Fun times ahead as autumn approaches
Traditions are always part of our daily lives, but there are some traditions that we only do certain parts of the year and Autumn is no different. And right here in Great Bend many of these traditions can be enjoyed with family and friends.
While some have been around from a long time, others are comparitively new. It’s a matter of personal choice. But like all traditions, everyone has their favorite one or two that they look forward to sharing with their friends and loved ones every year.
According to mentalfloss.com here are the traditions that are commonly known in the fall and a little bit of history about them.
Several colleges claim to have held the first homecoming, but whether it was the University of Missouri, Baylor, or the University of Illinois, the tradition dates from the early 1900s and was invented to encourage alumni to come back to visit.
• Corn mazes
Wandering through a confusing crop configuration is a relatively recent tradition. The first corn maze was created in 1993 at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pa. Its creator, Don Frantz, has also been responsible for producing Super Bowl halftime shows and Broadway musicals like The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast.
Going door-to-door for food on specific holidays dates at least back to the Middle Ages. It became popular in the United States in the 1920s and ‘30s, but had to be put on hold during WW II due to the sugar rations. When the war was over, the practice returned with a vengeance.
• Apple bobbing
Trying to grab a Red Delicious with your teeth wasn’t always an autumn tradition. It was once a British courting ritual, where each apple was assigned the name of an eligible bachelor, and each woman would try to grab the apple representing the man she was interested in.
Getting it on the first try meant a “happily ever after” ending. Snagging the apple on the second attempt meant the couple would get together, but their love wouldn’t last. And three tries was a no-go. Though the game waned in popularity during the 1800s, a version of it was revived at the end of the century by Americans remembering their cultural roots.
• The world series
In 1901 and 1902, baseball’s American League and National League were bitter rivals, stealing each other’s players and even taking the beef to the off-season. Things had mostly settled down by 1903, and to bury the hatchet, the leagues decided to face off in a friendly competition. The Boston Americans beat the Pittsburg Pirates, but by 1904, the rivalry had reared its ugly head again. John McGraw, the manager of the New York Giants, the National League champs, refused to let his team play against the American League Boston Americans, and the 1904 World Series was canceled.
• Haunted houses
The idea of an attraction designed specifically to creep people out has been around since 19th-century London, when Madame Tussaud exhibited eerily accurate wax replicas of famous French people getting their heads lopped off by the guillotine. But walkthroughs of macabre mansions filled with all manner of spooks and scares was first popularized in 1969.
• Black Friday
If getting up in the middle of the night to fight crowds and snag deals on electronics and cookware is your idea of a good time, thank the good people of Philadelphia. Philly police used the term “Black Friday” to refer to the day after Thanksgiving, when the city would be awash with rowdy fans attending the Army-Navy football game. Local retailers took advantage of the crowds by having sales and calling the day “Big Friday,” but the police term for it stuck. By the 1980s, the discounts and super sales started creeping across the nation.
• Carving Jack-O’-Lanterns
Why do we carve pumpkins? The short answer: Because it’s better than carving turnips.
The long answer: As far back as the 1500s, Irish people told a story about Stingy Jack, a blacksmith who made a deal with the Devil to never claim his soul—but when he died, God wouldn’t let him into Heaven, either. So Jack was doomed to walk the Earth for all eternity, with only a burning coal to light his way—which he carried in a turnip he had carved out. He roams the world to this day as “Jack of the Lantern,” or “Jack-O’-Lantern.” Irish immigrants eventually brought the tale to the U.S., as well as the related tradition of turnip-carving. Since pumpkins were plentiful in the U.S. and allowed more room for candles, they quickly became the veggie of choice.