From Health Ambition — www.healthambition.com

 

On week 345 we are sharing information on Probiotics. The immense benefits of our total wellbeing from the inside out. We say this with confidence, it will aid with so many issues from skin outbreaks all the way to your overall welfare, we encourage you to consume a good source of probiotics, and with this said probiotics are an essential ingredient to keep yourself in top shape, healthy gut healthy life.

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Have you heard about kombucha yet? It’s one of the most fashionable beverages floating around the alternative health scene. People are raving over the vast number of health benefits linked to this ancient Chinese “immortal health elixir”.

Many claims are made ranging from fighting severe illness to preventing degenerative diseases, and so on we are not qualified to do so, so in this post, we will be sharing information we gather, please consult your health practitioner before you make any changes. With all the claims it’s no wonder so many are jumping on the kombucha bandwagon. But what are the kombucha tea health benefits? I’m going to share what we have gathered about this product.

 

 

 

What is Kombucha Tea?

In simple terms, kombucha is a fermented tea that is indeed the bottom line. Kombucha is made by mixing black or green tea with specific strains of bacteria, yeast, and sugar. Over the course of about a week, the bacteria and yeasts enzymes digest the components of whatever tea is used, giving it a more acidic flavor.

Throughout this process, a small mushroom-like substance forms and floats on top of the liquid. This particular substance is a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast or what is referred to as SCOBY. This is what gives kombucha its nickname ‘mushroom tea’. The SCOBY can then be used to ferment the new batch of kombucha.

During fermentation, small trace levels of alcohol are formed alongside gasses and various acidic compounds which are responsible for carbonating the liquid.

Quite a bit of research about the health benefits of kombucha has been carried out in the first half of the 20th century.

In the 1990s kombucha made its first appearance in the US. Research. However, a lot of Russian and German study was made available in English and which sparked enormous interest in the beverage.

Kombucha is a powerhouse of general wellness benefits – mainly due to fermentation and its raw organic ingredients. I think that the majority of people could benefit positively from drinking kombucha on a regular basis. The following are just some of the benefits it has on the body:

 

It’s Packed With Probiotics

 

Yes, that is correct probiotics, my friends. I’ve already written a number of articles on the magnitude of benefits probiotics have to offer. During kombucha fermentation, is a vast amount of probiotics that are produced.

Any type of probiotic food is a good thing to add to your diet, fermented food falls into this category. These healthy microorganisms do everything from aiding digestion to boosting immunity.

 

 

 

 Culture for Health how to make Kombucha from click below link

 

http://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/kombucha/how-to-make-kombucha/

Recipes for making Kombucha 

 

 

Kombucha Recipe – 1-Gallon

Scale up or down depending on the size of your vessel and your needs

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4-6 bags tea –  for loose leaf, 1 bag of tea = 1 Tsp
  • Kombucha Starter Culture – SCOBY
  • 1 cup starter liquid
  • purified/bottled water
  • tea kettle
  • brewing vessel
  • cloth cover
  • rubber band

 

Process

 

  1. Boil 4 cups of water.
  2. Add hot water & tea bags to pot or brewing vessel.
  3. Steep 5-7 minutes, then remove tea bags.
  4. Add sugar and stir to dissolve.
  5. Fill vessel most of the way with purified water, leaving just 1-2 inches from the top for breathing room with filtered cold water.
  6. Add SCOBY and starter liquid.
  7. Cover with cloth cover and secure with the rubber band.
  8. Say a prayer, send good vibes, commune with your culture (optional but recommended).
  9. Set in a warm location out of direct sunlight (unless the vessel is opaque).
  10. Do not disturb for 7 days.

After 7 days, or when you are ready to taste your brew, gently insert a straw beneath the SCOBY and take a sip. If too tart, then reduce your brewing cycle next time you make it.  If too sweet, allow brewing for a few more days to let the mixture to sour a bit more.  Continue to taste every day or so until you reach your optimum flavor preference. Your own Kombucha Tea Recipe may vary from preparation to preparation.

Decant & flavor (optional).

Drink as desired! Start off with 4-8oz on an empty stomach in the morning, then with meals to help with digestion or as your body tells you it would like some more! Drink plenty of water as it is a natural detoxifier and you want to flush the newly released toxins out be your own judge.

What are Probiotics 

According to https://www.gastro.org

 

Probiotics are living microscopic organisms, or microorganisms, that scientific research has shown to benefit your overall health. For the most part, they are bacteria, but they may also be other organisms such as yeasts involved. In some cases they are similar, or the same, as the “good” bacteria already in your body, here we are referring, in particular, those in your gut. These good bacteria are part of the trillions of microorganisms that inhabit our bodies. This community of microorganisms is called the microbiota. Some microbiota organisms can cause disease. However, others like in the case of probiotics are necessary for good health and digestion.

The most common probiotic bacteria come from two groups, Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium, although it is important to remember that many other types of bacteria are also classified as probiotics are essential to keep these facts in mind. Each group of bacteria has different species, and each species has different strains. This is important to remember because different strains have a range of benefits for different parts of your body. For example, Lactobacillus casei Shirota has been shown to support the immune system and to help food move through the gut, but Lactobacillus bulgaricus may help relieve symptoms of lactose intolerance in many cases, a condition in which people cannot digest the lactose found in most milk and dairy products. In general, not all probiotics are the same, and they don’t all work the same way we leave it to your discretion.

Scientists are still sorting out exactly how probiotics work. They may:

  • Boost your immune system by enhancing the production of antibodies to specific vaccines.
  • Produce substances that may prevent infection.
  • May prevent harmful bacteria from attaching to the gut lining and growing there.
  • Send signals to your cells to strengthen the mucus in your intestine and help it act as a barrier against infection.
  • An inhibitor that can destroy toxins released by certain “bad” bacteria that can affect your wellbeing.
  • Produce B vitamins necessary for metabolizing the food you eat, warding off anemia caused by deficiencies in B6 and B12, and maintaining healthy skin and a robust nervous system.

 

 

According to https://1md.org/article/what-are-probiotics-1md

 

Some of the Most Important Probiotics Strains

Let’s look at some of the most important strains of probiotics and what they do best.

Lactobacillus acidophilus: L. acidophilus boosts immunity, and by that, it supports healthy digestion, particularly in people who have a difficult time digesting lactose.

Bacillus laterosporus: B. laterosporus has been proven to efficiently to resolve an array of harmful organisms and has been determined to rid candida in a short period of time.

Bifidobacterium breve: B. breve plays a crucial role in colon health and is considered one of the probiotics best able to activate dendritic cells, by boosting your immune system.

Bifidobacterium bifidum: Is one of the best-known probiotics, B. bifidum efficiently keeps unwanted bacteria out, it enhances your immune system, plays a crucial role in allergy response,( so many people can use help with this issue) and helps ease digestion.

Bifidobacterium lactis: B. lactis is genuinely one of the most versatile strains of probiotics. It helps your body digest lactose, as well as all types of sugars, fats, and macronutrients while reducing the effects of ulcerative colitis, minimizing the occurrence of diarrhea associated with antibiotic therapy, and supporting healthy cholesterol levels.

Lactobacillus salivarius: this is a potent antibacterial, L. salivarius is considered crucial for good oral health. In addition to controlling bacteria in your mouth and small intestines, it relieves the effects of asthma and allergies and lowers cholesterol levels.

Lactobacillus plantarum: L. plantarum has been proven shown to enhance lysine production. Lysine is an amino acid that supports hormone production, strengthens the immune system, and promotes calcium absorption.

Lactococcus lactis: There are plenty of benefits associated with L. lactis (26). The qualities include reducing inflammation and allergies,  strengthening the immune system (particularly in the elderly), improving cholesterol levels, and increasing blood glucose control in diabetics.

Lactobacillus gasseri: L. gasseri supports healthy digestion, promotes weight loss, combats obesity, and may lower glucose levels and improve glucose tolerance, which is of great importance for diabetics..

Lactobacillus brevis: L. brevis is another versatile strain that increases the production of the natural killer cells to boost your immunity, supports digestive health, it helps to enhance the effectiveness of antibiotics, has potent antimicrobial properties, and helps improve the condition of your gums and overall oral health. Recent studies indicate that it may help combat ulcers caused by H. pylori.

Bifidobacterium longum: B. longum lessens the symptoms of Celiac disease, IBS, and allergies, while also boosting cognitive function, alleviating anxiety and depression, lowering cholesterol levels, and relieving inflammation.

Health Benefits of Probiotic Foods 

 

 

According to neurologist Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride

 

“Every traditional culture, when you look at their regular diet, they ferment their foods. They fermented everything. You can ferment dairy, grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, meats, and fish. Everything can be fermented, and there were fermented beverages in every culture. 

Perhaps for a month or two, you were eating fresh cabbage, but then for the rest of the year, 10 months of the year, you ate your cabbage in a fermented form pretty much with each meal. Quite a significant percentage of all the foods that people consume on a daily basis were fermented. And with every mouthful of these fermented foods, you ingest trillions of beneficial bacteria. at the same time.”

Fermented foods have been consumed for over 5000 years, and even in the past 100 years, certain cultures have excelled on probiotic-rich foods.

Germans consumed sauerkraut, Indians drank lassi, Bulgarians consumed kefir, Asians cultures consumed kimchi, Russians consumed raw yogurt, and Kenyan’s consumed amasi.

Fermented foods give you way more units of probiotics and strains of probiotics than a supplement ever will this is an excellent point to keep in mind.  When Dr. McBride tested the fermented vegetables she made to a bottle of a good quality probiotic she found that her vegetables had trillions of probiotic units and over 30 strains which means her one serving of fermented vegetables was equal to an entire bottle of probiotics.

Dr. McBride also states that “Nature is exceptionally wise and populated all organic fruit and vegetables, our soils, and all plant matter with Lactobacilli. The fresh cabbage leaves, if it’s organically grown (not the one from harsh chemical farming), will be covered in Lactobacilli Lacto-fermenting bacteria. You don’t need to add anything it will ferment on its own. You just chop it up. Add some salt in the initial stages. (The salt is added in the initial step to stop putrefactive bacteria from multiplying.) Then as the Lactobacillus stop working and start reproducing, they produce lactic acid. That’s why they’re called Lactobacillus. That’s just lactic acid.

If you look at the research in lactic acid, it is one of the most influential antiseptics. It kills off lots and lots of harmful bacteria…. So as the lactic acid starts producing, it will kill off all those putrefactive and pathogenic microbes and preserve the food. It’s an excellent preservative… A good batch of sauerkraut can keep for five to six years without spoiling or rotting, as long as it is covered by its own juice.”

This process of fermentation does even more than preserve your food, it also makes the nutrients in the food more bio-available.  According to Dr. McBride, the amount of bio-available vitamin C in sauerkraut is 20 times higher than in fresh cabbage! Amazing right?

One of the other aspects that make the probiotic benefits in fermented foods so surprising is that they also kill off harmful bacteria!

The healthy bacteria, or probiotics, live longer than the unhealthy ones and actually help to end the harmful bacteria reign in the gut.  This decrease in ‘bad bacteria’ like candida and h. Pylori naturally benefit the body with less illness and diseases and lower rates of inflammation.

Probiotic Foods

 

from http://draxe.com

 

Kefir – Is similar to yogurt, this fermented dairy or nondairy product is a unique combination of cow milk or even coconut milk and fermented kefir grains. Kefir has been consumed for well over 3000 years, and the term kefir was started in Russia and Turkey and means “feeling good” now that is a significant little bit of trivia. It has a slightly acidic and tart flavor and contains anywhere from 10 to 34 strains of probiotics.  Kefir is similar to yogurt, but because it is fermented with yeast and more bacteria the final product is higher in probiotics.

 

 

To make and maintain your own Kefir click this link – http://www.wikihow.com/Maintain-Kefir-Grains

Cultured Vegetables (Sauerkraut and Kimchi)

 

Made from fermented cabbage and other vegetables, sauerkraut is high in organic acids (what gives food it’s sour taste) which support the growth of good bacteria.  Sauerkraut is extremely popular in Germany and many other parts of the world today. Kimchi is a cousin to sauerkraut and is the Korean take on cultured veggies that are eaten with most of their food. Both of the fermented formulas are also high in enzymes which can aid digestion.

 

Kombucha

 

Is an effervescent fermentation of black tea that is started by using a SCOBY also known as a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Kombucha has been around for over 2,000 years originating around Japan. Many claims have been made about kombucha but it’s primarily health benefits include digestive support, increased energy and liver detoxification.

For information on Kombucha 

Check out this post at www.healthambition.com

Coconut Kefir

 

This Kefir is made by fermenting the juice of young coconuts with kefir grains.  This dairy-free option for kefir has some of the same probiotics as traditional dairy kefir but is typically not as high in probiotics.  Still, it has several strains that are great benefits to your health. Coconut kefir has a great flavor and you can add a bit of stevia, water and lime juice to it and make a great tasting drink.

Natto

 

A popular dish that is consumed in Japan consisting of fermented soybeans.  Natto contains the extremely powerful probiotic bacillus subtilis which has been proven to bolster your immune system, it supports cardiovascular health and enhance digestion of vitamin K2. Also, Natto contains a powerful anti-inflammatory enzyme called nattokinase, so as you can see

Yogurt

 

 

Probably the most popular probiotic food is live cultured yogurt or Greek yogurt made from the milk of cows, goats, or sheep. Yogurt in most cases can rank at the top of probiotic foods if it comes from raw milk from fed grass-fed animals.  The challenge there is a large variation in the quality of yogurts on the market today.  It is recommended when buying yogurt to look for 3 things.  First, that it comes from a cow, goat’s or sheep milk, second, that it is grass-fed, and third, that it is organic.

 

 

 Kvass

This is a fermented beverage in Eastern Europe since ancient times.  It was traditionally made by fermenting rye or barley, but in more recent years has been created using beets, fruit along with other root vegetables like carrots. Kvass uses lactobacilli probiotics and is known for its blood and liver cleansing properties and has a mild sour flavor.

Raw Cheese

Goat’s milk, sheep’s milk and A2 cows soft cheeses are unusually high in probiotics, including thermophillus, bifudus, bulgaricus and acidophilus.  Always buy raw and unpasteurized cheeses if you want to receive any probiotics at all.

 

Probiotic Breakfast Ideas

 

Key

F = Fundamentals, S = Sourdough, CD = Cultured Dairy, and LF = Lacto-Fermentation.

All fermented foods are listed in italics.

Salsa (LF) with eggs Soaked, sprouted or sourdough muffins (F, S) with cultured butter (CD) and preserves (LF)
or fermented honey (LF)
Plain kefir or yogurt (CD) with fruit, fruit preserves (LF) or fruit chutney (LF), soaked nuts, dried fruit, and/or fermented honey (LF)
English muffin (S) egg sandwiches with raw cheese (CD) and mayonnaise (LF) Hard-boiled eggs with various condiments mixed in:
olives (LF), kraut (LF),
sour cream (CD), mayonnaise (LF), raw cheese (CD), salsa (LF), or cultured butter (CD)
Sauerkraut (F) or kimchi (LF) with scrambled eggs and any other breakfast fixings, like sausage or bacon
Smoothie with
plain kefir or yogurt (CD) with fermented honey (LF), coconut oil,
fruit, fruit preserves (LF), fruit chutney (LF), or fresh or frozen fruit
Sourdough crepes (S)
with fruit preserves (LF), fruit chutney (LF), fruit relish (LF), sour cream (CD), and/or fermented honey (LF)
Sourdough crepes (S)with scrambled eggs, sour cream (CD), salsa (LF), and/or guacamole (LF)
Toast with cultured butter (CD) Beet kvass (LF)
or other fermented beverage

 

 

 

 

 

Why we should be taking probiotics

Halloween History, Tutorials, Recipes, Pumpkin Carving, and More…

 

Hello everybody, first of all, we would like to thank you for your enormous support and the thousands of visits and loving messages, we are so thankful.

On week 58 we are sharing fantastic insights to Halloween culture, foods, and pumpkin carvings by one of the most talented artists, a lot of research and love has gone into the post, enjoy share and like if you do, be safe and remember your health so let’s consume small amounts of SUGAR, if possible, nowadays we find many products sugar free.

 

Here is a video from the most amazing makeup artist Rick Baker

Here is a gift from us, the tutorials from Rick Baker, WOW! what a treat from a master. He has set such an example for all of us in the make-up industry, he is excellence and perfection with such grace. We are honored to share these with you.

We thought that it would be fun to share carving pumpkins with an amazing artist and sculptor as Andy Bergholtz. WOW! again another gift to complete Halloween post #1. We added some fun easy recipes, enjoy and share with your friends and family, and don’t forget to click LIKE to keep us going, thank you, thank you from all of us.

We wish you health, happiness, and your ideal success.

 

 

 

History of Halloween

from www.halloweenhistory.org

Halloween is a holiday celebrated on the night of October 31. The word Halloween is a shortening of All Hallows’ Evening also known as Hallowe’en or All Hallows’ Eve.

Traditional activities include trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting “haunted houses” and carving jack-o-lanterns. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century. Other western countries embraced the holiday in the late twentieth century including Ireland, the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom as well as of Australia and New Zealand.

 

 

Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”).
The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. Samhain was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped, and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops.

The festival would frequently involve bonfires. It is believed that the fires attracted insects to the area which attracted bats to the area. These are additional attributes of the history of Halloween.

Masks and costumes were worn in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or appease them.

 

Makeup Examples for Reference

eye make up halloween

Pumpkin Enchanted Forest

gallery_big_sugar_skull_halloween_makeup

 

maxresdefault yelow hair

 

 

5-Cateye with black cat

 

Makeup by Rick Baker

 

MAC_Rick_Baker_Halloween_2013_Makeup_Collection8

 

 

Face Painting by Alexander-khokhlov

Black and white faces alexander-khokhlov-12

 

 

Orange and red dia de los Muertos

 

Trick-or-treating, is an activity for children on or around Halloween in which they proceed from house to house in costumes, asking for treats such as confectionery with the question, “Trick or treat?” The “trick” part of “trick or treat” is a threat to play a trick on the homeowner or his property if no treat is given. Trick-or-treating is one of the main traditions of Halloween. It has become socially expected that if one lives in a neighborhood with children one should purchase treats in preparation for trick-or-treaters.

 

 

Halloween around the world

 

from: http://www.novareinna.com/festive/world.html and http://www.travelchannel.com/interests/haunted/articles/halloween-around-the-world

 

As one of the world’s oldest holidays, Halloween is still celebrated today in several countries around the globe, but it is in North America and Canada that it maintains its highest level of popularity. Every year, 65% of Americans decorate their homes and offices for Halloween…a percentage exceeded only by Christmas. Halloween is the holiday when the most candy is sold and is second only to Christmas in terms of total sales.

 

Snap-Apple_Night

 

Ireland

 

The traditional birthplace of Halloween, Ireland is, naturally, home to one of the biggest celebrations: the Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival in County Meath, where an ancient Celtic festival we now know as Halloween began more than 2,000 years ago. Throughout the country, Halloween is welcomed with bonfires, party games, and traditional food, such as barmbrack, an Irish fruitcake that contains coins, buttons, rings, and other fortune-telling objects; and, of course, beer (among other drinks of choice). Fortunetelling is part of the old Irish Halloween tradition. If a young woman gets a ring that has been baked in a pastry or bread or even mashed potatoes, then she’ll be married by next Halloween. Tricks are also part of the Irish Halloween scene. Kids knock on doors, then run away before the doors get opened by the owner. Hopefully, this takes place after they’ve already acquired the candy during a previous foray through the neighborhood.

 

 

france

France

 

Halloween, the three millennia-old, famous folklore celebration has its roots in the Celtic and the Anglo-Saxon world let see when and how did it get to France? How do the French people celebrate Halloween? Let’s take a closer look.

Halloween, as a folk celebration, only appeared in France in the ’80s and at that time was only celebrated by the English-speaking communities in bars or restaurants, not by all the French people. The French people only became familiar with Halloween at the beginning of the ’90s. In 1992 the company César who specialized in fancy dress costumes decided to work on a way to settle in France and market their products but THE year of the massive marketing launching was 1997 when American companies such as Disneyland, Coca-Cola, and McDonald’s began using Halloween images in publicity campaigns in France. Even the French telecommunication society France Telecom commercialized an orange cell-phone named Olaween related to the holiday.

In France, Halloween is usually celebrated by young people in costumes going to parties at friends’ places, or clubs. The costumes themselves tend to be traditionally “scary” (vampires, ghosts, and witches, rather than costumes like princesses, superheroes, or even policemen or nurses which are popular in the United States and Great Britain they really cater to scary.

Stores and commercial centers decorate their windows and pastry and candy shops sell sweets and chocolate using the theme of Halloween.

French children also go from house to house trick-or-treating, which is translated as «des bonbons ou des coups de bâton » in French.

Controversial Halloween

 

Halloween in France nowadays is rather controversial, due to several reasons. One of the main reasons is that traditionally between October 31st and November 2nd, the French, particularly the older generations, visit cemeteries, honor saints, and attend religious services. Therefore, Halloween is seen as a distraction and a lack of respect for these celebrations of dead people.

Nowadays, Halloween is taking root in France. And, of course, the French love to dress up and have a party by culture. The jury is still out on if Halloween is gonna stick, but you can be sure that when Yves St. Laurent puts a Halloween costume on the fashion runway, the French take notice.

Nowadays, shops and trademarks use the images of Halloween, pumpkins, skeletons Bats, ghosts,s, etc… in their ads, so now, French people know it well, and some even start to celebrate Halloween with their kids. Why not? is so much fun for the whole family. The French traditionally love to get in costumes, and it’s quite common to have a costumed New Year party or a costumed birthday, even more so among kids.

 

 

Halloween-Mexico

 

Mexico

 

No nation celebrates the dead with festivities better than Mexico. In fact, “Dia de Los Muertos” (Day of the Dead), is celebrated over several days, from Oct. 31 through Nov. 2. It’s not Halloween at all, but rather a way that All Souls Day comes to life in Mexico. The celebration offers a chance to remember the deceased, tell their stories, and celebrate their lives. Family feasts, skull-shaped sweets, lots of tequila, dancing and mariachi music, as well as parades of people dressed as skeletons, all ensure that one’s ancestors are well remembered. The celebration is embraced across Mexico, with huge festivities even in the smallest of villages.

 

Halloween Germany

 

Germany

 

In Germany, Halloween is celebrated as All Saints Day. In southern Germany, it’s celebrated from October 30 to November 8. Typically, in this and many other Catholic parts of the world, the All Saints Day is spent attending church, honoring the saints who have died for the Catholic faith, as well as visiting and remembering dead family members, usually at the graveside. Additionally, Germans hide their knives, so the returning spirits presumably won’t get harmed by random knife movements during the day.

 

Austria

 

Austria

 

In Austria, some people will leave bread, water, and a lighted lamp on the table before retiring on Halloween night. The reason for this is because it was once believed such items would welcome the dead souls back to earth on a night which for the Austrians was considered to be brimming with strong cosmic energies.

 

Belgium

 

Belgium

 

The Belgians believe that it is unlucky for a black cat to cross once’s the path and also unlucky if it should enter a home or travel on a ship. The custom in Belgium on Halloween night is to light candles in memory of dead relatives.

 

 

Canada

 

Halloween is celebrated in Canada on or around October 31. It is a day to mark the single night in the year when, according to old Celtic beliefs, spirits, and the dead can cross over into the world of the living. Some people hold parties and children may trick-or-treat in their neighborhood.

 

China

 

China

 

In China, the Halloween festival is known as Teng Chieh. Food and water are placed in front of photographs of family members who have departed while bonfires and lanterns are lit in order to light the paths of the spirits as they travel the earth on Haloween night. Worshippers in Buddhist temples fashion “boats of the law” from paper, some of which are very large, which are then burned in the evening hours. The purpose of this custom is twofold: as a remembrance of the dead and in order to free the spirits of the “pretas” in order that they might ascend to heaven. “Pretas” are the spirits of those who died as a result of an accident or drowning and whose bodies were consequently never buried. The presence of “pretas” among the living is thought by the Chinese to be dangerous. Under the guidance of Buddhist temples, societies are formed to carry out ceremonies for the “pretas,” which includes the lighting of lanterns. Monks are invited to recite sacred verses and offerings of fruit are presented.

 

Czechoslovakia

 

Czechoslovakia

 

In Czechoslovakia, chairs are placed by the fireside on Halloween night. There is one chair for each living family member and one for each family member’s spirit.

 

England

 

England

 

At one time, English children made “punkies” out of large beetroots, upon which they carved a design of their choice. Then, they would carry their “punkies” through the streets while singing the “Punkie Night Song” as they knocked on doors and asked for money. In some rural areas, turnip lanterns were placed on gateposts to protect homes from the spirits who roamed on Halloween night. Another custom was to toss objects such as stones, vegetables, and nuts into a bonfire to frighten away the spirits. These symbolic sacrifices were also employed as fortune-telling tools. If a pebble thrown into the flames at night was no longer visible in the morning, then it was believed that the person who tossed the pebble would not survive another year. If nuts tossed into the blaze by young lovers then exploded, it signified a quarrelsome marriage. For the most, part, however, the English ceased celebrating Halloween with the spread of Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation. Since followers of the new religion did not believe in Saints, they saw no reason to celebrate the Eve of All Saints’ Day. However, in recent years, the American “trick or treating” custom, together with the donning of costumes for going door-to-door, has become a relatively popular pastime among English children at Halloween, although many of the adults (particularly the older generations) have little idea as to why they are being asked for sweets and are usually ill-prepared to accommodate their small and hopeful callers.

 

 

obon

 

 

Japan

 

The Japanese celebrate the “Obon Festival” (also known as “Matsuri” or “Urabon”) which is similar to Halloween festivities in that it is dedicated to the spirits of ancestors. Special foods are prepared and bright red lanterns are hung everywhere. Candles are lit and placed into lanterns which are then set afloat on rivers and seas. During the “Obon Festival,” a fire is lit every night in order to show the ancestors where their families might be found. “Obon” is one of the two main occasions during the Japanese year when the dead are believed to return to their birthplaces. Memorial stones are cleaned and community dances performed. The “Obon Festival” takes place during July or August.

 

chuseok

 

Korea

 

In Korea, the festival similar to Halloween is known as “Chusok.” It is at this time that families thank their ancestors for the fruits of their labor. The family pays respect to these ancestors by visiting their tombs and making offerings of rice and fruits. The “Chusok” festival takes place in the month of August.

 

Alla Helgons Dag

 

Sweden

 

In Sweden, Halloween is known as “Alla Helgons Dag” and is celebrated from October 31 until November 6. As with many other holidays, “Alla Helgons Dag” has an eve that is either celebrated or becomes a shortened working day. The Friday prior to All Saint’s Day is a short day for universities while school-age children are given a day of vacation.

halloween

United States

 

In the United States, people celebrate Halloween by wearing scary costumes. They also dress up like popular celebrities, children’s show characters, princesses, superheroes, and much more. After dressing up, kids go trick-or-treating. They go from house to house in their neighborhoods and ask for treats such as candies and snacks by saying, “Trick or treat!” According to tradition, if no treat is given, they can play a trick on the homeowners. The traditional scary and modern fun sides of Halloween are seen today as the Jack-o’-lanterns that people create by carving scary faces on pumpkins. Homeowners place Jack-o’-lanterns in front of their houses to scare evil spirits and to welcome trick-or-treaters. Other modern fun activities that reflect the traditional past of Halloween include watching horror movies and visiting haunted houses.

Strawberry Ghosts via Miss CandiQuik

Strawberry Ghosts_OS

 

These chocolate ghosts come together before you can say “Boo!” Just dunk ripe strawberries in melted white chocolate and let them cool on a baking sheet in the fridge. Add mini chocolate chip eyes and mouths and they’re ready for spooky snacking

 

 

Bat Bites

 

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These bite-sized bats have an adult-friendly flavor from the goat cheese, cream cheese, and pesto mixture. The kids will love to shape the bats’ bodies, decorate their faces, and give them wings. Keep it simple by preparing just about everything ahead of time.

Ingredients

  • 1 (4 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 8 ounces soft, mild goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 8 pitted olives, sliced
  • 32 peppercorns
  • 32 triangular blue corn chips or free-form wing shapes made from leftover tortillas

Preparation

Mash together cream cheese, goat cheese, and pesto. Chill for 40 minutes.

Shape mixture into 16 2-inch balls, about 1 heaping tsp. each. Roll in black pepper and poppy seeds to cover. Press two olive slices into balls for eyes and place peppercorns in centers for pupils.

Insert chip on either side of the ball for wings; serve.

 

 

Snack-o’-Lantern Fruit Cups via Pennies on a Platter

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Looking for a festive way to serve dessert? Look no further — these carved-out oranges make a perfect container for fruit salad.

 

 

 

Halloween Green Tea Martinis

 

Martini halloween 9-22-14

Ingredients
• 2 ounces vodka
• 6 green tea bags
• 1-½ ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice
• 1/2 ounce agave nectar

Directions
1. Infuse a 750ml bottle of vodka with 6 teabags, 3 each of Numi Rainforest Green and Numi Ginger Sun, per instructions above.
2. Mix all ingredients except garnishes in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake for 15 seconds. Strain into a martini glass.

 

 

Apple Almond-Butter Bite Backs

Healthy-Halloween2 apples

With apple’s coming into their prime season, it’s no wonder there are two recipes that incorporate them into our list. These Apple Bite Backs look amazing and taste even better, plus they don’t actually bite.

Ingredients:

  • Apples
  • Almond Butter
  • Jam
  • Almond Slices

First slice the apple on either side of the core, leaving 2 halves with the core free standing. Cut the halves into half slices again. Then cut a triangle middle slice out of the skin side of the apple leaving an open mouth shape. Spread the almond butter (or jam) into the mouth of the apple. Stick almond slices in as teeth! (recipe from ohsheglows.com)

 

Vegetable Plater Ideas

 

 

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