I hope you all enjoyed a fabulous Samhain (or depending on your hemisphere, Beltaine)!
Samhain, also known as Halloween, is my favourite holiday of the year! So much so that I celebrate it TWICE a year 😊. Even before I identified as a Pagan Halloween was a big celebration at my home. “But why do you celebrate it twice a year?” you ask. There are a few reasons for this and the calendar is a major one. I mentioned in my Anzac day post that I am part American. Halloween has always been my Dad’s favourite holiday and as such I grew up in a house that went all out at Halloween. I don’t just mean putting a few skulls around the place. Our windows were fake boarded up, tombstones appeared in the front yard and we had a fog machine so that an eerie mist spooled around our feet.
This photo to the right is from Halloween 2012. I was trying to channel my own version of a Voodoo Priestess inspired by Tia Dalma in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. It’s kind of hard to see but there was a science laboratory set up on the kitchen counter behind me.
Our family embodies the “go hard or go home” spirit when it comes to Halloween. We dress up, we party and we enjoy almost a month long Halloween fest of movies and decorations because why dress up the house for only one night? Unfortunately, in my new house I haven’t had the opportunity to turn my house haunted for a month. I’ve been renovating for the better part of two years now and it’s just too hard to decorate. So American Halloween definitely gets celebrated, but it’s the commercialised celebration that the goth in my heart loves about Halloween. Halloween to me is not Samhain. I know that a lot of other people would disagree with me about that but I differentiate them. Halloween is the holiday that grew out of Samhain, the excuse for a party, the costumes and the candy. Halloween is for fun.
The picture to the left is one I took as part of an assignment for my photography course at uni. Doesn’t my Dad look creepy? 🙂
As a witch I celebrate Samhain differently. Firstly, as I live in Australia I celebrate it usually in May, depending on when it falls in the lunar calendar, and it is a day of reflection and honouring my ancestors. I’ve always been drawn to divination and chthonic deities so at my Samhain these things play a distinct role. Samhain night is a night of slowing down and ritual. The house doesn’t get dressed up the way it does in October. This is not a commercial holiday to me. My house is already rather skull and candle friendly so not much changes there. Samhain for me is not about fun, although I quite enjoy it, it is a peaceful holiday. I have crazy dreams at the best of time (I swear Jung would have a field day in my subconscious) and I find that around the Sabbats, especially Samhain, my dreams are even crazier than usual.
This year I planned a special meal of pumpkin stew with home made cranberry and nut bread. I like to eat seasonal foods at special times like this, and so for dessert I made a strawberry and rhubarb cobbler. My husband surprised me with 5 kg of fresh strawberries a few months ago and I cut them up and froze them. This was a great recipe to use the last of them up.
What did you do to celebrate?