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Friday Facts: Government Information You Can Use

This Week's Facts:

  1. State police, CDC Offer Halloween Safety Tips

  2. Folklife Center traces Halloween roots

  3. Celebrate apples as American Staple in October

Fall Events at State Parks

Enjoy a fantastic fall at Indiana state Parks

Many people celebrate the change in seasons the traditional way with candy, costumes, and trick-or-treaters, but if you’re looking for something different, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources may have something new and interesting for you at a State Park.

The Division of State Parks and Reservoirs invites Hoosiers to have a Fantastic Fall at many of their properties throughout the month of October and November. There are a variety of activities and events ranging from a Spooktacular Camping Weekend, an All Hallows’ Eve Celebration, Haunted Harmonie, and a Halloween Bash. There’s sure to be an event for every family size and budget located throughout Indiana.

Have a Fantastic Fall!

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Friday Facts
Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

&
Kim Brown-Harden
Federal Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program

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State police, CDC Offer Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween Safety Tips from the Indiana State PoliceHalloween is a time for tricks, treats, and scary costumes, but for some people Halloween can mean threat to safety. The Indiana State Police has safety tips on their website to help everyone have a fun and safe Halloween . The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also provides resources to keep festivities fun and safe for trick-or-treaters and party guests. Check their Halloween food safety webpage for tips, and if your child is going trick or treating, remember to have a SAFE HALLOWEEN:

S - Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible. 
A -
Avoid trick-or-treating alone.   Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
F - Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you. 
E -
Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them.  Limit the amount of treats you eat. 

H - Hold a flashlight while trick or treating to help you see and others see you. 
A -
Always test makeup in a small area first.  Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation. 
L -
Look both ways before crossing the street. 
L -
Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses. 
O -
Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe. 
W -
Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls. 
E -
Eat only factory-wrapped treats.   Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers. 
E -
Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult.  Only visit well-lit houses.  Don’t stop at dark houses. 
N -
Never accept rides from strangers.  Never walk near lit candles or luminaries.  Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes. 

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Folklife Center traces Halloween roots

1st & Green: Environmental ChallengeHistory of HolloweenFor years and years, many people have celebrated Halloween. Whether trick-or-treating with family or Halloween parties with friends, the celebration has continued in the U.S. in one form or another. Halloween had its beginnings in an ancient, pre-Christian, Celtic festival of the dead. The Celtic peoples, who were once found all over Europe, divided the year by four major holidays. According to their calendar, the year began on a day corresponding to November 1st on our present calendar, marking the beginning of winter. This was a time when farmers moved cattle and sheep to closer pastures; livestock were secured for the winter months; and crops were harvested and stored. The festival at this time was called Samhain (pronounced Sah-ween) - the most significant holiday of the Celtic year. The Celts believed that at the time of Samhain, the souls of those who had died during the year traveled into the otherworld. People lit bonfires in honor of the dead, to aid them on their journey, and to keep them away from the living.

The wearing of costumes, for instance, and roaming from door to door demanding treats can be traced to the Celtic period and the first few centuries of the Christian era. It was thought that the souls of the dead were out and around, along with fairies, witches, and demons – and offerings of food and drink were left out to placate them. As the centuries went on, people began dressing up and performing in exchange for food and drink in a practice called mumming, from which trick-or-treating evolved. To this day, witches, ghosts, and skeleton figures are among favorite Halloween disguises. Bobbing for apples and carving vegetables, as well as autumn favorites like fruits, nuts, and spiced cider were also once associated with the harvest holiday of Samhain.

For more details and information on the history of Halloween, visit The American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress.  

Celebrate apples as American Staple in October

National Apple MonthThe USDA’s National Agriculture Library has an online Healthy Meals Resource System that helps spread the word about Child Nutrition and helps different states share related resources. To celebrate October as National Apple Month, use the Recipe Finder database and search by ingredient (apples!) to locate rebcipes for up to 100 people. The Shenandoah National Park (Virginia) features the apple tree on its website, detailing the diversity of the genetic histories of the trees within the park. The trees, therefore, produce varied types of apples. A publication from the National Agriculture Library, Celebrating America’s Unique Apple Diversity, shows a history of the heirloom apple using items in the library’s collection dating back to 1754. For current apple statistics, take a look at Apples at a Glance from the Foreign Agriculture Service and the data sets at U.S. Apple Statistics, from the Economic Research Service.

 

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