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'Cause sometimes I even surprise the knit out of myself.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Samhain!

Or Happy Halloween. However you like to say it. Well this year's Samhain was kind of a wash for me. I was traveling home from Indianapolis and didn't really get to enjoy seeing cute babies in costume. The only tradition I was able to keep once I raced home from the airport was leaving out a plate of food and wine at my dinner table with a tealight to welcome loved ones back that have passed on. This is really a tradition that I picked up from friends and through all of my readings of the ancient Celtic practices.

I wanted to make soul cakes again this year but didn't get to unfortunately. Soul Cakes are a centuries old tradition from Ireland in which people would go door to door offering to pray for the deceased in exchange for sweetened soul cakes. Obviously, this eventually became trick-or-treating as we know it. Same with the Jack O'Lanterns. Irish my friends. But they used turnips in Ireland and then came to America to find an abundance of pumpkins. (No I didn't get this from "The Secret Life of...." on Food TV. I already had the recipe and the traditions my prettties. I gots me some Celtic connections).

Anyhoo, the tradition goes that all Hallow's Eve or Samhain ("Sowan") is the night of the year when the veil between the living and the dead is at it's thinnest. Food and wine are left at one empty chair at your dinner table to welcome the souls of your loved ones for a meal and back to your home. The ideals and food traditions are somewhat similar to the concept and traditions of Dia del los Muertos in Mexico. I hold this tradition very near and dear to my heart. I think of those I lost on a regular basis but they are on the forefront of my mind tonight.

I love you Grandma "Pippytoe", Grandma and Grandpa Hughes, Buffarooni, and my dearest aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. You are missed but never forgotten.

This is the end of the Celt Wheel of the Year. Tomorrow begins the next year in this tradition. So I send you all abundant best wishes and blessings for the New Year.
I'll leave you with a rather comical picture of myself from my camera phone. Gosh this was taken in 2003 or so at my friend's Twisted Fairytales and Bedtime Stories Halloween party. I was the Wicked Witch of the South Side. I got the name from working on the south side of town when I traveled to St. Pete for work.

That thar hat in this picture is actually about 36 inches tall, pleather, laced up the front, with chains around the brim. Yeah....I love my hat. I once took a picture of my SIL dressed up as the Wicked Witch of the West when we went to the Wizard of Oz sing-a-long show in Princeton and she is wearing the hat. The sunroof of the Mini Cooper is open and it is sticking about 2 feet out of the roof. Freakin' hysterical.


At 7:58 AM, Blogger Thea said...

I was having a conversation last night about where halloween came from - and now I know! I've always loved Dios del Muertos, since when I lived in SF - funny how faraway cultures have the same ideas... love the hat, you need to take a photo of the whole thing!

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Robin said...

Very interesting about the Celtic traditions and how they tie into the current day celebration, along with unique aspects of it. And I believe that our loved ones who have passed on still exist on another level and are closer to us when we think of them. I've had too many instances that prove to me that this is the case.

Also, very cool picture!

At 12:03 PM, Blogger Bobbi said...

thanks for sharing the information, I really like the idea!

Happy Halloween you look great!

At 7:47 AM, Anonymous Dipsy said...

I so enjoyed reading through your explanation of the Celtic traditions! I've always been very interested in that, and I'm actually stunned to see how many of these traditions - in a bit variegated forms of course - we here in Europe are still celebrating. Samhain is a very important evening/night for me personally too, always has been, while the rest of my country is celebrating "All Hallow's Day" with putting candles on the graves and letting them burn throughout the night. Passing by a cemetary on such nights is so beautiful seeing all these lights and feeling the calm and peaceful atmosphere they create!
Samhain was very special for me this year - as you said, the veil between the dead and the living is at its thinnest that night, and after that recent death in my family I got to feel some real relief and even a bit content. It's good this way, it really is.
I love your picture by the way - absolutely cool!


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