Soon it will be November. Already there is a chill to the air, the days are becoming shorter and the clocks went back last night. I woke to all the time being wrong in the house and a leaky ceiling. Thankfully there is much to look forward to. The 31st October 2020 looms….yay.
Yes. Next weekend is Halloween or Samhain. It is when the change from Summer to Autumn and then to the end…to Winter is celebrated. The dead growth period before the Spring comes around again.
We celebrate as it is a busy time. Harvests are in. Food is being stored for the future hard times and celebrations, it is a time to prepare for the coming necessary rest and the big Yule time feast or Christmas celebrations and gift giving. It is now that we start buying or making gifts to give in December – traditionally things which were needed but luxuries too.
If you live somewhere cold you will know not much can happen easily in it. Damn, I need to get fully dressed up in scarf and hat just to put out the rubbish. The wind comes at you from all directions and infection is just about everywhere, running noses, rosy cheeks and coughs are the norm. It is regretful that these things are now associated with ‘disease’ rather than with the normality of life.
So, basically I’m saying in October we are getting ready for ‘batten down the hatches’ – Winter time.
However, before we do so we like to have a gathering for Halloween. There will be party games like What’s in the box? Where children are encouraged to put their hands in to see what they can feel. It is usually something strange like a peeled orange in baked beans… Or play another game, a take on ‘pin the tale on the donkey’ called ‘pin the teeth on the skeleton’.
There will be toffee apples, fruit dipped in candy and chocolate. Lots of different games with apples as this is the tradition. We are not doing apple bobbing this year because of covid19 but there will be apples a plenty. I’m planning to do ‘shrunken heads’ from half peeled apples slightly baked…
There is no traditional food but it is usually something warming and nutritious. This year my daughter is doing Chilli Con Carne…as beef is at a good price and quality. Knowing her, there will be two choices of chilli…one for the children and adults with taste buds, and the other for those of us who may want to treat ourselves to a little spice and heat (regardless of the consequences).
Last year I had more energy, to be honest, and made the toffee apples that are pictured on this article. This year I’m planning some marzipan animals with some red food colouring for effect. We’ll see how we go for time and energy before next weekend. Most of the work for these events is taken over by my daughters now. As I always hoped it would be.
I’m looking forward to seeing my grand children. I’m looking forward to seeing my loved ones…well some of them. This year there will not be so many people as we have a conditional law in place during the Covid19 pandemic. They are calling it the rule of six. NO more than six people are allowed to gather at any one time.
We can obviously get around this by staggering the gathering. I can only attend for a couple of hours max before I fall asleep so I generally trot home after some time with the children – Adults talk all the time so it’s the children I miss as they haven’t mastered the art of phone conversation just yet…all under five years old – it’s cute but its’ not a great way to converse with the young.
I want to play hide and seek with them…and “what’s the time Mister Wolf” and maybe have a pretend fight with a toy, foam swords. I’m looking forward to seeing their little faces when they put their hands in the box and attempt to guess at what’s inside. I’m looking forward to seeing them in their costumes and scaring to hear them squeal in pleasure!
Times are really hard for many people during this pandemic. Small parties and gatherings and any excuse for a celebration is how we move forward in this ‘new normal’ and keep our society going.
I’m pagan but I know that church groups and other faiths are doing the same as me. They are holding on to what is dear to them and celebrating the darkening and lightening of life. I try hard not to take the ‘end of the world’ stuff to heart, after all it’s been said by them for a couple of million years now and we’re still all here.
For those that read my blog regular, my house guest and I are getting along fabulously and he’s had fewer and fewer accidents. Family and friends are coming around to walk him and he spends his time eating and sleeping near the radiators or on the sofa next to me.
Bruiser won’t be attending the Halloween party with me.
The children have already tromped across fields to get their pumpkins for carving… this event was too muddy for me but it looked a lot of fun and the children enjoyed it.
The carved pumpkins will be on display, next weekend, at the party. I may take pics…I may not as could be enjoying myself too much to ruin it by bringing out my phone!
I’ll try and get some photos of the food spread…the treats table. mmm
Thank you for reading.
Be sure to get some candy in for those brave souls who go ‘trick or treating’ over Halloween!
They usually wear masks.