|Turnip lantern by Nathan deGargoyle.
Follow the link to read his thoughts on the Manx version of Halloween
Mrs. Homegrown here:
I’ve always been intrigued with Samhain, and the idea that a new year should begin in growing darkness, working its way slowly through the deep of winter into the light.
For this reason, Halloween has become my personal New Year (since by Jan. 1st, I’m always tired out disillusioned, and overstuffed with fudge). The beginning of winter has become a time to think about the future, and consider the past, and honor those who have passed on. This honor-the-dead aspect is a combo of Samhain and Dia de Los Muertos, I think.
Anyway, for on Halloween night I try to have a good dinner in a clean house–to set a high tone for rest of the year. I also like to burn lights on this night, and toast the dead with whiskey.
Of course most people know that the Halloween practices of parading around in costume and carving turnips (or in the New World, pumpkins) are artifacts of old Celtic tradition. Some lesser known Samhain activities one might consider include:
- Slaughtering your excess livestock for the winter
- Lighting a massive bonfire. Or two. If you light two, run between them to purify yourself.
- Throwing a drunken 3 day party, being sure to invite all the local chieftains
- Practicing divination with various foodstuffs
What about Erik, you ask? He’s not as into Halloween as I am, but he has a good day planned. He’s going to a Backward Beekeepers meeting, then making tasty squash galettes for tonight. Perhaps I can convince him to toast the memory of squash baby???
However you celebrate, I hope you have a good night, and an excellent New Year.