Halloween can send one on all types of flights of fancy. I am not really one for scary things though, like reading horror stories or watching scary films. I like to feel relaxed when I read, not scared. Halloween, with those dark days and the start of November, the darkest of months, everything wet and decaying – and you can understand why the Celts would want to make a festival. Here is the time they believed the netherworld came close to the surface. When the dead could come and visit. I can imagine them telling stories around the camp fire, scaring the “bejasus” (An Irish expression) out of each other.
Everything is just a little bit scary at this time of year. I will be staying inside, and keeping warm. Happy Halloween!
We have had a couple of frosts the last two night, and there is a noticeable drop in temperatures even during the day.
With Halloween just around the corner it was time to harvest the pumpkins and squash and do some carving. The big one took up half the wheelbarrow!
2. Despite the fact that most of the flowers are gone I saw a common carder bumblebee today and it was still collecting pollen, suggesting it was still feeding young – maybe it was just an optimistic bee.
3. In the vegetable garden we are getting a couple of romanesco maturing.
4. A poor frosted cosmos.
5. I love these big leaves of the mulberry tree.
6. So few apples this year but there are a few bramblys on a potted tree that will have to be planted out in the next couple of months.
Gratitude that we managed to grow two, decent sized pumpkins this year, so that the children had one each to carve! And thankful that my son was generous enough to allow his younger sister to hog the large of the two!
In Ireland, tonight is called OicheSamhain, or night of Samhain. The Celtic Festival of Samhain, marks the end of the old year and beginning of the new year. It also marked the end of the harvest and the start of the dark half of the year.
There is the idea that being a time of transition the boundaries between the underworld and the human world are not secure and so all kinds of eerie souls, spirits, ghosts and fairies can move freely in the human world, many of whom would be up to no good!
There are many traditions associated with the desire to ward off these unwanted spirits or indeed to welcome your own deceased kin. Bonfires would be lit and people would wear masks to confuse the spirits. One nice story I heard during the week was that people in one area would leave a basin of water and a towel by the doorway so that passing spirits could wash!