Ahhhh, It’s that time of year again. The air has turned crisp and leaves begin to swirl around our feet. The darkness greets us sooner and sooner each day. It’s almost time to celebrate, The Witch’s New Year…Samhain or Halloween.
Samhain, Pronounced Sow-in, is the Celtic Festival to mark the end of the harvest season. It is the beginning of Winter and the Darker half of the year. It is just about halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. It lasts from sunset Oct 31st to sunset Nov 1st. It is believed to be a very powerful day, when the Veil between the Worlds is at it’s thinnest and Spirits and Faeries can pass through into ours with ease.
This is my most favorite time of year. I can feel an energy change as soon as the month of October arrives. The celebrations for Samhain begin early in the month, as soon as pumpkin picking begins or pumpkins hit the local markets.
Every year our family enjoys a pumpkin or 4. We pick tiny ones to decorate altars for the year to come in oranges and whites. Then the fun part, we pick our pumpkins to carve!!!! We make them into Jack-O-Lanterns.
Jack-O-Lanterns are believed to have become a custom on Samhain/Halloween in Ireland around the 19th century. They were believed to either ward off evil spirits or were used, sometimes, by Halloween revelers to frighten people. The pumpkin top is cut off and the insides are scooped out. Placing your hands in the gooey mess can be tons of fun. You can save the pumpkins seeds to roast! Then the front of the pumpkin is carved out into a silly or frightening face or design. When done a candle is placed inside to light the pumpkin. Keep it on your windowsill or front porch to scare away the evil spirits!
At least a good week of October is spent on THE BIG DECISION. Not to mention a big chunk of September was spent on this DECISION, as well. What Halloween Costumes do we get this year?? These days Halloween costumes are usually bought, and for outrageous prices. But the wearing of Halloween costumes dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries and some say as early as 1585. It is a Celtic Tradition on Samhain to wear a scary costume, because with the belief that the veil between the worlds, that is the Spirit World and Ours, is the thinnest on this day, the scary costumes help to keep evil spirits from whisking us away with them, or just plain frightening them away.
With the kids choices for costumes made I don my own. The same I wear each year. With pride I put on my comfy sweater and break out my Witch’s Hat. I only wear it on this special occasion, for the New Year Celebration. I get all the jitters and excitement as the children do as I stuff my hat on my head. Then we all head outside to walk the neighborhood proudly in our finery!
As the kids Trick-or-Treat they are oblivious to my thoughts as they roam through the past year. The ups and downs. The good and the bad. The happy memories I will take with me forever. The sadness I choose to leave behind. I reminisce on the smiles of my loved ones here and gone. Never forgetting those who have passed and thanking them for all they have done and continue to do as they watch me on my path. I thank the God & Goddess for a lovely life. Another lovely year I was gifted, and pray for a lovely year to come. I walk hand & hand with my husband, breathe in the air, and exude gratefulness. Our gift to the Universe is the children’s laughter & happiness. This is how we celebrate Samhain, how do you?