brother, can you spare a paradigm? (copinggoggles) wrote in puca_project,
brother, can you spare a paradigm?
copinggoggles
puca_project

The Púca Project '06

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.
Tags: 2006, intro post
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