The Past, Present and Future of Halloween

Normally around this time of year, Americans would be gearing up for a night of chaperoning younger siblings around town, eating excessive amounts of chocolate and buying out the clearance candy from CVS on November 1st. I don’t really have to point out why things are a bit different this year. 
The night of October 31, 2020 will be one filled with college students sitting pathetically in their rooms, accompanied only by a pile of empty candy wrappers and too much free time. As such, take a moment with me to remember better times: Look at how Halloween developed into the modern holiday we know and love, and catch a glimpse into what it may be like in years to come. 
Between all of the holidays taking place around October 31 — El día de muertos, Halloween, All Souls Day —  it can get confusing to trace down where one holiday ends and the other begins. Though all three of these holidays have interconnected roots, most scholars agree that Halloween’s past is connected to a combination of ancient Celtic and Christian traditions. 
More than 2,000 years ago, when the Celts lived in modern day Ireland, the feast of Samhain (pronounced sow-win) marked the end of the harvest season as the community began preparations for the coming winter months. The symbolic “death” of a season and the reaping of crops prompted feasts and celebration, but also indicated that the space between the dead and the living was thinner than ever.

Trick-or-Treating in 2020? How to Avoid the Scares of a COVID-19 Halloween

Spooky season is officially upon us. It seems that out of nowhere the pumpkin spice lattes are being sipped, and fall foliage is blanketing campus. With Oct. 31 just around the corner, now is the time to start coordinating the perfect Tiger King inspired Joe exotic costume, or maybe keep things simple by repping your favorite team’s jersey. Tentatively, we purchase our costumes with one question in mind: Are Halloween festivities going to fall victim to the pandemic as we have seen with other holidays this year?

A Skidmore Medal Topped with Runny Pasta: Freshman Year with Zero Meal Plan

$147 and a big shopping cart were basically my Saturday afternoon in a nutshell. Five large, packed grocery bags wobbled back and forth inside the cart as I meandered my way to the bus stop. The bus came before I was there, so I had to run uphill and unload my cargo onto the decently occupied vehicle. I left the cart on the road; if you found one stranded around the Ithaca Mall, it could have been me. I apologize.

Plastic Film and Nasty Dumps: Can Cornell Live Up to Its Reputation of Sustainability?

I am a freshman in the School of Engineering and an international student. This last detail is important because from Aug. 17 to Aug. 31, I had to quarantine in my room, eating only the boxed meals provided by Cornell Dining. During, and well after my time in mandated quarantine, widespread complaints about two issues circulated: The overuse of single-use plastics and inadequate waste disposal.

Would You Eat Horse Meat? — Understanding Cross-Cultural Food Taboos

When we hear the words “food taboo,” we often conjure up horrifying thoughts of eating dogs or horses; you may gag, or your skin could crawl, at the idea of consuming animals which many Americans would consider members of the family. Yet ask someone from Salento, Italy, about their opinions on horse meat, and they may enthusiastically reply that it’s a delicacy often featured in dishes like pezzetti di carne al pomodoro. 
As food is becoming globalized, more countries are adopting what I would call the Universal Modern Cuisine — the diet most prominent in America, which revolves around grains and which, more importantly, holds many taboos against meat. As a result of this, the practice of eating horse meat is slowly declining, even in Italy. Regardless, Italy still remains the largest consumer of horse meat in the European Union, and its consumption is much more normalized in Italy than in the U.S. Given horse meat’s prevalence in Italy, it’s clearly enjoyable for many and must not have any adverse health effects for the consumer — yet most Americans would be extremely wary of any restaurant advertising this delicacy. Since we have already established that there is nothing inherently unhealthy or dangerous associated with eating horse meat, why do millions of people still avoid it for seemingly no reason?

The Freshman Dining Hall Experience

After waiting in line for 30 minutes, I finally enter the dining hall, ready to scan my Cornell ID via the GET app, a process similar to Apple Pay. I then check-in with the worker indicating if I’ve made a reservation or not. A two-step process, made to be simple and efficient, successfully plays its part. Once the dining hall worker checks that I have a reservation, I am yet faced with another line that wraps around the tables used to seat students. This is another 30 minutes of slowly inching forward towards actual food.

Gen-Z: COVID Killers or Good Samaritans? — Reflections from an Atypical Quarantine

Boredom — modern man’s worst fear. Typically it’s avoided by countless hours of swiping left and right through cookie-cutter Tinder profiles in hopes of securing a post-quarantine hookup, scrolling through meme feeds on Instagram that no longer make you laugh, browsing your favorite subReddit in hopes of finding a new post since the last time you checked (two minutes ago) and sending pictures of your blank face to other expressionless victims of the same archaic curse. How else is a Gen Z-er supposed to pass his time when forced live like a Band on the Run? Any way you look at it, quarantine presents a psychological and social quandary of the likes my generation has never had to deal with. Solitude.

Not Always as Happy as a Clam: The Cultural Clashes Underpinning Long Island’s Shellfishing Industry

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article misrepresented a source. The year is 1686. King James II looks on anxiously from his plushy throne in England as his New York colonial subjects become increasingly unruly. To tighten his grip on the settlers and quell whispers of rebellion, he appoints Thomas Dongan, a Royalist military officer, to govern the New York territory and issue decrees known as Dongan Patents for the creation of trustee-run towns across the royal province. One of these towns was Long Island’s Town of Brookhaven.