Halloween is not necessarily everybody’s favorite holiday at Green Valley Ranch. Here are 4 reasons why, and a 5th reason that saves the day!!
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- As a start, we live in DUBLIN y’all! The origins of Halloween date back to the Celtic festival of Samhaim which marked the end of the summer season, the harvest season, and the beginning of winter. The Celts lived 2000 years ago in Ireland. In case you missed the connection spelled out……. Halloween marks the beginning of winter, AND Green Valley Ranch is in Dublin, y’all! moving on……..
2. Are the spirits messing with our weather? Just like us, the Celts were farmers, dependent on favorable weather and predictable climate patterns. Their priests, ‘The Druids‘ built huge sacred bonfires around which everyone would gather. They burnt their crops and offered animal sacrifices to appease the spirits. Here in Texas, we have experienced an awful lot of unpredictable weather. We do have many burn piles but we would never consider sacrificing one of our Texas longhorn cows or calves or any animal for that matter.
3. On the night of Samhaim (October 31), the Celts believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. These spirits helped the Druids predict future crops for the next year but they also were believed to cause trouble, damage crops and bring bad weather. Celts wore costumes made of animal heads and skins in order to disguise themselves from the ghosts and blend in. If you happen to be in a big city like DALLAS, Texas, this may not worry you as much as it worries us when we are out in the fields at dusk and the coyotes start their harmonious serenade .
4. Many SUPERSTITIONS have evolved over the centuries. You may have heard them and others. Here are some that we have listed that we find particularly creepy, given our rural surroundings:-
– If you hear the sound of footsteps behind you on Halloween make sure not to turn around. There is a good chance you are being shadowed by death and by looking around you could cause yours. On our farm, failure to turn round may be fatal too.
– Emerging from Medieval Folklore, if a bat flies into your home, rest assured, your home is haunted as ghosts have let it in. But even worse, if it flies in three times, someone will die. No need to visit a haunted English castle when you live in a barn in the woods.
– If a black cat meows on your porch or on your window sill a death is imminent. Some animals shelters have a rule not to sell black cats on Halloween – a fact I read on too many sites to mention.
-For those of you afraid of spiders, as I am, listen up. If you spot a spider fall to its death in a candle lit lamp, it is a sign that witches are nearby.
– A Medieval European belief links owls with witches. We have a lot of owls here which, in our ignorance, we have always been so excited about.
– Sticking with witches, old Folklore suggests that if you wear your clothes inside out and then walk backwards at midnight, you will see a witch. My husband would probably vouch for that.
By the way, the word WITCH is derived from ‘wicca,’ old English for Wise Woman. ‘Cmon now, call me a witch – in my mind it will never again have any reference to an OLD HAG.
5. As for the TRADITIONS, we actually do love them. We have a few that we carry out, not necessarily only on Halloween.
– A lot of people think longhorns are scary on any given day. We’re fine with that.
– The coyotes howl an eerie song most nights, making the hair on the back of our necks stick up, (I’ve posted a video recording of coyotes howling close by on Facebook.)
– Trick or treat! at least the treats are a regular occurrence. The babies love sweet feed and sometimes it is coated in molasses.
Thank you for visiting our site and reading our blog. We love to hear from you. If you have a special tradition or if you know of other superstitions related to Halloween, please share with us here, via email or on our facebook page GVR@longhorns .
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Each one of our Longhorns brings something special to the herd. As a community they are fascinating. We learn more about them everyday. We never imagined how much joy they would bring into our lives. We also enjoy hearing from you. Let us know what you think of our blog and if you are also lucky enough to have cattle, do they behave similarly/differently or in ways that stand out?
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Disclaimer: The material noted above is based on our hands- on experience as farmers, as well as our observations of our own cattle over the years. We have done and continue to do extensive research in order to maintain our herd‘s optimum health and in order to best manage Green Valley Ranch. We respect our animals and would not approach cattle we do not know. All opinions and statements made on our website are meant as guidelines only. We are not trained specialists in animal behavior, nor are we qualified veterinarians or accountants and we urge you to consult a specialist with your concerns.
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