Profile: Jack Santino

Ph.D. Folklore, U. Penn.

Dr. Santino has served as Director of the Bowling Green Center for Popular Culture Studies, was a Fulbright Scholar to Northern Ireland, and an Emmy Award winner for his documentary film on Pullman Porters. Dr. Santino's current research centers on celebrations and holidays and their cultural meaning, with a particular focus on Northern Ireland and the use of commemorative murals and other forms of expressive behavior as reflective of political, social, and cultural identity.

Representative publications include the books New Old-Fashioned Ways: Holidays and Popular Culture (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1996), Miles of Smiles, Years of Struggle: Stories of Black Pullman Porters,All Around the Year: Holidays and Celebrations in American Life , andHalloween and Other Festivals of Death and Life, Spontaneous Shrines and the Public Memorialization of Death (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) and such articles as “Yellow Ribbons and Seasonal Flags: The Folk Assemblage of War,” “The Outlaw Emotions: Narrative Expressions on the Rules and Roles of Occupational Identity,” and “Not An Unimportant Failure: Spontaneous Shrines and Festivals of Death and Politics in Northern Ireland.”

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NoteStreams By Jack Santino

Folklore of Halloween

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. The date marked both an ending and a beginning in an eternal cycle.
The festival observed at this time was called Samhain (pronounced Sah-ween). It was the biggest and most significant holiday of the Celtic year. Learn more about the evolution of this most entertaining holiday!

Category: Social Awareness

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