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Halloween AKA Samhain: Celebration, Activity and Feast

Published by Alicia Karban

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Halloween celebrates the bountiful harvest and honors the dead. There is a special feast. Enjoy a unique activity and food made from provided recipes.

Halloween, Celtic and Wiccan Samhain, celebrates the third and final harvest. Lughnasadh, in August, is the first; September’s Mabon, Autumn Equinox, the second. Halloween/Samhain is the time when the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest and to remember the departed, in joy, because they’re in a better world. Feast on the foods of this Sabbat.

Halloween/Samhain Celebration

In the traditional Hallowe’en Celebration, Ancient Celts, Garbed in Animal Pelts, Celebrated the Day with Bonfires. Hides have been replaced by costumes. Candles and fires in the hearth can be substituted for bonfires. Decorate the room in autumn’s colors, red, russet, gold, maroon and brown. Cover the altar with black and orange cloths, Halloween’s colors. Adorn the altar with autumn colored candles in gold colored holders, one black pillar candle in a cauldron or fireproof container, such as a pot, with about an inch of water in it, Indian corn, miniature pumpkins, apples, pomegranates and fresh, potted or silk autumn flowers.

Light the candles and give thanks for the abundant harvest. Perform acts of magick. Celebrate with joy, remembering departed loved ones. Write on paper what you want to be rid of. Put the paper in the candle’s flame until it catches on fire, then let it drop into the water. If there are flames from the wax in the water, let them be. They will be snuffed out by the water.

Halloween/Samhain Activity

Plant a Pagan Veggie and Herb Indoor Garden. Some Edible Plants are Excellent for Kitchens and Dining Areas. Vegetables include tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, green beans, eggplant, cucumbers, short vined squash, miniature cabbage, carrots, small rooted beets, endive, lettuces, onions, radishes and spinach. Various herbs have different light requirements, but most need a sunny location in winter. Choose a southern or western window, if available. Fluorescent or special grow lamps, available at garden supply stores, help supplement light.

Annual herbs can spend their life cycle in an indoor container. Perennial herbs will do best if placed outdoors during the summer. Bury the pot in soil up to its rim in a garden or keep them in a protected location on a porch or patio. Consult with a garden supply store specialist or Internet website for individual needs of indoor vegetable and herbs.

The same is true of flowers, when planted from seeds. You can also buy potted flowers. My father had success with geraniums, my aunt, with hibiscus, my great aunt, with African violets and I, with chrysanthemums.

Bless the seeds before you plant them and the potted flowers before you place them. Visualize harvesting fresh vegetables and herbs when the weather is frigid and it’s snowing or sleeting while you are warm indoors. All of nature is interrelated and is a manifestation of the Supreme One. Pagan gardens bring nature inside. These gardens are only limited by creativity and space.

Halloween/Samhain Feast Recipes

Traditional food includes meat, corn, beans, turnips, squash, root vegetables, nuts, cinnamon, pumpkins, pomegranates, grapes, cider, gingerbread, mulled wine, ale and apples.

  • Pomegranate Punch: Blend together 1 quart pomegranate juice, 1 pint vodka and 2 quarts lemon soda in a punchbowl. Garnish with orange slices if desired. Substitute lemon soda for vodka for a nonalcoholic punch.
  • Crudités and Dip: Vegetables include raw whole green beans, sliced turnips, zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, scallions (root veggies) and others as desired. Dip: Mix together 1/2 cup each mayonnaise and sour cream, 1 envelope dehydrated onion soup mix, 1/2 tablespoons crumbled dried parsley, 1 teaspoon crumbled dried tarragon and 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic. Chill overnight.
  • Pumpkin Soup: Heat 1/4 cup water on medium in a large saucepan. Add 1 small diced onion. Cook until tender. Stir in 1/2 cup water, 1 (8 ounce) can pumpkin purée, 1 cup chicken bouillon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and ground pepper to taste. Boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Blend in 1 cup milk. Cook until heated through, don’t boil.
  • Pork Chops Paprikas: Sprinkle pan with salt. Brown 6 pork chops on both sides over medium heat. Remove from pan. Sauté 1 medium diced onion and 1 minced garlic clove in 1 1/2 teaspoons margarine and 2 teaspoons paprika. Return chops to pan. Add1/4 cup beer and 1 bay leaf. Cover pan. Simmer about an hour, adding beer or bouillon as needed. Blend in 1 cup sour cream. Hint: mix some broth with sour cream before blending. Heat through. Chicken can be substituted for pork, but has to be sautéed in margarine.
  • Baby Corn and Lima Bean Medley: Cut 1 1/2 cups baby corn in half. Boil 1 1/2 cups water. Add 1 teaspoon sugar, corn and 1 package frozen baby lima beans. Cover. Simmer 7 minutes or until corn is done. Drain. Stir in two slices diced cooked bacon before serving.
  • Apple/Grape/Walnut Dessert: Mix together 2 unpeeled, cored, apple cubes, 1/2 cup seedless grapes, 3/4 cup chopped walnuts and 3/4 cup orange juice in a medium-sized greased baking dish. Dot with 1 tablespoon margarine. Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste. Cover dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve warm.

Halloween/Samhain: Post Feast Celebration

Reflect on the day’s commemoration, activity and savoring the feast. Remember the Salem Witch Hysteria, Aftermath: 114 Accused, 19 Hanged, 1 Crushed to Death, 4 Died in Prison…. People lived in fear of being accused as a witch, whether they were Pagans or Christians. Pagans had to hold their rites in secret. Some were members of Christian churches, lest they be accused of witchcraft. Give thanks that the burning times, the height of witch hunts, trials and executions, are a sad part of history.

Samhain is a time to take care of the dead and to remember the past year. At night, leave a plate of food outside the house for the souls of the dead. Put a candle in the window to guide them the Lands of Eternal Summer.

Plan for the next Sabbat, Yule, the day of the Winter Solstice.

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