Monday, October 30, 2006

HAPPY HALLOWEEN ... and a Book Giveaway!

The staff of Romance Reviews Today and RRT Erotic wishes everyone a safe and happy Halloween.
How do you plan on spending Halloween? Trick or Treating? Parties? Or curled up with a good book?

Here is a little history on the tradition in America:

As European immigrants came to America, they brought with them their varied Halloween customs with them. Because of their religious beliefs, Halloween in colonial times was extremely limited.

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. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Looking for some spooky Halloween reading? Look no farther than Romance Reviews Today to help you choose. Terrie has been busy stirring up some fantastic reviews for readers to check out. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Just Added to RRT Erotic - 10/30/06 - Halloween Treats.

CAT OUT OF HELL - Isabelle Jordan
DARK DESIRE - Lacey Savage
HAUNTED BY YOU - Michele Bardsley - La Petite Mort
KING JACK'S BALL - Alecia Monaco
LADY IN WHITE - Elizabeth Jewell
RAVEN - Willa Okati
WARLOCK'S EVE - Michelle Hoppe
WENDIGO - Ann Vremenot
WITCH HUNTING - Sierra Dafoe
WITCH OF ALLOWAY - Marie Treanor

Finally: A special giveaway from Romance Reviews Today. Post your family’s Halloween traditions and be entered to win a book! One winner will be chosen and gets to pick the book of their choice.

Here is the list of books you get to choose from:
THE MARRIAGE TRAP by Elizabeth Thornton
THE KEPT WOMAN by Susan Donovan
FIRST LOVE by Julie Kenner
BAD BOYS IN BLACK TIE by Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy and Morgan Leigh
SIZE 12 IS NOT FAT by Meg Cabot
SECRETS VOL 15 by various authors
SOFIE METROPOLIS by Tori Carrington

The winner will be picked Wednesday morning!

We want to hear from you at Romance Reviews Today!
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Anonymous said...


Wonderful job! Now, about that witch comment....


Jodi said...

We dress the kids up and drive them by their grandparents houses and their aunt's house. Then, we come home and walk around the neighborhood. It only takes about 30 minutes before they are tired! Then, we usually have supper while answering the door for all of the other trick-or-treaters.

Carrie Alexander said...

My favorite Halloween tradition is carving the pumpkin. Sometimes I go traditional, sometimes artistic, and this year I did a modern Jack O'Lantern that was only a pattern of small round holes. Easy to do. I punched holes with a screwdriver.

Happy Halloween!

Maureen said...

When our kids were younger my husband took them out trick or treating while I gave the candy away at home. They always wanted to be with friends so it was always a scramble to see who was going with who.

J said...

My family has no Halloween tradition as it's not something we celebrate.

Kris said...

We do not really have traditions perse because our kids are very young and we have not really formed any yet. The kids get dressed up and we take them Trick or Treating.

CrystalGB said...

I don't have children but when I was a child I was afraid of going trick or treat, so my mom and I would make popcorn balls and cookies on Halloween. Great memories.

Wolfy said...

Years ago when my kids were small we used to carve pumpkins, and put up Halloween decorations. I would take the kids out around the neighbourhood to trick and treat, while my husband stayed home and passed out treats. Now there are so few kids that come to the door, that I will be curling up and reading a book, with a warm drink.

Great job on the history of Halloween and the blog .........

Mimmi said...

We always decorate our house like crazy--spooky this year--and make treat bags to hand out on Halloween. My friend Denise and her 3 kids, and my daughter Alyx and I always go trick or treating. We visit my sister, who dresses up as a witch, and of course my Mom's. Then after much trick or treating we come back here to eat chilli, and hand out treats to the little goblins, ghosts and ghost riders (BG). It's a blast!!
Ohhh, and I'm reading a great book for the season~~She's No Faerie Princess by Christine Warren. It's a hoot!! Can't put it down!!
Happy Halloween!!

Deborah said...

we didn't use to celebrate halloween when i was younger, so my mom always made a big habit of turning off all the lights in the house and making sure all the windows were closed so the kids wouldn't come up to ring the doorbell. heh. yes we were paranoid in those days.

Cynthya said...

We don't have any special traditions other than giving out lots of candy (the good stuff, of course) and putting out a pumpkin (sometimes carved, sometimes not.) I do love seeing all the kids in their Halloween costumes and getting to meet the neighbors.

Jennifer Y. said...

I am probably going to bore you, but we don't really have any special traditions. We never get trick-or-treaters because we live on a main road and we never go to parties or anything so we don't get costumes or decorate. I enjoy the holiday very much though and usually spend it at my brother's with his family...but not this year. I am going to miss the trick-or-treaters though. When I was in college, they would bring kids to the dorms and have them go room-to-room trick-or-treating, which was fun (and my first experience with giving candy to trick-or-treaters).

I guess the only real "tradition" that I have is watching It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown each year.

Anonymous said...

We always eat chili dogs for supper, then head out into our neighborhood for trick or treating. My husband takes the truck and will park it at the end of one road - we all walk that road together then get in the back of the truck and go to the next road. Now our subdivision has a little over 200 houses and we never go to all of them! We always stop and chat with our neighbors and usually run out of steam around 8:00. We live at the top of a huge hill and on a dead end. I always leave candy out in a bowl on the porch with the light on, and it is always there when we return. Nobody wants to walk up our hill!

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