Halloween has evolved over time to become a fun festival all about creating spooky decorations, dressing up and trick or treating. But in our household we like to celebrate Halloween in a different, maybe more traditional way.
#Ad. Pippin Prints gifted us their lovely Halloween Printable Party Pack. However, all opinions remain our own and not that of the company.
It all started when my eldest was about 3. He didn’t like all the usual Halloween paraphernalia as it was too scary, so we changed it to be more a celebration of the season. I read quite a lot and around that time had been reading some books and blog posts on Wicca and Paganism and the traditional celebration of Samhain (said sow-ain). Our Celtic ancestors saw Samhain as a turning point in the year, a time of starting anew and preparing for the winter. You can read all about the History Behind Halloween in this great post by Kippers and Curtains. As a family we decided to take some elements of the Pagan celebrations and incorporated them into our own unique Halloween festival.
Nowadays the kids are less bothered by scary costumes so these have made a come back and we do go trick or treating together. However, our family meal and the decorations inside the house have stayed the same so I thought I’d share some of our traditions with you in this post. Perhaps it might even inspire you to create your own traditions for the season.
We decorate the dining table with a simple gold table runner, candles, a woven pumpkin, pine cones, conkers and colourful leaves. Marigolds are a seasonal flower that look pretty in a vase on the table too. If you prefer you could buy a bunch of artificial ones that can be used year on year. A fragrant centre piece could be made out corn stalks and dried herbs.
Baskets of seasonal fruit and veg are also an easy way to add decor to a side table or mantlepiece. Battery powered fairy lights in a wine bottle or cute fairy light leaves make a great alternative to candles if you’d rather not have a naked flame on the table – especially if there are kids about!
This year I have made this lovely autumnal bunting from felt (see template at bottom of the post if you fancy making your own! But for easy, eye catching decorations I really love this Halloween Party Pack from Pippin Prints which includes bunting, party bag toppers, cake toppers and invitations – perfect for inviting others to share in your Halloween celebrations.
Carving pumpkins is a fun activity to do with the children so mine usually do one each and we put them in the window or on the door step with a sign to say ‘Trick and Treaters Welcome’. Sarah from Kippers and Curtains shared with me this fab post about creating marshmallow halloween characters. There’s also some amazing pumpkin carving inspiration and brilliant homemade costumes which help stop the cost of celebrating Halloween spiralling out of control.
Food and Drink
We have a family meal on Halloween where we like to include seasonal foods. Apples, pomegranates, pumpkins, squashes, blackberry, carrots, sweet potato, broccoli, turnips, nuts, corn, gingerbread, and roast pork are all favourites of ours. To drink: cider, mulled wine or mead are very autumnal. For the children we usually have apple juice.
Rituals and Traditions
As pagans honour their ancestors on Samhain we too use it as a time to talk about our ancestors and answer questions from the children about them as best we can. We dig out old photographs and tell family anecdotes and look at where they lived and what their lives were like. Its a bit of a history lesson! We also chat about what our goals and ambitions are for the year ahead.
Previously we have lit the fire pit in the garden and sat around toasting marshmallows. The children love this and its usually the last time we do it before the camping season starts again the following year.
Going on an autumn walk together is a lovely way to start the celebrations off and work up an appetite for dinner. Afterwards we like to get out a pack of cards or a family board game and play together. It’s just a nice time to celebrate being a family and looking forward to the winter season together.
Do you have your own Halloween or autumn celebrations? Are you inspired by some of these ideas? We’d love to hear about them!
#AD. Thank you to Sarah from Kippers and Curtains blog for her fantastic contributions to this post. Also thanks to Pippin Prints for gifting us their lovely Halloween Printable Party Pack in return for being included in this post. However, all opinions remain our own and not that of the company.