The word Halloween means hallowed evening; hallowed meaning sacred.
It is a time when the veils between the realms are thin. And we can connect the ancestors who have passed. In my Native heritage the ancestors and their wisdom are honored always as ones to aid us.
Thus in the Celtic Samhain celebration the dead were honored not feared. Knowing they are just on another level of existence. Death was not seen as a negative but as change. A time of community and celebration where the new ones born during the year were formally introduced into their community.
It was custom to leave food for the elders or for the fae so they would not pull pranks, hence the “trick or treat”. In other traditions costumes and mischief making singing and dancing was the way of this night and they would go door to door offering prayers for treats.
Jack-o'-lantern comes from British origins and means man with a lantern. Also called will o’ the wisp which refers to the neat flickers of light in wetlands at night said to be fae or ghosts pranking. So, such has an appropriate place in the Halloween celebrations where they are generally outdoors lit by candles.
Bobbing for apples has been seeing in many ways but one that I think is neat. It was said that If one caught an apple when bobbing for apples they were to peel it carefully and to slowly circle their head with the peel thrice and then throw it over their head. The letter shape that appeared would be the first initial of the individuals’ true love.
No matter how you look at the day be it from a stand point of ancient traditions or of a day of fun and merriment. Let it be one of joy.
© Lisa Ann Ulibarri