Good morning! This weekend is Halloween and it’s also the time of Samhain (pronounced Sav-en in Scotland), All Saints Day, and Dia de Los Muertos. I’ve been doing some research on the proper ways to celebrate these holidays for an upcoming book, but I was struck at how much in common these holidays had.
For example: During Samhain, the practitioners make altars to honor deceased ancestors and loved ones and they leave special bread and offerings to the spirits outside. This is similar to Dia de Los Muertos where they bake bread and goodies and sugary treats to leave at the graves of their loved ones, and they decorate altars to deceased family with marigolds and brightly colored paper stencils.
A white 7-day candle is lit in a western-facing window to guide the dead home to their rest three days before and three days after. I really liked that one. What a lovely way to help those who’ve gone before us.
Dressing up in costumes is something done for the children while Samhain proper is more of a spiritual celebration, a time of self-reflection and introspection. It’s a good time to think of how you’ve grown, the accomplishments and challenges you’ve faced this year, and things you’ve learned.
This year, we won’t be trick-or-treating as the pandemic’s numbers continue to go up in our state and it looks like it’s going to be relatively cold outside this year. But we’ll be dressing up in costumes because that has been fun for years.
How do you celebrate the turning of the year at harvest time?