried over and is still celebrated in one way or another today.

The holiday was made up of 3 days: All Hallow’s Eve, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. In Europe, it became a somewhat mystical holiday, because it was believed that on the day when fall turned into winter, the boundaries between the world of the living and the world of the dead were very thin. That’s why some of the activities during the three day holiday included scrying, divination, dream interpretation and more other magical festivities. Apple bobbing and bonfires as well as playing tricks are all traditions that are still around today.

Eventually the magical activities were banned by the Church and the holiday, once again, became about honoring and remembering the dead. Families would go visit the graves of their loved ones and pray for their souls.

It wasn’t until late 19th century that the holiday made its way across the Atlantic Ocean to North America. Even though it faced some difficulty finding its place, it soon became popular and was celebrated across the entire country. Halloween is now more popular in North America than in Europe.

Now Halloween lost a lot of the mysticism around it. But it is a fun holiday during which people dress up in costumes and kids go trick-or-treating for candy, walking around neighborhoods in their costumes and getting more hyper as they fill their buckets or bags or pumpkins with candy. It’s the one time of the year that kids are actually encouraged to knock on strangers’ doors and take their candy.

College students take advantage of this holiday and dress up and party. This is the part of the holiday that has carried over to other countries, because who doesn’t love a halloween themed party!

It’s also the prime time to watch horror movies, if you don’t like partying that much. There’s countless horror movies if you like being scared and even more halloween themed kids’ movies that are always fun to watch.

Most popular movies include:

  • img_1579Halloweentown (1998)
  • Hocus Pocus (1993)
  • Poltergeist (1982)
  • Beetlejuice (1988)
  • Psycho (1960)
  • Halloween (1978)
  • Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  • Edward Scissorhands (1990)
  • Little Vampire (2000)
  • Friday the 13th (1980)
  • Scream (1996)
  • Teen Wolf (1985)
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Lots of TV shows also love making Halloween themed episodes, which are good to binge-watch during Halloween and the weeks before!

Whatever you might do, whether it is trick-or-treating, going to a party or doing a movie marathon, have fun this weekend and on Halloween!


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Apple Picking

Fall in Boston

 

Apple Picking

It’s the beginning of fall, which in America means it’s prime time for apple picking and other fun fall activities! I’ve never been apple picking and I was told I was definitely missing out on lots of fun. So, on the first fall weekend, we got up bright and early (about 6am) and headed to The Big Apple farm in Wrentham, Massachusetts.

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It was beautiful weather! It was chilly enough so that you could wear a cute plaid outfit (which we all did, of course), but it was also sunny and the orchard just looked gorgeous. We got to the farm a little before 10 and already there were lots of families with little kids running around, picking apples and taking lots and lots of pictures (as we soon did as well).

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We paid for a small bag, which cost $25, and started walking through, looking for our favorite apples. The Big Apple has a beautiful orchard on top  of a hill, so you are also rewarded with an amazing view.

We managed to fill up our bag fairly quickly (and even snacked on some apples there), so we got back into the car to drive down and visit their store. In the store they have ciders, donuts, caramel apples, honey sticks and, of course, other vegetables and more and more apples! I personally tried the caramel apples and the cider, both of which were absolutely delicious! I also heard the donuts are amazing, so I suggest you try those too!

 

That concluded our trip, but there is more you can do at the farm. I saw they offered hayrides, eventually pumpkin picking and maybe even more! My new American experience was a lot of fun and suggest you try it out as well!

 


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Fall in Boston

Air Canada: the long, long flight

 

Fall in Boston

Bos-AutumnBoston is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the fall. If you time it right. It lasts only about a week there, other than that it is mostly rainy and cold. But that one week is worth a visit, because everything is colorful and magical. That one week is usually mid October. There is a ton to do around Boston in the fall too, since most universities are back in session, there are also a lot of great deals you should take advantage of.

 

The Boston Common and the Public gardens completely change in the fall. Everything changes from vibrant green to gold and red. Just walking around the parks and even going to the esplanade is relaxing. It also makes a perfect spot to take pictures, or if you’re a filmmaker, like me, a perfect set for a short film.

 

IMG_0692The Emerald Necklace is perfect for a longer walk or a bike ride. It ends with the Arnold Arboretum, which belongs to Harvard University, located in Jamaica Plain. I have never actually been there myself, but I heard it is beautiful and definitely worth seeing in that one week of October.

 

Fall also means Halloween. Since Boston is a college city, you can always find parties on Halloween weekend. Or you can go see The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which has a special Halloween event, or they screen the regular version every Saturday night in AMC Boston Common. If you want a calmer Halloween, you can always go trick or treating in different neighborhoods, one of my favorite places to go is Beacon Hill. Lastly, you can also take a day trip to Salem, where they have special events all weekend.

 

Later in fall, around November 20th, they also convert the Frog Pond in the Common into an ice rink. This really depends on the weather though, sometimes they don’t put it up until December. But it is so much fun and its beautiful ice-skating outside. It does get quite crowded though, with families and other college students, but it’s worth a try.
If you are a college student, then there is one more perk for you: college nights at the Museum of Science and the Museum of Fine Arts. Free entrance to both amazing museums, which you should take advantage of! Museum of Science is a really fun place to go to, with a lot of interactive aspects to the science. For example, there is a whole section devoted to physics on a playground, where you can try out the swings, while learning how they work. Museum of Fine Arts, on the other hand, is just beautiful and enormous. You probably won’t get to walk through it all, so choose your favorite era or style of art and take your time there.

 

Hopefully you will find the time to visit Boston at least once and that the weather will be nice enough for all these activities.