Friday, September 30, 2011

Halloween Countdown

Oh yes, it's that time of year again.  While many are still biding their time until Thanksgiving to usher in "Holiday" spirit, I'm getting absolutely giddy over the fast approaching month of October (dude, we've got like 4 hours to go and IT'S HERE!!!!). Yes, October is my favorite month of the year, far and above the often touted December many in the US treasure oh so much. I look forward to October every year, it's my Holy Month, if you will. NO ONE better mess with October. Heads will roll ( just kidding, I'm a lover, not a fighter).

Here are a few reasons why October is the best month ever:

  • The leaves are changing, and anyone who has ever had a life knows that the changing of the leaves is probably the most beautiful of all earthly phenomena.  The color of fallen leaves scattered on the ground on a brisk October day really gets my heart pounding.
  • As a clear indicator of the season, October reminds us that the year is coming to a close (unless you are Jewish, in which case it's a new year for you! Happy Rosh Hashanah!).  October, for me, is a time of reflection and thoughtfulness.  I do some of my best thinking in October because I'm reminded that almost a whole year has gone by-- that's a lot to think about!  I think that thoughtfulness and reflection promotes mental and spiritual growth in a person, which puts this time of year into an interesting perspective-- things are coming to a close, life is slowing down, the leaves are falling and winter is fast approaching. Possibly thoughts of death or dying come to mind in relation to the fall months leading into the winter months, and yet we are reflecting and growing and possibly preparing ourselves of a rebirth of sorts.  Or maybe I'm just a major hippie and all of this only makes sense in my head. 
  • Um, HELLO, it's fricken Halloween!

A Samhain Altar I found on the net. Quite appropriate.

Yes, I'm totally juiced about Halloween, All Hallows Eve, Samhain, Third Harvest, whatever you wanna call it I'm totally diggin' it.  I'd like to keep this post relatively short, so perhaps going into my many reasons for loving Halloween is a story for another time.  Let's just fast forward to how I celebrate this blessed holiday! Within the last five years or so, I've been exploring the history and meaning behind All Hallows Eve as well as other fall festivals, and I (along with my mother and Kourtney) have created a slightly unique, fun and inclusive way to celebrate Halloween OUR way. Three years ago we decided to host a gathering, inviting close friends to our tiny apartment to feast on foods of the harvest, celebrate our ancestors, and enjoy the slightly spooky and bewitching night by watching Icabod Crane and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow (the Disney version).  I called it the Harvest Feast.  That first year we spend the day cooking up dishes to feed our guests-- brussel sprouts with bacon, phillo wrapped asparagus, maple yams, soul cakes, and roasted chicken (if you were there, you know how good it was). We also set up an altar for loved ones who had passed away, filling it with trinkets and pictures, and leaving a plate of food in honor of them. Well, the Feast was such a great hit that we had to recreate the night the following year, this time sending out invitations and really getting into the spirit of the holiday by decorating the house with fall colors and going all out with the food. And the night did not disappoint (as my facebook pics will attest)!

SO.  With the holiday fast approaching, I thought I'd give you fair warning: pretty much all my future posts leading up to our Harvest Feast will be about Halloween, fall festivals, and how we celebrate them. GET EXCITED!  So, until we meet again tomorrow, I leave you with this:

Hahaha! It's on like donkey kong!

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