(Algonquin Indian:Traditional) From the Album:Spiritchaser/Dead Can Dance
This is a page dedicated to family celibration of the Pagan New Year, the day of Honoring our ancestors,the day the viel between the worlds is thin. This day is SAMHAIN also known as Halloween,or The Day of the Dead.
I am a single father,and I am trying hard to instill in my son traditions that can be passed down to his children. I am trying to teach values to him that he can use even if he decides he does not want to be pagan when he is an adult.
I believe that the ancients of many cultures understood the time of Samhain,or whatever it was called to those people,was a time that the border between our world and the otherworld was very thin,and that our ancestors could visit us at this time. By honoring them, by singing,by setting up dumb suppers,by lighting fires, lighting vegtable lanterns,singing,telling stories,we are calling them to us to share this time. We are not bringing the dead to be mournfull and sad,but to be joyous and remember them with loving stories,so that them may live on to our children,and that they may share the time with us by being talked about and remembered.
We as Americans often shun death,we keep it as far away from ourselves as possible. This is particularly unhealthy,as it is a very real part of our everyday life. We cannot avoid death,and we do a diservice to our dead by forgetting them or shutting them out. We can celibrate this day as a day of rememberance for the dead. We can let our loved ones that are here now,that they will not be forgotten when they pass over to the other side.
I also like to do other things,I like to Get dressed up and have a big dinner,at home or in a nice restraunt to celebrate Samhain eve. After dinner I take my son home for bedtime and stories,talking about Samhain and what it means,telling stories about our ancestors, and then tucking him into bed.
In the morning I awaken my son to presents in the named cauldrons on the hearth downstairs.(I got this Idea from Ashleen O'Gaea's:The Family Wicca Book/Llewellyn 1994)After presents are opened we go on hayrides,harvest festivals,make Haloween foodstuffs,have parties, you can use your imagination..followed by Trick or Treat around the neighborhood. All in all its a great time, and one that is not exclusively Pagan. I hold rituals after my son is asleep,or I arrange for him to be at his Mothers after trick or treating,or I hold rituals the night before. Whatever you do,try to make Halloween/Samhain/The Day of the Dead special for your loved ones and yourself. It's an important Holiday that should not be missed.
(*Dumb Supper:Leaving out foodstuffs or fake foodstuffs for our dear departed and our ancestors.This is to let them know that they are still remembered. Often times thier favorite foods or snacks are left on a small alter with candles and flowers.)
Samhain:Season of Death and Renewal.By Alexei Kondratiev.This is an excellent and essential article on the history of Samhain.
Adulterated Halloween Candy:The "Razor Blades in the Apples "Hoax: This is on the Religous Tolerance Org Website,check it out!
Halloween from a Neo-Pagan Perspective:
Halloween Customs and Traditions:
Samhain customs of Scotland: Dalraida Heritage Trust