Honouring The Past

November is an odd month. A million years ago I worked in the travel business and I hated November. It was ‘the dead month’. Work was so quiet and so the days were long and boring. Nothing defined November except tedium. No bank holiday to cheer us up and the Christmas social whirl was still weeks off. It was like the big anti climax after the fun of Halloween.

And I have always loved Halloween. My childhood memories are dressing up every year as a gypsy with swirly skirt and big hoop earrings and of the excitement of wandering around the neighbourhood in the dark. The air was full of the smell of damp leaves and smoke with the faint tang of gun powder or whatever it is they put in bangers! I loved it all. And I still do. Halloween is an ancient celtic, pagan feast and although it has been somewhat Americanised with sophisticated decorations and readymade costumes, its essence still links us with our past and those who have passed. Halloween to me has always been the time when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest.

And so as we get over Halloween, the Catholic Church borrows from this ancient past and makes the month of November the month of All Souls – the month for remembering our relatives and friends who have left this world for the next.

So I hope you embraced Halloween and had great craic. And as November arrives take a minute and give thanks for those whose lives touched yours. Make a little time to talk to your children about their grandparents and others who may no longer be with you. November is a quiet month which allows us that pause to honour the past and those who inhabited it with love.

Dylan da dog, spent the evening trying to work out if he was delighted at having people call to the house or terrified of the noise of fireworks and bangers outside!
In the end he took up a post on the armchair in the hall, where he could mind the sweets and get a glimpse of who was at the door without risking his personal safety!!

My inner child still loves Halloween and I don‘t know what I will do when my own kids (the two hippies pictured above) decide they are too old for it all and I am embarrassing them by still decorating the house!

And finally, how cool is it to have a Birthday on Halloween? Very cool – Happy Birthday Roisin who turned 11 on Saturday – she is the hippie in the big hat!

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Writing and Talking.... on the radio, on the telly and in the papers. Debut book out in Spring 2022

5 thoughts on “Honouring The Past”

  1. Your house looks great! And what a lovely idea to focus on November as a quiet time and gather ourselves for the end of the year. I wish Halloween was more Celtic in flavour and less about mania – I should make more effort next year to find people who celebrate the Old Ways; I'm sure they're around somewhere though probably not in Dublin city centre;) …Do you leave up the Halloween decorations till Christmas!!?

  2. I wish I could. But alas no. As I was expecting a reiki client I thought it best to remove them. But it is vital that Irish people realise how celtic and Irish Halloween is. I hear so many locals moaning about 'this big American thing – Halloween'. OK Americans do what they do best to it – make it big and brash. But at its core Halloween is mystical and pagan and speaks to our bones! And this of course is Celtic New Year… So Happy New Year! And as usual thanks for the comment!

  3. As my son and his girlfriend carved pumpkins in my kitchen, they were given a little Irish history lesson on the origins of Halloween. Dilin's girlfriend was truly surprised. Dilin just nodded in sighing softly. He has heard it all before, many times. I believe it is time the Irish took Halloween back, don't you?

  4. Your house looked really great decorated like that! and a belated happy birthday to Roisin.
    Was Dylan tempted to help himself to any of the goodies? or was he content just keeping guard!

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