Thoughts at Samhain.

30 Oct

Hazelwood 038

Be careful if you go down to the woods today…especially approaching dusk. It’s that time of the year when ghouls, goblins and other mischievous beings come out to scare and haunt and taunt. It’s dark and still and eerily silent in the woods on these days around the turning point of the Celtic year. For it is the time of the changing of the seasons. Summer is well and truly gone…Winter has come.              The Celts lives revolved around agriculture and the seasons. This time would be the end of the harvest…indeed all berries and tree fruits were picked before Samhain because the breath of the Puca and other evil beings would  fall upon them.

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People dressed in masks and costumes to disguise themselves and frighten the evil spirits away. That’s where the tradition of dressing up at Halloween/Samhain comes from.

As kids we dressed in old clothes at Halloween. The only thing bought new was a mask. Nowadays the shops are full of costumes for children and adults alike. High priced badly made tat from China. The masks have become so grotesque and horrible…blood and gore…the more the merrier. Despite the recession this stuff is flying out of the shops.  Amazes me!

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For me it is a particularly poignant time of the year as it is the anniversary of my Father’s death. Twenty one years ago he left us at the age of fifty nine.  I still miss him a lot. This year would have been his eightieth.  I remember the funeral just before Halloween. While we were immersed in our grief and sadness everyone else was full of the joys of the season.  Such is life!

Enjoy the dark time of the year…for us sure as night follows day the Sun will return in the Spring…warming the land for another growing season. Enjoy the fruits that have been harvested this year. The goodness of the Summer to sustain and nourish us through the dark time. A time of reflection, reading, crafting…glowing fires and hearty soups. Will we have snow or will it be a mild wet Winter? The answer will be revealed in time.

Enjoy the season that’s in it. Happy Samhain/Halloween to all who pass this way.

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12 Responses to “Thoughts at Samhain.”

  1. Donna@Gardens Eye View October 30, 2013 at 11:51 pm #

    Fascinating history. It has become a holiday for selling costumes and candy…too bad we lost the traditions here. Happy Halloween!!

  2. Anne Wilson October 31, 2013 at 12:33 am #

    ‘Highly priced badly made tat’ sums it up, my kids used to have fun making their costumes from what they could find either from jumble sales or stuff they had grown out of, they had imagination.

    • bridget October 31, 2013 at 9:12 am #

      Much more fun that way and less waste of the Planet’s resources.

  3. Charlie@Seattle Trekker.com October 31, 2013 at 4:18 am #

    Interesting, loved the tree photos they certainly set the mood.

  4. Rambling Woods October 31, 2013 at 4:31 am #

    I enjoyed this post too … Michelle

  5. Christina October 31, 2013 at 7:20 am #

    When we first came to Italy 10 years ago, this wasn’t a holiday that was celebrated at all, maybe because the first of November is a serious holiday already. Now the shops are full of the same tat you mention, but all at cut price because actually still a lot of people aren’t interested!

  6. June October 31, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    Oíche Shamhna shona daoibh go léir, mo chara Brid (and all your subscribers, as well) 🙂

  7. gardendaze October 31, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    Bridget,
    Lovely poignant post–and thank you for the reminder about the real meaning of the holiday and that, without this dark time, we would not have the joys of summer. Or perhaps I mean we wouldn’t enjoy them all the more!

    Karla

  8. Mrs.C October 31, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    Lovely thoughts at this time of year!

  9. Anny October 31, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    Happy Samhain to you – this morning I noticed the bracken turned brown en masse – so this is the start of winter. Our giant spider is hanging on the front door, ready to welcome anyone brave enough to knock!

  10. Pam's English Garden November 1, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    I love your spooky pictures, Bridget, and highly agree with your sentiments about the loss of tradition. I’m glad the time of ‘reflection, reading, crafting…glowing fires and hearty soups’ is upon us — I need the gardening down-time to sustain me. P. x

    • bridget November 1, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

      I just love getting all cosy on cold Winter days and as you say a bit of a break from hard garden graft.

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