It is a festive time in many cultures throughout the world.
In India, Nepal, and other southeast Asian countries, and by Hindus everywhere, and those who appreciate and celebrate Hindu festivals, the multi-day festival of light, Dawali, or Dipawali falls in late October. It’s date, determined by the Hindu calendar, can vary on the Gregorian calendar. This year the primary day of Dawali is October 30. Depending upon which country, there are many stories and legends associated with this festival of light, but everywhere it is a time for joyous celebration, gift giving, holiday foods, family and friends, a time for light and goodness to claim victory over darkness and evil. 🔥
Those whose autumn celebrations hark to early Celtic culture celebrate Halloween, or All Hallows’ Eve October 31. Originally called Samahain, it was time to prepare for winter at a time where such preparations were a matter of survival. It is seen as a time when the veil between the world of the dead and the world of the living is lifted, letting the former raise havoc with the later. Bonfires, candles, and other means of discouraging such behavior were, and still are, popular, while at the same time, the tradition of trick or treating implies a certain amount of encouraged mischievousness! 👻
Dia de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, November 2, is celebrated in Mexico and by those whose roots, and hearts, are in Mexican culture. The holiday includes the Day of the Innocence, November 1, to honor the souls of children who have died. Though there is a belief the veil between the after life and the living is easier to pass through, souls of loved ones come in peace, to counsel and console those living, not to raise havoc! A beautiful and unique folk art that is popular from the traditions of the Day of the Dead are ‘sugar skulls’, usually made of sugar to be placed on altars to deceased loved ones, but also made of clay or other materials. 💀
If you were to combine the intent of these three fabulous holidays, you would be focused on letting light into your life, into the world, celebrating the victory of good over evil, while appeasing the ancient spirits, who may do you some harm, but who also may offer you wisdom. Well anyway, that’s my summary and I think all these intentions are worth celebrating!
Any holiday that involves lighting candles, which all three do, on a dark and rainy autumn day I am all for!
Below is a recipe for my latest favorite comfort food, my version of an all American, easy-peasy fall dessert. You might want to make it to offer whatever spirits you need to appease, honor, or any evil entities that need sweetening! The ‘secret’ to the recipe below is my usual mantra – fresh spices! In this case, if possible, grated fresh nutmeg, a warming spice that is calming to the nerves and mind, adds a unique flavor. Note: If you have trouble sleeping, with all these spirits wandering around, take 1/4 to 1/2 t. of fresh ground nutmeg 4 or 5 hours before you’d like to go to sleep, in warm milk or milk substitute, or in applesauce, nut butter, etc.