Halloween happenings

Sandia Elementary second grader Anysnah Quintero points to her favorite pumpkin, decorated as an apple with a worm, Wednesday at school. The pumpkin decorated by kindergartner Kyli Osborn took second place. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth)

The word Halloween is a contracted version of All Hallows Eve and actually has origins tracing back to the Catholic Church. All Hollows Day is another name for All Saints Day which is a Catholic day of observance in honor of saints.

Another story says the holiday began in fifth century B.C. in Celtic Ireland. Summer officially ended on Oct. 31 and the Celtic New Year which was called Samhain (sow-en) would begin. The Celtics believed disembodied spirits would come back in search of living bodies to possess. The villagers would extinguish the fires in their homes to make them cold and uninviting. They would then dress up in ghoulish costumes and noisily parade around the neighborhood. They believed these antics would frighten the spirits away.

Fun facts
• Orange and black are Halloween colors because orange is associated with fall and black is associated with death.

• Bobbing for apples is thought to have originated from the Roman harvest festival in honor of Pamona, the goddess of fruit trees.

• Halloween is the second most commercially successful holiday, with Christmas being first.

• Black cats were once believed to be witch’s familiars who
protected their powers.

Source: www.halloween.website.com

Halloween by numbers
25 — Pounds of candy consumed by the average American in 2004, most believed to be by children around Halloween.

28 — Halloween greeting cards sent annually in millions.

1,446 — Weight of the world’s largest pumpkin in pounds.

1.5 — Money in billions Americans spend on Halloween costumes.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Happening haunts
(Designated trick-or-treat hours for Clovis are 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, according to the Clovis Police Department.)

Friday
Haunted House – 8 p.m. at Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, in Eddie Hall. Admission is free.

Haunted House – 8 p.m. at Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, in the music building.

Haunted house – Doors open at dark and don’t close until the last soul is scared to death. The second annual Cobra M.A.G. sponsored haunted house will take place at the Doc Stewart Park Pavilion in Chavez Housing across from Cannon AFB. Cost for adults is $3 and children are $1.50. Open through Monday

Saturday
Trick-or-treating – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at North Plains Mall. Merchants will be passing out candy to all children under 12. All children must be accompanied and are asked not to bring play weapons. Information: 769-2308.

Costume party – Trick-or-treat or come and eat. Webb’s Watering Hole, 1305 Mabry. Information: 762-4562.

Monday
Children’s Fall Festival — 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Parkland Baptist Church, 921 Parkland Drive. Prizes and candy will be available. The church requests no scary costumes.

Costume and pumpkin carving contest – 6 p.m. at Richard Burton Pontiac-Buick-GMC. $1,000 in prizes.

Trick-or-treat — 6 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1705 W. 21st Street in Clovis. Trunk-or-treat for candy and Christian treats. Information: 763-4816.

Midnight release party – 11:30 p.m. at Hastings.