Well, Samhain (sow-win) is usually a three day bonfire celebration. 29th-31st of October. It is the time one reaps the harvest. It is the Sabbat where we tie up all loose ends, before the 6 months of the time of the great stag. Samhain is the passing of the year, into a new year, and this is where the veil between the worlds are at their closest. This is also a time where you can speak to your ancestors or deceased loved ones.
Me personally, I would throw a party. The people I would invite would be forced to play a game of bobbing for apples, but if they can't get the apple on the first attempt, they have to take a shot, and then get back in line to try again, until they have successfully picked an apple with their mouth, from out of the cauldron. Then also, each time after they take a shot, meaning they failed at their attempt, they have to take some of their clothing off. I would be the one yo administer the shots and my high priestess would be the one to judge what clothing should be taken off. I being the priest.
Oh it gets better. Then after the apple bobbing, I as the host, will have them play a game of limbo, as they are symbolically passing between the veil into the new year. And that is that they are symbolically my offerings of sacrifice, as my guests, offerings to my god and goddess. They are symbolically also passing onto the next world, the world after life, as they limbo. In a game of limbo, the stick is raised lowing and lower, with each passing. The bobbing for apples symbolizes the guests' chance to get their way out of their 'demise.'
Don't worry it only then gets better. Then as they are done with the 'games,' me and my pagan friends will host a theatrical performance of an authentic Samhain ritual, right in front of everyone, in the living room. We will put on our Samhain show, but pick the most beautiful most 'fertile' looking damsel, from out of the guests. She will be stripped of her clothes, but of underwear, and as a symbolic offering, everyone will take jell-shots from off her body.
Then as a token of my appreciation, I will present my guests with pumpkins, that I personally carved, and filled with animal fat to work as a candle. It will have a wick and everything ready for the guests to light, when they get home. So when they leave their pumpkins outside, lit, when they get back home, they are protected from the malicious spirits, or some of the malicious dead that roam the night, and that roam the nights of Samhain.
You see the theatrical play, is really witches pretending to be people pretending to be witches, enacting Shamhain, on what most people call Halloween. I LOVE it!! Not only is there symbolic reaping or harvesting, but it is that how the witches can come so close to non-pagans and interact with them, and celebrate that which is similar. The whole party of what I just described is a veil in itself.
I plan on also going trick'o-treating this coming Samhain. The catch is this! Yes, with exclamatory punctuation! O.0 The catch is when I knock on the door to say trick'o-treat, regardless if there is a pumpkin or not present, I will wait for that candy. If they don't have candy to offer, I will pull my trick, since they don't got the treat. The trick is this! I will draw a hexagram in red, with a circle around it, on the door, of the house hold. Then if they have a pumpkin, and they don't offer a treat, I will put out the pumpkin's light, so that their pumpkin won't serve its purpose for the night. Then, as for all those who do offer their treats, I will have a personal pumpkin back at home. It will be one filled with animal fat, ready to serve as the protective pumpkin for all those who offered their treats, for that night. The treats will serve an offering to my god and goddess, housed by the pumpkins light.
What will I dress as for this trick'o-treating, is another story. My cloak will be covered in runes and my mask will be some sort of hideous big head. My costume, although not really a costume, will symbolize and act as the one who controls where the spirits of the dead roam, into the night, for that particular night. The gratitude of the treats of the house holds that are offered up as sacrifice, are the offerings. I will basically dress as the harbinger of the spirits of the dead. The night the dead walk, is very real to me. And as fun as it seems I try to make it, I make it fun yet very meaningful, all at the same time.
I will also gather one stone from the ocean. With this stone! Yes, with an exclamatory punctuation! I will take the time to engrave all the bad things I experienced and have gone through for that past year, and symbolically infuse it into that stone! Yes, with an exclamatory punctuation! Very important! Then I will take that stone and out it into a sachet or a bag with my personal sigil written on it. I will take this bag with the stone in it, tied to my waste, for the rest of Samhain. While at the dumb supper, that is the time I connect with my ancestors and past loved ones, and that is when I ask for their help. It can feel very emotional, but at the same time, I am letting things go! Yes!
Then, right before the end or the end of the third night, after everything else is done, I am to throw my stone with the bag written with my personal sigil upon it, back into the sacred crossroads, from which it came. The ocean, where else?
Samhain (sow-win) is very important to me. I am the type of person that will take the too look back and learn from the past, yet that also means I will hold onto things. It is important to let go of past transgressions and reground myself, by connecting back with my loved ones, as a reminder where my place is. Not only had I done all my symbolic harvesting for my god and goddess, I have started myself anew, just as the season changes: I change. It is a time for me to empty my chalice and make a new deal, so to speak.
It will also be a time to reconnect with some very important figures of my life, in the ways of the craft. It is a time I really get in touch with Hecate too. Blessings. I was honored to share. ;)