As an immigrant to Canada from the old world, I was reluctant in the beginning to embrace the Halloween tradition. I thought it was only a commercial event meant to sell costumes and candy. That was before I began to understand the true meaning of Halloween.
Nope, I’m not thinking about the Christian connection of the All Saint’s Day tradition, or any older pagan or Celtic traditions that have blended into our present day vision of Halloween. I am talking about the true living history of all our traditions, which shows that humans always have had a need for rituals; everyone loves creating parades, culture events and creating events that bring people together. Mardi Gras, 3 Kings Day, Santa Lucia and many others are all similar to Halloween with dressing up and parades.
Halloween is a grand tradition that encourages people to knock on neighbors’ doors. It is so great because it connects us to the ritual of meeting our neighbors and knowing our community. Being outside is not only about communing with nature. It also is about having an appreciation for the place you live. For kids, Halloween is a perfect dress up and candy time, but it is also a time to walk around and get to know our neighborhood. The more I live and explore these rituals and cultural connections, the more I love Halloween.
Have a wonderful Halloween and make sure you are safe and visible. Safety reflectors help you be seen and be safe in the dark so cars can see you. If your child uses a reflector you can reduce the risk for being hit by a car by 85%. Without a reflector the driver of a car may only see you when you are 25-30 metres away, but a reflector can be seen 140 metres or more in the headlights. This can give the driver 8 more seconds to see you and react.
Here are some ways I like to connect with Halloween with my kids and friends
Go for a walk in your community, and look for fallen branches. When you are home, tie your branches together with fish line. Hang it up at your porch or by your door. Decorate with spiders and spider webs and get ready for your spooky visitors.
Organize a party in your local park or your backyard.
Dress up.. Sing some songs.. Play some games… Carve some pumpkins and enjoy the outdoors.
Ask if each person who comes to your party can bring their own pumpkins and, each person who comes can be responsible for 1 game or activity.