MAC: Jack-o’-lanterns & Halloween


Did you know …

It is Halloween and as they have for many generations, hundreds of little ghosts and goblins will once again scurry around your neighborhood looking for candy. Groups of them will knock on your door, and after loudly stating their time-honored demand of “trick or treat,” they will present their loot bags for you to buy them off with a few pieces from your candy stash. So if you don‘t want to have any tricks played on you, be prepared to have plenty of candy on hand to satisfy these scary denizens of the night.

This year, MAC thought it would be interesting to tell the real story of Halloween and the infamous jack-o’-lantern so he did some research, and here is the rest of the story:

It is widely believed that Halloween can be traced to a two-day Celtic festival called Samhain that began at sundown on October 31 and commemorated both the end of harvest season and the beginning of the new year. Festivalgoers burned crops, wore costumes, and told fortunes. When the Romans conquered ancient Britain in the first century, they adopted many of the Celtic traditions. They merged the Samhain celebration with their own festival, Feralia, a day in late October when they honored those who died. Seven centuries later, when the Roman Catholic Church designated November 1 as All Saints’ Day, or All Hallows’ Day, October 31 became known as All Hallows’ Eve, shortened to Halloween in the United States.

Legend has it that the jack-o’-lantern got its start in an Irish folktale about a stingy fellow named Jack who tried to outmaneuver the devil. When his shenanigans failed, neither God nor the devil would let him rest. As a result, so the tale goes, Jack roams the earth at night with a burning coal placed inside a hollowed-out turnip to light his way; and so, he became Jack of the Lantern. In Irish tradition, hollow turnips carved with scary faces and filled with candles kept Stingy Jack and other spirits at bay. After moving to the United States, Irish immigrants substituted pumpkins for the less abundant and hard-to-core root crop.

Incidentally, if you believe in ghosts, you are not alone. The Associated Press conducted a survey which found that 34 percent of people believe in ghosts. Have a Happy Halloween!

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report listed 50 communities in Massachusetts with the highest per capita percentage of violent crimes. Surprisingly, the town of Canton is listed at number 48. Most of the communities on the list are cities with a high crime rate.

Scratch tickets make up about 70 percent of all lottery sales.

Approximately 10.5 million people receive disability benefits from Social Security. An additional 8 million get disability benefits from supplemental security income. The average benefit is $1,037 a month.

One of the petitions approved to appear on the 2018 ballot is a required sales tax holiday weekend every August.

Another stop sign has been approved by the Board of Selectmen. This one will be placed on Kingsbury Road at the intersection with Kenney Street. Motorists use this intersection to circumvent traffic backups on Randolph and Washington streets.

A contractor is in the process of looking for approval to construct three single-family dwellings at 193 Bailey Street.

The Reebok property in Canton consists of two parcels, a 42-acre main site and a separate 23-acre site.

The Needham Men’s Chorus will be performing at the Canton Senior Center on Tuesday, October 31, at 2 p.m. Come down and enjoy a Halloween afternoon with some great music and Halloween goodies.

The Canton Council on Aging will be sponsoring a Radio City Christmas spectacular and shopping spree on Saturday, November 11. For more information, call the Senior Center at 781-828-1323.

Selectmen and the Board of Health unanimously approved the appointment of Dr. Alan Rapoport to the Canton Board of Health. Dr. Rapoport will fill the vacancy left by the passing of Dr. Richard Levrault.

Selectmen appointed Mary Elizabeth Wiser as Canton’s new water and sewer superintendent. Wiser, previously the water superintendent for the town of Rowley, replaces Dennis Morton, who moved to Plainville.

The Canton High School football team has been snake-bitten this year, losing a one-point game, a two-point game, and a game in overtime.

The Canton Recreation Department will hold its annual Halloween Parade on Sunday, October 29, at 1 p.m.

It is illegal to melt down U.S. minted pennies and nickels, and there is a $10,000 fine that helps to enforce the law. However, it is legal to melt down silver dollars, half dollars, dimes, and quarters for their content.

If a window of opportunity to appears, don’t pull down the shade.

That is all for now folks. See you next week.

Joe DeFelice can be reached at

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avatar Posted by on Oct 27 2017. Filed under Featured Content, Man About Canton, Opinion. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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