I love this time of year, autumnal harvests and pulling out knitwear for cold snaps are some of my favourite things but it is Oíche Shamhna or Halloween that I have always loved most. I don’t know why because I never trick or treated as a child and I only had Halloween costumes really in college but I loved Halloween night.
Halloween was always a night I spent at home eating good food and looking for that ring in the Barmbrack, which for those who don’t know, is a fruit-filled loaf traditionally with a ring or coin inside. There were always different bowls of nuts about the place and of course, chocolate so maybe in hindsight, it was always about the food. It could also have been because it was the one weekend in the year that I got to keep my dog in my bedroom!
It’s funny how family traditions always start sometimes they are planned and sometimes you just fall into them. In my case, the latter was how the baking started and it is a tradition that I am following through with my girls though at their ages I’m baking cookies and buns opposed to a heavy fruit-laden cake game that might choke them!
We carved our pumpkins and had squeals of delight and disgust from the toddlers. We made pumpkin soup from the inside and toasted the seeds so I didn’t feel guilty for making a candle holder out of perfectly good food! We danced and the kids dressed up in costumes but most importantly we did it together as a family.
So as darkness falls tonight and you’re wrapped up tight, ask yourself if you are continuing your family traditions in the way that you want. Pull out a journal and make a list of wishes or dreams that you want from the year ahead and see what you can start doing tomorrow fora fresh month is fantastic for a fresh start!
For those who would love to know more about Celtic traditions for Oíche Shamhna pop on over here. I am off to keep up with my toddler wrangling but from all of us, we wish you a very Happy Halloween.
Oíche Shamhna shona daoibh go léir!
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