Halloween, Samhain, and Guy Fawkes

Last night we had the usual handful of trick or treaters and when I surmised that trick or treating was over, I helped myself to the remaining chocolates. Then to my horror two little kids showed up at my door with their candy baskets and the only thing I had to give them were some old Murray Mints — and if you don’t know what Murray Mints are, they are just plain old mint hard candy. Pwewy.

The making of the bonfire with Farnham Castle in the background.

And now England is preparing for Guy Fawkes Day, also known as Bonfire Night. This takes place on November 5th and almost every town has a bonfire wherein an effigy of Guy Fawkes is burned. This celebration is a thanksgiving that Guy Fawkes failed to blow up the houses of Parliament but some historians suggest that, like Halloween, it is a replacement for the pagan celebration of Samhain.

Whatever the reason for these autumnal celebrations, I really do love this time of year. I love the recognition of the harvest and the preparation for colder weather. It is when I pull out the wool sweaters and light fires in our wood stove and start to hunker down at home. Oh — and I make soup. And think about Thanksgiving.

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