Today, I am going to tell you about the wonder of Halloween.
I have always loved Halloween, albeit in a different form. I was raised in a Pagan family, predominantly Celts from Breizh (Brittany). There, the festival is known as Kalan Goañv (the “ñ” has a bit of a Y sound), or Samhain, pronounced “sow-in,” not “sam-hane!”
October 31st is the holiest day of the year. Cernunnos dies after warring with the Holly King, and he will not be reborn until the winter solstice on December 21st.
Now, as an adult, I believe in Judaism. I’ll always ethnically be a Witch and I think I’ll always picture God as Cernunnos, so October 31st is still very important to me.
An important Breton tradition for Samhain is making Kornigoù, spicy antler or stag-shaped cakes. We haven’t actually made them properly for the last couple of years due to time constraints, and instead have just made chocolates in stag-shaped moulds rather than a proper cake.
Here are some pictures of our past Kornigoù:
Cutting out the shape of the stag face from the round cake. I think this was 2010, Will’s Mum’s old kitchen.
Finished stag with chocolate overlays.
It goes best with ice cream.
2011 one wound up looking more like a cow.
A couple of years ago we got a bit lazy and just painted a white chocolate stag onto a rectangle cake.
Last year’s chocolate stags.
It would be lovely to start making proper cakes again soon, maybe using the chocolate moulds as a topper, but first I need energy and good timing and preparation.
There are other important symbols of Halloween;
My favourite, the pumpkin! Which some people call a Jack O’lantern. 🎃
Originally they were turnips instead of pumpkins! But turnips are maybe not so great. The purpose of carving faces onto fruit and vegetables, is to frighten away anything malevolent that may be drifting around while “the veil is thin” between the 30th Oct – 2nd Nov (or even longer if you’re celebrating in Brittany).
It depends on your individual beliefs; some think that the dead come back on Samhain; your ancestors and other people/ animals important to you. But that doesn’t make sense if you believe in reincarnation, because all those souls have gone somewhere else and can’t really come back unless they split themselves into pieces.
It could just be that the dead who’ve never moved on, are floating around on Halloween.
The general consensus regardless, is that everyone who’s died during the year, since the last Samhain, will float about for a bit before finally passing on at the end.
But yes, while the focus is on people you actually like being around you at Samhain, not every dead person or thing is good, and so scary lantern faces are designed to be protective and scare them off, away from your household.
It’s my favourite symbol of the time and I’d like to get a little happy pumpkin tattoo at some point in my life.
That one’s obvious.
Dead people. We’ve all got a skull, after we’re gone it’ll be the last thing left of us. They’re also kind of super interesting.
Spiders, bats, and other creatures. 🕷🕸🦇
You tend to see them around during the season!
Costumes were not a thing I used to do, because it was a serious religious occasion, but for the past couple of years I have dressed up as Monsieur Ananas from Téléfrançais.
A lot of costumes do make me uncomfortable when I see them. A lot of them seem to be a way to victimise people rather than to enjoy the festival for what it is. People dress up as Witches, as if we are fantasy creatures, as if what happened, and still happens, to our families is just a hilarious joke, as if we are literal monsters for being the wrong ethnicity, and people wear a pointy hat without knowing the significance of it and the seriousness of when it would actually be used. That kind of bums me the fuck out.
This Halloween is the first in this lovely house. And unfortunately, the last, since we are moving. I’ve been pondering 2017 Halloween for a good while already, though now I have to picture it in a different place.
I love the skull-shaped glasses.
Unfortunately Netflix had the bright idea to remove Scintilla just days before Halloween, so we didn’t get to watch that one. They did the same with WWDitS too, but luckily we had a copy anyway.
This year I wore my galaxy pyjamas with my costume. Space pineapple 🌌🍍 Also I don’t have teal hair anymore to act as Ananas’ leaves, so I just did bouffant hair.
This years playlist full of spoopy spoop.
I dunno if I’ll edit/ reuse the same one next year, so what’s embedded here might change in the future.
Will didn’t wear his beard this year! But to be fair the costume was very warm.
I love the skull glasses.
The tiny, terrible window available to use for Drawful on a Blackberry Q5!
I love the ghost lanterns!
These glow bangles unfortunately didn’t do a lot, I shall have to get better ones in next year!
A cake that Jane made! This one kind of blends in with the sofa throw though.
Will and Jane did some lovely cooking with FOOD COLOURING AND EVERYTHING though unfortunately it didn’t take to the spaghetti well.
Frozen Jaffa Cake.
Freya’s lovely Halloween collar.
A “terror whirl.”
Oh no, I have chocolate bloom!
This year’s chocolate Kornigoù.
I always enjoy watching What We Do in the Shadows, but I think my favourite this year was Hush. I saw it earlier in the year and fell in love with it.
It’s about a deaf woman, who is the next stage up of deafness from me. She would be profound/ total, hearing literally nothing, whereas as I am Severe, my quietest sounds heard are usually over 70db. I don’t hear clock ticking, I don’t hear my dog’s feet padding on the ground (that one I really miss), I don’t hear planes going over when I’m indoors, and I only hear them outside if everything else is really quiet.
So yes, I fell in love with this movie, even though it has a stereotypical all-or-nothing portrayal of deafness. But the cat is named Bitch and I liked that at the end she didn’t feel the need to “find her voice” or move in with her family or any of that bollocks.
But yes, in summary, Halloween is the best. Spoopy spoop.