I have a love-hate relationship with this particular festival. Celebrating the turning wheel of the year is something I like to do.
(illustration from The Barefoot Book of Rhymes Around the Year by Marc Vyvyan-Jones)
Halloween is the old celtic festival of Samhain and is a time to reflect on the coming winter darkness, the end of the year's growing and harvesting and also a time to remember those who have died. I like to mark it but in a simple, low key way. We carve pumpkins and I'm happy to hang up a few homemade decorations and to turn out a Halloween treat or two.
What I don't do is buy any of the halloween stuff that seems to swamp the supermarkets these days. Apparently Halloween is now one of the four most lucrative days of the year for retail, I can believe it. What I hate about all this rubbish is the effect it has on my daughter. My sons are unmoved by Halloween but my ten year old daughter is easily influenced by such things and thinks she must have things for Halloween because she's seen them in the shops.
But what I really loathe and detest about this festival is......can you guess? Trick or treating. I'm afraid I don't allow it . At.All. No, not one bit. I think it is little more than organised begging. Yes, I know one can organise a reciprocal affair with friends and neighbours, and I vaguely remember doing this as I child, but frankly I'm too lazy to supervise such an event besides the allergy thing makes it complicated and anyway I just don't like the idea of knocking on doors asking for sugary junk.
We had callers last night and last year we had them on the 30th too. If you can't even get the date right then you certainly don't deserve treats.
At Halloween I think I am entitled to become a Mean Old Witch (and at frequent intervals throughout the rest of the year too).
I'm not that keen on carol singers either. Hummph.
So, this is our simple, junk-free, non-commercial, not-quite-sugar-free Halloween.
Jack o' lanterns
Scary face by my daughter and stars and moon by me.
using this recipe which I would increase by half next time as there was barely enough toffee to coat five apples.
Roasted, spiced pumpkin seeds.
Drop in tomorrow for how to do this and more on how to use up every bit of your Halloween pumpkin.
This on our front door
which remains firmly shut all evening. I managed (just) to stop myself from writing 'bog off!' on it.