Greetings all. This is from a sistah I know. She’s on point and is a Yoruba Priestess. Important stuff that many of us may be unaware of:
Samhain, as it was known by Celtics in ancient times, is a celebration that has been observed by Earth Mother’s majority peoples (the black, red & brown peoples of our Earth Mother) since humankind was born. Halloween is an Anglicized version of this celebration. All early people were Earth-centered and therefore in tune with her changes throughout the year. Samhain, Oct. 31st -Nov. 2nd, is a time when the line of demarcation between the spiritual realm and the physical realm is blurred and therefore contact with our Ancestors is clearer. As such our Ancestors used this time to commune with and revere their Ancestors. This was done all over the world. Many still do. Please see the links below for further understanding of the Central/South American Dia de los Muertos and the West Afrikan Damballa Hwedo Festival. My children and I celebrate Samhain (as we do all other Earth-based holy days) to the fullest. We revel in the coming of Autumn which signals Earth Mother’s moving to a different position in her dance around the Sun & we honor our Ancestors by placing food outside for them alongside a traditional Jack-o-lantern and lights that lead them to our door. Our Ancestors always dressed in costume/masquerade at this time and we do that as well. As mother/teacher I make sure that their understanding of this time is also intact. Yes, there are treats/sweets for us too. We eat some that night and make an offering to Esu/Elegba with the rest. And we go from house to house (aka trick-or-treating) as well. We dress up as Indigenous people (red, black, brown, yellow) or animals, flowers …
I carve my pumpkins in the traditional way, which is used to ward off evil spirits as well as invoke righteous ones.
We use skeletons to adorn our Ancestral shrine which we move to the kitchen table that night. We typically don’t give out candy as we are usually out going from house to house (aka trick-or-treating) during that time. I also fully embrace my identity as a witch (from our cultural standpoint) both in the traditional sense of the term and to represent misunderstood Afrikan herbal healers.
Here is an article that pretty much offers an explanation as to how I handle it in my house:
http://www.oyotunji.org/events-calendar.html Check out the Oct.31 gathering.
http://www.azcentral.com/ent/dead/articles/dead-history.html Dia de los Muertos
Just my two naira