First off decide on a design that you would like to carve into your pumpkin. Doing this first will give you an idea of what you need as well as an idea of the size of pumpkin needed. You need to pick a pumpkin that will suit the design in mind..
When you go to pick out your pumpkin pick the nicest and healthiest looking pumpkin you can find. You’ll want to pick the one without bruises, nicks, and cuts. Make sure your pumpkin is ripe as well. Another thing to make sure of is that your pumpkin has a long stem. This will become the handle to your lid. If you want to, you can also wash the pumpkin off so that it is clean and stays healthy longer.
We put down newspaper down on a flat surface so as not to get your workspace messy and it also makes for an easier clean-up. Measure 2-5 inches down from the stem, this will be where you will cut around, making your lid. After you have cut your lid, remove it. On the underside, scrape off excess gunk, making the surface smooth then start scooping the pumpkin guts out “the best part” make sure you get out as much as possible, also make sure the bottom is flat so that if you are putting a candle inside it will stand up..
Once all the scooping is done start to trace your design on [...]
Some of you call it Halloween; most of us call it Samhain (pronounced “SOW-in” in my beloved Ireland, SOW-een in Wales, “SAV-en” in Scotland or “SAM-hain” in non-Gaelic speaking countries). Samhain means “End of Summer”, and is the third and final Harvest.
The story that “Samhain” was a Celtic God of the Dead is a myth.
Samhain is a fire festival. Sacred bonfires were lit on the tops of hills in honor of the Gods. Samhain bonfires, called balefires, were once lit on every hilltop in Britain and Ireland as soon as the sun set on October 30.
The custom of dressing in costume and “trick-or-treating” is of Celtic origin,with survivals particularly strong in Ireland and Scotland.
Pope Gregory II moved the christian holiday of “all Hollows Eve” from May 13 to November 1st to coincide with the Feast of Samhain.
Feasting and merrymaking played a big part in rural homes during Samhain. Thelady of the house prepared a special feast in honor of the night. Colcannon, a mashed potato and kale or cabbage dish with a reservoir of creamy melted butter, was a favorite. Boxty bread, made from mashed potatoes and flour was also popular, as was Barm Brack. You will find these recipes in this issue of HF!Yum Yum.
In Waterford Ireland, Samhain is called oídhche na h-aimléise, “the night of mischief or con.”
Where did trick or treating come from? Dating [...]
The kids and I blow out eggs and decorate them with Celtic and spring symbology. Then we hang them on a branch, spray painted white and put in a vase of brightly colored floral pebbles. This is our “Ostara tree”. We plan a spring menu to celebrate the spring Equinox ( we always celebrate March 21, disregarding the Christian Easter). We also begin some of our garden indoors on this day such as tomatoes and peppers. It brings the meaning of being closer to the earth to our kids. Of course, we always do an egg hunt too, usually indoors, since it is usually still chilly on March 21 where we are and the kids are still young. They go wild for this. I just wish I could come up with more ideas of things that are non-candy to out in the eggs.
Europa14 – USA
Every year so far we have followed the traditions we had in my household while growing up, which are pretty typical. Coloring eggs the night before, hunting for them the next morning or afternoon, Easter baskets, and a special dinner with family. This year I’m finally shaking the mindset that we have to do everything the day the calendar says; since we are not following Christian traditions, there is no reason to follow the Christian date. We’ve taught Thorin that we are celebrating spring, so we might as well do just that. We’ll be doing everything on the [...]
By the time the Winter Solstice is upon us, I am ready to celebrate the birth of the Sun God in very simple traditional ways. Here are a few ways to celebrate Yule without running yourself ragged.
Tuck some fresh sprigs of berried holly around your house for protection and good luck, If you can’t find berried holly you can use plain ole holly,I have Holly hung over my front door year round for protection. Make sure to keep the berries out of reach for children. We also do a Yule Holly Fire spell every year, last year we done the Yule Fire spell with 4 other friends and a teenage boy who was the son of a comrade, we all had a wonderful time participating, we will include the spell at the bottom of the page.
You can also hang some pine roping over your doorways to ward your home and to encourage good health and joy; we started this ritual last year and will continue to do it in our family. Many families have been doing this for years. Some folk say that by doing this you are inviting the faeries of winter into your home so they can have a warm place to celebrate the Yuletide festivities, who doesn’t need a little bit of Faery magick in their home.
We also decorate our home with Yule ornaments mostly suns and stars, you should always check our your local $1 [...]