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The Púca Project '06

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Sep. 14th, 2006 | 11:49 am
posted by: copinggoggles in puca_project

WHAT IS THE PÚCA PROJECT? ++ WHO ELSE IS DOING IT IN MY AREA? ++ COSTUME IDEAS AND LINKS ++ BANNERS AND FLYERS

Well, well, well.

It's coming around to nearly that time of year again, and you know what that means. It's nearly time to wish the Púca Project a happy first birthday (or second, if you want to count its proto-form, way back when). I know, I know, it's six weeks to Hallowe'en, and we all roll our eyes at the shops mounting their spooky displays already - but an earlier start for the Púca Project means more time to prepare, means more time to pimp, means bigger and better costumes, and bigger and better participation. To which, verily, I am sure you all sayeth: Rock on.


What is the Púca Project?

This is the Púca Project's second official year, and I'm hoping that it's going to be bigger and better than ever. Last year, it started out with me issuing the original challenge on my own LJ - but the response was... a lot bigger than I expected. So, as per the suggestions of several people, I said the hell with it, decided to make it For Real Official, and started up the Púca Project community in time for Hallowe'en.

The name, suggested by fahye derives from the púca, or pooka - the mischievous Irish spirit, whose capriciousness and unpredictability have earned it something of a dubious reputation. The púca isn't always out to cause harm, though; often, they have been known to help others, do them a kindness. And that's what we aim to do - defy convention, and do some good whilst we're at it.


The Flashback

Two years ago now, Hallowe'en '04, I'd only just recently turned eighteen. The night before All Hallows Eve, I was babysitting some local kids, and all they could talk about was how excited they were to be getting dressed up in costume, how much they were looking forward to going trick-or-treating, how crushed a friend was, whose mother wouldn't let him out because Hallowe'en was on a Sunday night, and he had school the next day.

Do witches really exist?, Youngest Kid asked timorously.

Don't be stupid, his Big Sister sniffed. 'Course they don't.

I was pretty crushed myself - Hallowe'en is my favourite holiday of the year, yet I too had class at 9am the next morning. Stupid university, getting in the way of a girl's social life. Not that I would have been able to go to any of the parties, since the price of alcohol is, frankly, thievery. Plus which, my parents were kind enough to tell me, eighteen is rather too old for this fancy dress business anyway.

So, yeah, I guess you could say I was pretty bummed.

And then it hit me. How many other teenagers, I wondered, feel the exact same way I do? How many kids want to go trick-or-treating, and hunting in the twilight autumn leaf-piles for fairies, but can't, because they have school the next day? How many adults want nothing more than to play make-believe, to play pretend for one night, but can't, because they're All Grown Up, and the magic doesn't belong to them anymore?

Well, bugger that for a lark.

Sophie? asked Youngest Kid, tugging on my sleeve. Do witches really exist?

Don't be stupid
, I told him. Of course they do.

So here's what I did: Hallowe'en rolled around the next day, and I got dressed up. And I mean, I got Dressed Up. Breeches, boots, frock coat, poet shirt, waistcoat, bauta mask and tricorner. And I went out, with what little money I had, I bought two big bunches of red carnations, and I spent the evening wandering the streets, handing them out to people.

And you know what? It was amazing. The great big smiles on people's faces, the pictures they ask to take with you, the way an old woman's face just lights up when you give her an elaborate, flourishing bow, offer her a pretty flower, and call her a bella donna. It's such a simple thing, such a simple, little thing, but I don't think I can do justice to the warm fuzzy feeling I got inside - because everyone did feel exactly like me. And I was able to give them a little of the magic back.


So... very heartwarming, and all, but how does this involve me?

You're going to do the same thing. You're going to dress up - and I mean really put in some effort, here, not just slap on a two-dollar plastic zombie mask - and you're going to go out, and you're going to do something nice for people. Hand out flowers, like I did, or read back over some of last year's posts for ideas. Sprinkle them with glitter fairy dust. Tap them with your magic wand, say

See a faerie, pucker up,
And all that day, you'll have good luck!


and give them a smacking kiss on the cheek. Find a busy street corner, and put on a show; stage a mock swordfight - or lightsaber duel. Have the monster chase Dr. Frankenstein down the street (It's ALIVE! It's ALIIIIVE!), or swoop down on people with your black cloak and tell them you vant to suck their bluuuuuud. Bring a portable stereo and some Mozart, and show off your waltz - with a partner, or an unsuspecting passer-by. Collect money for a charity. Let people - tourists, especially - have their picture taken with you.

Give them a little of their magic back.


Do I have to do it on Hallowe'en?

No! You're absolutely free, and encouraged, to Púca any time you want - Christmas, Easter, April Fool's, Mardi Gras, Patrick's Day, or just any old day. It is, however, at its heart, a Hallowe'en-y enterprise, and that's when it works best. That said, life can sometimes be inconvenient - I myself might be doing it the weekend before, since I haven't gotten my class timetable yet, and don't know how I'm set for classes vs. free time on the actual day. So... let's say Hallowe'en-ish.


Omfg costumes whut?

Costumes are a lot easier than you'd think - even really good ones. Go here to find just a few ideas, as well as a whole bunch of links. If you have any other ideas for quick'n'easy costumes that look great, or know any good sites, why not leave them in the comments there, too?


What can I do now?

Simple answer: pimp this as hard, as fast, and as far as you can. All night long. Link, link, link, link, link. Use some of the banners you'll find below, if they take your fancy, or feel free to make your own. Recruit friends and/or family to take part with you. I'm going to attempt to knock together some kind of mini flyer - which I'll put up here once finished - that you can print out and stick around the place.





ETA: Flyers! Click the thumbnails - the Scrapbook preview images work well as mini-flyer sizes, and the images themselves are huge, so that people can scale them to whatever size they want before printing.

               



A note: last year, I completely wasn't expecting the astounding level of enthusiasm with which the idea was received, and so as an incentive, people were invited to request things like drabbles / icons / friends-only banners / etc, for having participated, whilst others volunteered to help fill those requests. However, out of all the participants last year, I think a grand total of two decided to make a request afterwards.

I think I'll let that speak for itself.

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Comments {29}

Lynn

(no subject)

from: starbucks5721
date: Sep. 14th, 2006 11:40 am (UTC)
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LOLOL I was wondering when we'd hear from you :)

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(Deleted comment)

Ana

(no subject)

from: analise
date: Sep. 14th, 2006 12:36 pm (UTC)
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Woo! I didn't get to play last year but I'll totally have to do so this year.

I can use my coat! With bells!

And make cookies!

And give them to unsuspecting people at work! Hm.

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Ana

(no subject)

from: analise
date: Sep. 14th, 2006 07:23 pm (UTC)
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Also, I figured that Rennies would be a good group of people to tap for this, so I posted a link to the project here.

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Batya "The Toon"

(no subject)

from: batyatoon
date: Sep. 14th, 2006 01:43 pm (UTC)
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I approve!

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scientific integrity and blah blah blah

(no subject)

from: silveraspen
date: Sep. 14th, 2006 01:59 pm (UTC)
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*glee* I was hoping!

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opioid naïve patient

(no subject)

from: nepheliad
date: Sep. 14th, 2006 02:34 pm (UTC)
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I'm not sure if I can beat my costume from last year.

I think I will be less interesting this year, but I will still be giving most of the campus roses. :D

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Aleia Garcia

(no subject)

from: aviss
date: Sep. 14th, 2006 03:04 pm (UTC)
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Wow, This is such a beautiful project! I'm thinking of giving it a try

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derrrr.

(no subject)

from: xiane
date: Sep. 14th, 2006 03:15 pm (UTC)
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I was thinking it was about time to start thinking of this. I am looking forward to surprising my new town with a little magic. :)

Last year was a blast!

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(no subject)

from: mad_megan
date: Sep. 14th, 2006 04:10 pm (UTC)
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Was gonna post this on MySpace but the code won't work for some reason. :(

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pinku_yoshi

(no subject)

from: pinku_yoshi
date: Sep. 14th, 2006 10:49 pm (UTC)
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Once a sprite came up to me once while I was at a Renaissance Faire. She didn't say a word. All she did was hold out her hand which was closed and beckoned me to look in her hand! It was this really pretty stone which she gave to me. :)

There's a good idea for faeries and such! I was very touched too. :) I still have that stone and i've had it for years.

And yeah.. I agree with you. I like looking at glitter but I HATE having it on me. It takes forever to get out of hair! D:

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noita_ivy

(no subject)

from: noita_ivy
date: Sep. 15th, 2006 04:09 am (UTC)
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Hey yeah that's a good idea! I'm going to be a fairy queen this year!

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The girl with the Strawberries in her hair

(no subject)

from: sparklegirl79
date: Sep. 14th, 2006 06:05 pm (UTC)
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*glee* I remember hearing about this last year! Oh, I'm so in, Halloween is on my day off this year too!

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Beka talked like an alien, and it was BRILLIANT

(no subject)

from: starletfallen
date: Sep. 14th, 2006 06:17 pm (UTC)
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... So gonna try to do this.

Granted, the thought of River Tam handing out flowers is... odd, to say the least, but... well.

I'll probably do the faerie thing on a pre-halloween day. >.>

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piratetaranee

(no subject)

from: piratetaranee
date: Sep. 14th, 2006 07:51 pm (UTC)
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So... very.... awesome!
Going to try very hard to participate.

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piratetaranee

(no subject)

from: piratetaranee
date: Sep. 15th, 2006 01:16 pm (UTC)
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I'm planning on being a fire element fairy... haven't decided what I want to do but I do know that I will be sitting in a treatment center, where they give chemo and other IV drips to people, on Halloween day. Any ideas? Oh, no kids that I've ever seen.

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pinku_yoshi

(no subject)

from: pinku_yoshi
date: Sep. 14th, 2006 10:38 pm (UTC)
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Awesome idea!!! I can't wait to show this off to people. I know that myspace is pure evil, BUT you have to admit that it is wonderful for networking. May I suggest trying to start a Puca Project myspace?

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pinku_yoshi

(no subject)

from: pinku_yoshi
date: Sep. 14th, 2006 10:52 pm (UTC)
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I was thinking of being a jester type thing... With a plain white mask like the one in the picture. I'd probably be prancing around and posing in very odd places like maybe balancing on one leg on a bench and jumping down infront of someone as they pass, never saying a word. Then beckoning the person to look in a leather bag I hold out to them. Then they pull out a glittery glass star for them to keep! That would be fun! My theatric skills lack, but I'm pretty weird so I think I can pull of a creepy stunt like that... =) Any thoughts on that?

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Wizard Whately

(no subject)

from: wizardwhately
date: Sep. 15th, 2006 01:58 am (UTC)
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If I can be so bold as to make a suggestion: One of the better things for us older types to do, is to go ahead and trick or treat. For, well, kids that aren't up to it at the moment.

Go door to door in costume, explain yourself, and haul all that sugary-ass stuff out to the local hospital. There are generally for-sure some kids in there, and a few nurses willing to help distribute.

I've done this a couple times before, and it's always been appreciated.

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Ione

(no subject)

from: murasaki_hime
date: Sep. 15th, 2006 02:14 am (UTC)
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I've been waiting for this all year. I think this time I'm going to be brave enough to wear my costume to classes all day. With a full skirt and long cloak, that's no easy feat, especially with UAlbany's tiny desks! But I can't wait!!

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(no subject)

from: anonymous
date: Sep. 15th, 2006 12:41 pm (UTC)
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OMG! I am soooo all over this one! I'm betting that I am twice your age but one is never too old to have fun! :)

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Elvis Depressley

(no subject)

from: therewhenyoudie
date: Sep. 15th, 2006 01:08 pm (UTC)
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Awesome Idea! I love it. Thanks for sharing this with everyone! I think I want to try it.

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morgan_lafaye

(no subject)

from: morgan_lafaye
date: Sep. 15th, 2006 02:57 pm (UTC)
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This is such a cool idea. As I'm not very good compter wise( ie I can't figure out how to link) I'll use my big mouth to get to word out.

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BlueEyedTigress (a.k.a. Blade)

(no subject)

from: blueeyedtigress
date: Sep. 15th, 2006 07:19 pm (UTC)
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What a perfectly smashing idea! I'm in. And I'm spreading the word -- Hallowe'en has become far too mundane and fearful, it's time the magic came back! 8D

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TarePanda

(no subject)

from: aerodrome1
date: Sep. 16th, 2006 10:10 pm (UTC)
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I've liked pookas since ever I first saw "Harvey".

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Ro - The Apocalypse Girl

(no subject)

from: apocalypsegrrl
date: Sep. 21st, 2006 09:33 pm (UTC)
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Dude, sign me up. :)

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Wow!

from: crickets2020
date: Oct. 24th, 2006 07:38 pm (UTC)
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What a fabulous idea. I live in a town where this would really catch on, too -- I'm going to spread it around hardcore. The GF and I are dressing up as a lamb and a cricket this year -- can't wait. I feel like our puca-ing should involve some sort of foxtrot.

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Jessica

(no subject)

from: impala_chick
date: Aug. 31st, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)
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Aw I really want this to happen this year! I'll probably just do it anyway. It's such a great idea!

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