Friday, May 22, 2009
Halloween (also spelled Hallowe’en) is a holiday celebrated on October 31. It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holy day of All Saints’ Day. It is largely a secular celebration, but some Christians and pagans have expressed strong feelings about its religious overtones. Irish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America during Ireland's Great Famine of 1846. The day is often associated with the colors orange and black, and is strongly associated with symbols such as the jack-o'-lantern. Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, ghost tours, bonfires, costume parties, visiting haunted attractions, carving jack-o'-lanterns, reading scary stories, and watching horror movies.
Halloween has origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (Irish pronunciation: [ˈsˠaunʲ]; from the Old Irish samain, possibly derived from Gaulish samonios). The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture, and is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic New Year".Traditionally, the festival was a time used by the ancient Celtic pagans to take stock of supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. The ancient Celts believed that on October 31, now known as Halloween, the boundary between the living and the deceased dissolved, and the dead become dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness or damaged crops. The festivals would frequently involve bonfires, into which the bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown. Costumes and masks were also worn at the festivals in an attempt to copy the evil spirits or placate them. - Wikipedia
Friday, May 15, 2009
A cobra is a venomous snake, which is a member of the family Elapidae (elapids). The name is short for cobra de capello (or cobra di capello), which is Portuguese for "snake with hood," or "hood-snake."When disturbed, most of these snakes can rear up and spread their neck (or hood) in a characteristic threat display. However, not all snakes referred to as cobras are of the same genus, or even of the same family.