Samhain 2010

Though we all love the hoopla surrounding Halloween, we also look forward to and enjoy our quiet Samhain (pronounced SOW-en for those who don’t know) rituals.  In the morning we took our yearly spin to the cemetery to visit the graves of loved ones who have passed on.  We always bring hand picked flowers, pine cones, acorns or special stones to lay on the headstones (we take a walk beforehand and gather what calls to us).  Our family also has a mausoleum and ever since the Peeps were little they’ve each claimed a lion to care for.  Some of the stones from past years are still laying there around them!

At home we lay flowers on the graves of our beloved family pets that are no longer with us.  For us that means a cat, a dog, a turtle, and two chickens reside in our “pet cemetery”.  🙂

After that, a little pumpkin carving with friends…

My favorite part of Samhain is setting up the Ancestor Table.  Pictures of family pets are also allowed, though strictly speaking they’re not our ancestors, we do miss them an awful lot. 😉  The candle is lit and stays burning until bedtime.  (We do extinguish it before trick or treating, then relight when we get back home.)

And speaking of trick or treat…at a friend’s house, ready to hit the trail:

A bunch of shady characters!

We usually go to a friends’ house for trick or treating (they have a “real” neighbor to go in) and then enjoy lots of good food afterward– including some cider and apple donuts from a local cider press.  Parents are hopeful some real food will be consumed before the process of candy trading begins!  We don’t usually do candy, so this is a special treat for my two.  (Sorry for the blurry photo; sugared up kids+low light=blur)

And finally, back at Casa de los Peeps…

I look forward to the trick or treat festivities as much as the Peeps, but I also enjoy that quiet time when we get back home, p.j.’s are donned, and I can sit and knit in peace while the really intense candy trading negotiations begin!

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