All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween to you and me), is upon us..that time of year when ancient Celts had a festival to mark the end of summer and the harvest season, and believed , at this time, that the door between this world and the next was open and spirits could pass through. My earliest memories of Halloween are of lighting sparklers on dark, smoky nights and eating sticky toffee apples while my dad ‘attempted’ to carve scary turnips to ward off evil spirits ! Turnips were used as lanterns here long before pumpkins came along but they are quite a challenge to carve. Another memory I have is of my mum dressing me up as a witch but ‘apparently’ I scared the other children and I didn’t want to stay in ‘witch mode’ for too long !
This year we thought we would celebrate Halloween in style.. a chance for a little family get together, to enjoy some good food and conversation and a bit of ‘craic’. Happily, pumpkins are easier to carve and they look much prettier too and so my husband set to work carving a few. Virtually everywhere here sells them now for Halloween…(we gave America Halloween, they gave us pumpkins 🙂 )
I’ve also been going to a flower arranging class and for our Halloween assignment I decorated a pumpkin with orange gerberas, roses and foliage. I put that on our dining table and scattered fading rose petals and sparkly spiders around it and we sat down to a lunch of home made cottage pie followed by sticky toffee pudding and ice cream.
Then out we went , into the fading light of a late Sunday afternoon and as darkness fell, we cosied around our garden table, filled with candlelight and enjoyed a glass of wine and some spicy apple tea to keep us warm. With the pumpkins ever vigilant over us, we enjoyed our afternoon together until the Irish weather made us retreat inside, our cheeks nipped with the cold and eager for the warmth indoors ! No sparklers or witch costumes this year..just a quiet, lovely Halloween with family.
Have a happy Halloween wherever you are !