Ghosts, Goblins, Gardens

Days are getting progressively shorter. (AUGH!!) Late October reminds us just how dark night can be. For me, it’s the time when I often light some candles in the house at dusk to chase away the gloom. Luckily we have one night when our neighbourhoods and gardens come alive with light and movement and fun: Halloween.

In the early days of Halloween, originally a Christian festival that piggybacked onto the ancient Celt’s Celebration of the Dead, people used hollowed out turnips for their lights. Native North American pumpkins are a darn sight easier to carve, and bonus, are hollow already. Yay, native plants!

The warm beacon of a lighted jack-o-lantern is a time-tested “Candy Here” signal, and makes a flickering glow on your steps for the parents who are traipsing around with their small ghouls, superheroes and princesses. I used to love picking out my favourite carved pumpkins when I took my son out. (Now he’s too old for such stuff, sadly) Incidentally, I found my favourite houses to visit on Halloween were the ones who doled out little cups of wine for the parents. A new tradition to start?

Photo: by Helen Battersby

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