Pumpkinface” by Philip Hay

If you ever feel compelled to make Halloween/ All Saints’ Day a meaningful holiday, in a spiritual sense rather than just a party night, here are a few inspirations:

  • If you do visit the cemetery on this day, be conscious about it. Make it a ritual, rather than another task on your to-do list. Allow yourself a moment of reflection, feel the presence of your dearly departed through the thinned veil of time and space.
  • When setting your dinner table, add an extra seat for a spirit or spirits that wish to join you on this day. And don’t forget to serve them food and drink!
  • If you have a relative who has recently passed, or anyone specific you would like to commune with on this day, light a candle while uttering their name and place it in the middle of the table. Everyone present might have someone else in mind, so make sure you stock on candles to avoid anyone being left out.
  • Encourage your family and friends to share stories about those they just “invited” to the table.
  • After dinner, you might feel like sharing old photos, playing their favourite music, or whatever feels right.
  • Find a way to express gratitude for their lives, their struggle, for everything they’ve left behind. You can end the evening with dancing, playing an instrument, meditating in their honour or just taking a walk and feeling their presence in the crispy autumn air.

This celebration may just as well be centered around your ancestors as a whole, or any spirits you are thankful to at this time. If you’d rather hold a more general evening of reminiscence, alter the above accordingly. It might turn into a day of researching your heritage, drawing your genealogy tree, looking into the history of a culture you feel especially connected to, etc.

Most importantly, try not to make it morbid. Let it be a celebration, even if the undertone is melancholic contemplate the light of those past lives and focus on expressing gratitude.

If you would like to learn about the origins of Halloween and All Saints’ Day, click here

Image above – “Pumpkinface” by Philip Hay