Happy Halloween!

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.

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  1. What delightful traditions!

    I was just reading a letter written by an elder in my family. She wrote about life in Houston around 1910, when she was a little girl:

    “My mother learned from Mrs. B what to do when the big freeze came that winter. The people got together and killed their hogs and prepared the meat for the coming year. Our neighbors were so nice. Mrs. B came and showed mother how to make sausage, cured hams and other kinds of cured meats. I really enjoyed watching them work, and did all that I could to help.”

  2. I hope that your Samhain was lovely. Here, it happens also to be my roommate’s birthday, and the anniversary of my conception. *laughs* How mythologically and personally fitting. Here’s to a fruitful new year, and the light that grows in darkness.

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