Friday, 24 October 2014

Halloween Endings

"Dear Great Pumpkin, I am looking forward to your arrival on Halloween Night. I hope you will bring me lots of presents." -- Linus Van Pelt

I love Halloween.  My mother always made me delightful costumes for going out, from a fairy to Red Riding Hood to a witch.  When I got too old to go out I would still dress up and answer the door for the younger ones.  Some of the best costumes that I remember were mother-made or even self-made - forget the store-bought stuff.  I knew two kids who painted their faces blue so they could be Smurfs one year.  Now of course I have my own little one to dress up and have fun with.  One year she was a pirate, another year she was a bat.

Many of our neighbours get into the act.  A fellow across the street has the most gaudy setup of decorations and lights you've ever seen.  Someone down the block has his front hallway disguised with black paper, lights, and even a smoke machine.  There's always someone with their front yard decked out like a cemetery complete with skeletons.  I don't go that overboard, just a few flashing pumpkins and ghosts, but it suffices.  Friends of ours have an annual Halloween/Samhain party at their house where costumes are mandatory for everyone.  Anyone not in costume is stuck with clean-up.  Fun to be had all around.

And the occasion gives me the excuse to play my recording of Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saens over and over.

Of course I do understand the significance of the holiday for my Pagan friends.  It's harvest time, the end of the year, the renewal of the cycle.  The past year has been more difficult than many.  But life goes on as we remember those who are absent, and take comfort that we have what we need while so many others don't.

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