Since we live too far away from any neighbors to have Halloween trick-or-treaters, the idea of celebrating Samhain is kinda growing on me. As I understand it, Samhain is an ancient Celtic festival, very similar to the Hispanic tradition of the Day of the Dead. At this time, the dead walked the earth, and people could connect with their ancestors, considered sources of wisdom. Given all the spirits roaming around, the Celts would dress in disguises, so any evil ones couldn’t recognize them. Communal bonfires were also a big custom, thought to ward off evil spirits too. On the way home from the bonfire, people would put a candle in a hollowed-out turnip (the Scots used pumpkins, and brought the custom to the
), apparently to keep those
witches, ghosts and goblins away as well. US
However, Samhain is also notable as the beginning of the winter half of the year. Which fits here in the Foothills. We won’t be seeing any snow for a few more weeks (crossing my fingers), but the glorious fall color has faded. and most plants around our place have begun their winter sleep—save for a few winter greens, that with any luck, will hold their own until April. So now that the hard work of tending and harvesting is over, I’m happy to devote myself to creating more Irish stories!