Halloween traditions

D. Shaw

Message 9197 · 4 Oct 1997 06:55:18 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Just to make you all jealous...

I live in a cooperative community, and we have a Halloween tradition that
goes like this:

* about a week before Halloween, someone sends out a message on our
neighborhood e-mail list, "Say, are we doing the pumpkins this year?"
* everyone acquires a pumpkin or two
* early on Halloween, or the day before, we meet at the playground and
carve the pumpkins into jack o'lanterns (we have many artists, so these
are not run-of-the-mill jack o'lanterns)
* two of the artists arrange about 40 jack o'lanterns in the cemetery
* some are left on the railings to the one-lane bridge that separates us
from the ritzy suburb to the south (note: the state road changes from
paving to dirt as it enters the community)
* others place paper bags with candles in them along the paths (we have a
a system of paths around the community, in about a hundred acres of
common land, half forest and half meadows)
* everyone takes a pot-luck dish to the LIP (our "industrial park", an
ironic name--the site of the cemetery, several artist's studios,
workshops, a couple of professional offices, and the rowdy bonfire pit),
then goes home to dress in costume, adult and child
* the children start out from a designated house on a designated route
* as they reach each house, treats are awarded (which can include apples,
caramel balls, brownies, Rice Krispie treats, hot chocolate or cider,
and other home-made goodies, since we know every single person very well,
--and beer, wine, and hot buttered rum for the adults, since no one is
driving)
* as they leave each house, the procession acquires the person who stayed
home and everyone troops along the path to the next house
* finally, everyone ends up at the LIP, tours the cemetery with all the
jack o'lanterns, a roaring bonfire is lit, and there's a ceilidh--
complete with music (we have several musicians, too) and stories

This is a lot of fun.

We have two bonfire pits, because we have bonfires quite often. We also have
a Maypole every year, and we do something very much like this in December,
with caroling, except that there are as many Hanukkah and secular songs as
Christmas carols. Streetlights are forbidden in the covenants and
restrictions (outside lights are allowed, but they must be on a switch--we
like to see the stars).

One of my neighbors, long ago, got me interested in SCD, then promptly
stopped. I've been working on her, and I think she's about ready to come
back. If any of you remember Jayne Bomberg and would like to help me nudge
her, contact me for her e-mail address.

Cheers,
Deborah
xxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx

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