People who know me well know that Halloween is actually my least favorite holiday. I am a complete Scrooge about it all – well, at least as far as the unhealthy candy, and creepy stuff – as it just doesn’t fill my bucket.
However, I love the FALL HARVEST aspect of Halloween and my favorite of all, pumpkins! Who ever knew that a round orange vegetable could be so lovable? I look forward to every October to begin doing circle times about pumpkins, games with pumpkins, songs about pumpkins and harvesting, cooking with pumpkins (and moving into cranberries in November) and using All Hallow’s Eve to prepare for the festivals I do love, which is the Feast of All Saints (All Hallows), and the Feast (Commemoration) of All Souls Departed. These are huge feasts in my religious tradition and I love it.
I also love the bright colors, fireworks, and festive food of Diwali. Our neighborhood has been celebrating Diwali and it has been so joyous to watch and be a part of! So many wonderful things to love this time of year!
Here are a few of my favorite things about Halloween, The Feast of All Saints ,and the Feast of All Souls Day. Maybe you will find a few of your favorite things on this list too!
- Using All Hallow’s Eve as a springboard to talk to my children about our upcoming religious festivals
- Experiencing Halloween as this beautiful transition point between Michaelmas and Martinmas. I love what the book “Festivals With Children” by Brigitte Barz says about this: “The candle inside the pumpkin or turnip, both fruits of the earth, is like the very last memory and afterglow of the summer sun with its ripening strength. Then for Martinmas a candle is lit within the home-made lantern; this is the first glow of a light with a completely different nature, the first spark of inner light.”
- Carving pumpkin lanterns; roasting pumpkin seeds; shadow puppet shows; bobbing for apples; celebrating Guy Fawkes on the fifth of November!
- Tapping into the sacred and the significant in this time; if this is the time of blurred space and time where the sacred connection between what was and what is, what am I doing to be a part of the solution toward connectedness and love? Where is my spiritual food coming from that will nourish me for the winter months?
- There is a sweet little Halloween Circle in the book, “Dancing As We Sing” that one could really flesh out with terrific songs and fingerplays such as “Five Little Pumpkins” and more (see the book “Let’s Do Fingerplays” by Marion Grayson); pumpkin games.
- Christine Natale’s story called “The Littlest Pumpkin” – great for wet on wet painting or beeswax modeling or to tell before pumpkin carving! One of my favorites! I also like the story about the little hobgoblin. Do you all know that story as well? Suzanne Down also has lovely stories for the younger set.
- These posts on Halloween, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, and thinking ahead to lanterns for Martinmas!
- For The Feast of All Saints today, I used many of the ideas from over at Loyola Press. For The Feast of All Souls tomorrow, we will be making soul cakes.
Please share with me your favorite things about this significant time and transitioning to Martinmas!
Thank you so much for sharing and being honest about your feelings over Halloween. I feel the same. Its like we as parents battle arm loads of candy from Halloween all the way through Easter. We forget about what the seasonal celebrations are really about. I feel very grounded after reading your post. I have my children in public school but love following your posts. I work and am in graduate school so home schooling does not feel like an option right now. However, I try to enrich my children’s life experience by re-connecting them to nature where I see opportunities to do so. I am studying Chinese medicine and have been learning about the five elements as they pertain to the human psycho-emotional/spiritual experience. What you have to say about this transitional time of year really resonates with a lot of what we study in five elements. I feel very inspired to share these aspects of the holidays with my children after reading your post. Thanks for the grounding inspiration once again!
Thank you for this. Halloween is my least favorite of festivals as well, but the last few years we have loved celebrating All Saints and All Souls and we use Hallow’s Eve as a time to prepare for those festivals. It has definitely transformed the feeling of this time of year and we now have wonderful traditions. Thank you!
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