Tonight I was in St. Paul, one of the local towns here. There were not that many houses near the hospital and schools with their lights on or with jack'o lanterns lit up. That is one of the things we did, carve a pumpkin. When my own kids were of that age, I split a pumpkin in half and used half for pie or muffins, rather than waste the entire thing. The back was then wrapped with tin foil and there was a small tea light candle inside. It gave the same effect as the whole pumpkin, but we did not have a lot of money and I was frugal. We also made our own costumes, yes, the kids, not the parents. I did make some of my kids costumes, and cannot recall purchasing one ever. Today's kids wear store bought costumes. They are missing half of the fun creating their own identities by not making their own costumes. When the kids were quite small, I made them pyjamas with polka dots on them, which they wore as clown costumes with my lipstick and eye liner marking their faces. Afterwards, they had a whole year's wear out of the pyjamas.
It is rather amazing that Halloween has become such a big event in a Christian world. The decorations for Halloween have evolved to wreaths, trees, air filled gigantic statues, plastic creatures that make weird sounds and so on. It is truly amazing what people will buy. The decorations are out with the Christmas items at the beginning of October.
What happened to the real celebration? Samhain and Beltane were ancient celebrations of the waning daylight, the loss of the growing season and the pining to release the darkness and bring back green. It is believed the veil between the unseen world and the seen world is the thinnest on Halloween night. Witches, or suspected witches were burned for so much as using a herbal tea to sooth a sore throat. At a time when doctors were not quite practiced and recognized, the old crones with knowledge of herbs and cures could have been of great value to the people, yet they were disdained in the name of Christianity.
So, St. Paul is likely not much different than many places these days. Kids don't make costumes and pumpkins are plastic. Everyone gets too much candy made with gmo ingredients that keeps the population sick and the adults drink too much alcohol. I am not sure how this all happened, but I would welcome the real Samhain celebration if I knew where to find one, over the commercial circus Halloween has become.
How about you?