Gate Night: The Veil Grows Thin

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The fairies be out that night and they would take you away with them if you were out at that evil time. It is also said that the devil shakes his budges [fur] on the haws and turns them black and according to the old people if you eat a haw after Hallow Eve night you will have no luck (qtd in “Halloween in Irish Folklore”).

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No War on Christmas, Just a Lot of Canons

I wrote this article last year on the banned books blog and wanted to share it, since it may actually be more relevant here. Half a look at how Christmas traditions change and adapt, this post also includes a list of the books, fairy tales, music, and movies that are part of my Christmas canon. Feel free to share yours in the comments.

Bound and Gagged

As a Mythology & Religion major, I think an awful lot about tradition and ritual; why they change, how they change, and how they are kept alive. And there is no time of year when this is more prevalent than the veritable smorgasbord of winter holidays around this time each year. Here the effects of cultural exchange, cultural diffusion, industrialization, and globalization on tradition and folk culture are clearest. For the anthropologically or historically inclined it’s, well, it’s like Christmas morning.

Yet this time of year is also when tensions over said traditions run highest, if the annual “War on Christmas” tirades, arguments in the media over the ethnic background of Santa Claus, concerns that the mainstream American vision of Santa Claus has eclipsed the German Sinter Klaus (Sinterklaas?), many an article on interfaith or Jewish parenting websites regarding the Christmas tree or Channukkah bush, and my Facebook feed are anything to go by. Having given…

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Forget the “Gritty” Reboots, The Original Grimm is Here (And Far More Terrifying)

This post is from my other blog but seemed worth sharing here too, given the subject matter.

Bound and Gagged

Greetings, readers. First off, I’d like to apologize for neglecting the blog so much recently. Other priorities demanded my attention and I let things get away from me. Anyway, thanks for sticking with me and I’ll be redoubling my efforts to bring you reviews and other banned books news.

To start things off, I bring excellent news for fans of mythology, folktales, fairy tales, German folk culture, and generally scarring children for life. A new translation of the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales will keep all of the uncensored gory details and the (more) disturbing stories that got left out of the Brother Grimm collection when it was refurbished for children and the then-modern, Christian sensibilities of their parents. So, if you ever wished bedtime stories were more like this, only with more dismemberment and mommy issues, you’re in luck.

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