Sunday 31 October 2010

♥ ★ Happy Halloween ★ ♥

so Happy Halloween at last!

in case you haven't already guessed it... that's right, i haven't done ANY more Halloween Pinup Girl illustrations... or any new Halloween illustrations of any kind!

like i said in the previous post, i intend to make up for this by doing several Christmas themed ones over the next 2 months leading up to Xmas day, a fair deal i'm sure you'll agree...

anyway, back to Halloween... or should i refer to it as Hop-tu-Naa??? i don't know, never mind...

ok so last night my little 4-year-old cousin Sienna came to stay for a 'girly night' which included...

 dancing around to 'Lollipop' by Mika many MANY times, 

sitting applying gems to Cinderella's dress (Cinderella is a doll, i should point out), 

enjoying far too many chocolate coins and kinder eggs, 

watching lots of lovely Studio Ghibli films which i'm glad to say Sienna really enjoyed (Ponyo, Spirited Away and My Neighbour Totoro) 

having a yummy dinner of 'dippy egg', apricot yoghurt and sliced apple,

and also... a Halloween themed 'makeover'

look at the actual makeover CARNAGE on my dressing table! oh and there's 'cinderella' as well...

this was the overall result of the makeover since i didn't have a costume but Sienna did

you can't really see it but she's covered in luminous sparkly silver shimmery stuff and she has electric blue and hot pink eyeshadow on as well to match her dress... genius

anyway back to the question, should i say that today is Halloween or Hop-tu-Naa?

now you're probably wondering... what's the contest here, Halloween is celebrated (almost) universally whereas Hop-tu-Naa isn't...

however, i live in the Isle of Man so i'm afraid that here it's pretty much Hop-tu-Naa all the way!

(oh and in case you were wondering... it's pronounced hop-chew-nay)

so what is it exactly...

well let me enlighten you dear readers...

Hop-tu-Naa is a Celtic festival celebrated in the Isle of Man on 31 October. Predating Halloween. For modern Hop-tu-Naa, children dress up and go from house to house with the hope of being given sweeties or money (just like Halloween traditions)

However, for Hop-tu-Naa the children carry carved turnip lanterns rather than pumpkins and sing Hop-tu-Naa songs. Here's an example of a rather creepy looking Hop-tu-Naa turnip lantern...

Hop-tu-Naa is still celebrated widely on the Isle of Man, although most of the old Hop-tu-Naa traditions aren't practiced much any more, like the making and eating of a 'dumb cake', an old form of Manx divination that supposedly, if done correctly would reveal to a girl, who her future husband would be in a dream or vision. 

However there is still a Hop-tu-Naa pentagram (available to buy) that is supposedly based on the original one worn by the old Manx Witches that would fly out on Hop-tu-Naa to wreak magic and mischief. (NOTE: i don't want ANY complaints about the pentagram please! pentagrams are NOT evil! upside down ones are... normal ones are a-ok and if you thought otherwise then that makes you a fool i'm afraid so... yeah, stop being a fool and ssshhh)
The differences between Hop-tu-Naa and Halloween are barely apparent any more, on the 31st of October Manx children dress up in spooky costumes with face paints and 'trick or treat' bags just like children all over the world. Even the carrying of turnips is something that not all Manx children partake in, preferring to carry a little plastic torch or a small pumpkin instead.

One of the differences that still sometimes remains is that nowadays most Manx children are still taught some of the traditional old Hop-tu-Naa songs to sing on the 31st during their trick or treating.
The original songs are all in Manx Gaelic and the English translations don't always make sense but there's a modern 'Manx English' song that i remember from my own childhood, it's called 'Jinnie the Witch' and goes a little something like this... 
My mother's gone away
And she won't be back until the morning

Jinnie the Witch flew over the house
To fetch the stick to lather the mouse

My mother's gone away
And she won't be back until the morning

ok, there are other variations on the song but that's enough Hop-tu-Naa stuff... for more information, and a wonderful article on the celebration of Hop-tu-Naa check out this BBC Isle of Man page.

* * *
ok back to Halloween

i've been saving this for a while but, it's one of the old 60's American ads i found at college a few weeks ago (more on the awesome old American ads can be found HERE and HERE

so apologies for the massive crease down the middle but... it was a double page spread and i could sooooooo not be bothered to try and remove it on photoshop... sorry

* * *

i should explain that i am a big fan of all things Halloween and Hop-tu-Naa (i am a big kid after all) and that i usually do dress up as a witch every year (black suede heels, floaty Monsoon dress and an awesome embroidered witches hat) and that i was supposed to be spending my Halloween this year taking my little 5-year-old God-daughter Bonnie out trick or treating but...

she told me last week that she couldn't 'do' halloween because she was going to a party

ditched... by my own god-daughter!

so instead i intend to spend this evening watching scary films by myself...

now that IS a scary thought!

* * *

i shall leave you with my most Halloween friendly illustration to date, the charming, the creepalicious, the ever so slightly wrong... 'Zombie Ninja Panda Bear'

 i wish you all the Happiest of Halloweens (and Hop-tu-Naa's) and hope that you have a super spooky day/night, whatever you're up to or wherever you are in the world

that's all folks...

♥ ★ ◕‿◕ ★ ♥ 


  1. Great post Jade, very informative :)

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