Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Kiwi Halloween tonight


 Kiwi Halloween tonight, April 30, the night of the dead. Mira and I prepared the pumpkins. She loved popping out the 'eyes' from the inside, and watching the grin appear.
Here they are, together with my black cloth, feathers, and flax woven bands, all ready to pack up for tonight,
where I'll be on Ponsonby Rd with my helpers, keeping vigil for all those who wish to come and light a candle or pumpkin lantern in memory of their loved ones who have died.
I've shed some tears this afternoon, remembering my dear old teacher, Jim Okeroa, who died last year. I always designate a special area for those who have died since the last Halloween. The names keep accumulating.
The event brings up sadness, and yet comfort as well, to be part of an ancient tradition, remembering those who have passed over.
It's satisfying to mark our own Halloween, in late autumn when the nights are growing longer, pumpkins are ripe and the leaves are falling.

9 comments:

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Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Juliet - love the display and I do remember Jim Okeroa and am very glad you're remembering him.

So pleased you included Mira in the preparations .. wonderful you remember the ancients ways too ..

Happy Halloween - though I'm glad our theoretical Spring/Summer (might cold still) is due to arrive sometime!

Cheers Hilary

Theresar said...

Hi Juliet
What is the significance of the feathers please?
Regards Theresa

Hotly Spiced said...

I didn't know NZ celebrated Halloween at a different time. I thought we always celebrated it at the end of October. I remember celebrating Guy Fawkes night but I think that's in June? xx

juliet said...

* Hilary, thanks for visiting, and remembering. Hope your spring comes bounding in before too long!

* Theresar, the feathers are there because we are gathering lots at present. The birds seem to be shedding along with the trees.

* Charlie, Halloween is an autumn festival in the ancient Celtic tradition out of which it grew (it was originally called Samhain). Two of my books are about 'restoring the resonance' with the original seasonal festivals. This means celebrating them at the right time of year, 6 months different from the northern hemisphere. So we have American Halloween in October, and Kiwi Halloween at the end of April, at the threshold of winter and the dark times.

Thanks Hilary, Theresar and Charlie: good to have your comments.

Penny O'Neill said...

How quickly time passes, Juliet, and here you are again celebrating Halloween there. It is intriguing for me to think of this festival, so far away - yet so near when I read about it on your postings. I know you heart is a bit heavy in remembering your teacher, yet, lightened in the teaching you, yourself are doing with Mira and with carrying on your traditions.

juliet said...

* Penny, the time has flown. It's good to have a night of remembrance, and despite the sadness, it's very nurturing.
Thank you.

Vicki Lane said...

It makes all the sense in the world to celebrate Halloween in the autumn --whatever the name of the month...

juliet said...

Vicki, you are so right. These festivals sprang out of the seasonal changes, and we need to keep their roots in the earth.
Thank you.