Samhain/Calan Gaeaf marked the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter or the 'darker half' of the year.[43][44] Like Beltane/Calan Mai, it was seen as a liminal time, when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld thinned. This meant the Aos Sí (/iːsˈʃiː/ eess-SHEE), the 'spirits' or 'fairies', could more easily come into this world and were particularly active.[45][46] Most scholars see the Aos Sí as "degraded versions of ancient gods [...] whose power remained active in the people's minds even after they had been officially replaced by later religious beliefs".[47] The Aos Sí were both respected and feared, with individuals often invoking the protection of God when approaching their dwellings.[48][49] At Samhain, it was believed that the Aos Sí needed to be propitiated to ensure that the people and their livestock survived the winter. Offerings of food and drink, or portions of the crops, were left outside for the Aos Sí.[50][51][52] The souls of the dead were also said to revisit their homes seeking hospitality.[53] Places were set at the dinner table and by the fire to welcome them.[54] The belief that the souls of the dead return home on one night of the year and must be appeased seems to have ancient origins and is found in many cultures throughout the world.[55] In 19th century Ireland, "candles would be lit and prayers formally offered for the souls of the dead. After this the eating, drinking, and games would begin".[56]
When primary series The Amazing Spider-Man reached issue #545 (December 2007), Marvel dropped its spin-off ongoing series and instead began publishing The Amazing Spider-Man three times monthly, beginning with #546–548 (all January 2008).[38] The three times monthly scheduling of The Amazing Spider-Man lasted until November 2010 when the comic book was increased from 22 pages to 30 pages each issue and published only twice a month, beginning with #648–649 (both November 2010).[39][40] The following year, Marvel launched Avenging Spider-Man as the first spinoff ongoing series in addition to the still twice monthly The Amazing Spider-Man since the previous ones were cancelled at the end of 2007.[38] The Amazing series temporarily ended with issue #700 in December 2012, and was replaced by The Superior Spider-Man, which had Doctor Octopus serve as the new Spider-Man, having taken over Peter Parker's body. Superior was an enormous commercial success for Marvel,[41] and ran for 31-issue before the real Peter Parker returned in a newly relaunched The Amazing Spider-Man #1 in April 2014.[42]
In the earliest Batman stories of Detective Comics, the costume featured a few curiosities before it evolved into its more or less standard style. The first gloves were purple in color, ordinary looking, and lacked any sort of scalloped fins or other stylings, and only came to the wrists. The second Batman adventure depicted the character wearing no gloves at all. A few issues later the gloves became longer, and by 1940 the familiar fins were added (in early stories, these pieces originally resembled miniature, scalloped bat wings, but eventually became three simple triangular fins). In some later incarnations, the scallops are attached to a separated bracer worn below the glove around the wrist. Additionally, the gloves have been specially treated to be both shock-proof as well as radiation-resistant.The glove designs that incorporate fingertip blades also have joint armor-reinforcement in the glove, from the wrists and knuckles to the fingers. He also has electrical shockers at the fingertips of his gloves, which are used to control the structure of his cape. Additionally, Batman hides a few pieces of his arsenal in his gloves, such as a lockpick.
Jump up ^ Cleene, Marcel. Compendium of Symbolic and Ritual Plants in Europe. Man & Culture, 2002. p.108. Quote: "Soul cakes were small cakes baked as food for the deceased or offered for the salvation of their souls. They were therefore offered at funerals and feasts of the dead, laid on graves, or given to the poor as representatives of the dead. The baking of these soul cakes is a universal practice".
[32] Researchers conducted a survey for the National Retail Federation in the United States and found that 53.3 percent of consumers planned to buy a costume for Halloween 2005, spending $38.11 on average (up $10 from the year before). They were also expected to spend $4.96 billion in 2006, up significantly from just $3.3 billion the previous year.[33] The troubled economy has caused many Americans to cut back on Halloween spending. In 2009, the National Retail Federation anticipated that American households would decrease Halloween spending by as much as 15% to $56.31.[34] In 2013, Americans spent an estimated $6.9 billion to celebrate Halloween, including a predicted $2.6 billion on costumes (with more spent on adult costumes than for children's costumes) and $330 million on pet costumes.[35][36] In 2017 it was estimated that Americans would spend $9.1 billion on Halloween merchandise with $3.4 billion of that being on spend on Halloween costumes.[37]
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