Kentucky lawmaker freaks over Day of the Dead zombies

Henderson, Kentucky is a town of about 30,000 people in the western part of the state. It's not far from Evansville, Indiana, and it's one of the top three corn and soybean producers in the state. Read the rest

Examining the generational loss of ancient Halloween traditions

Halloween, like many modern American holidays, is a kind of mashup of different cultural traditional traditions rooted in the autumnal harvest, and some kind of celebration or connection with the spirit world. You see it in Mexico with Dia de los Muertos; and in pre-Christian Ireland, it was Oíche Shamhna ("Shamna" being the genitive form of "Samhain," which is pronounced kind of like "SOW-un," and actually just means "November").

An episode of The Irish Passport podcast takes a close look at the roots of those Gaelic traditions, and the kind of generation loss that happened when it was exported to the United States, and then re-imported back to Ireland. The result is kind of fun-house-mirror reflection of itself—modern Irish imitating a mutated American imitation of older Irish traditions. You'll also get to learn a bit about how the faeryfolk in Ireland, the Aos Sídhe, still play an active role in modern real estate development in the Republic (yes really).

Just below the surface of modern Ireland, a parallel world exists with its roots in pre-Christian belief. Irish fairies aren’t like Tinkerbell—they’re more like a supernatural mafia. So be careful what you say, because as the story goes, they’re probably listening. Tim talks to one of Ireland’s last seanchaí or story-teller historians, who once managed to get a highway diverted to prevent the felling of a fairy bush. We also hear about modern traditions from the streets of Galway as the Celtic New Year Samhain festival is underway.

You can download the mp3, or find the episode on iTunes/Stitcher/Google Play/Spotify/etc. Read the rest

Black-on-black Day of the Dead playing cards

These beautiful Day of the Dead playing cards could be none more black.

Poker sized and made of PVC plastic to allow for the throwing, these cards are absolutely beautiful.

Black Playing Cards - Day of the Dead Edition by Gent Supply Co via Amazon Read the rest

Rose, Mercedes and The Days Of The Dead

How do you encourage a dead woman to leave your house? It helps if you have a hammer, balloons and confetti.

This week on HOME: Stories From L.A., the story of actress/writer/artist Rose Portillo, and of the Los Angeles house she was born into. It was the scene of her family's ascent, assimilation and culture clash, and of the long process, spanning life and death, of Rose coming to terms with the contentious spirit of her grandmother. 

HOME is part of the Boing Boing Podcast Network.

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