What is your favorite pagan holiday?
Not gonna lie, it’s Samhain all the way. I love its connections to Halloween, I love how it makes me feel witchy, I love watching all those cheesy movies like Practical Magic, Halloweentown, and of course, HOCUS POCUS. It’s the perfect time for a holiday because it’s the end of cotober, beginning of november, when it’s cold and maybe rainy but not too cold or rainy, and in some parts of the country the leaves are not only falling, but also in magical colors– although in the bay area they are mostly brown leaves. Still, hearing that crunch under your feet it really nice. It’s also perfectly acceptable to wear jackets and scarves by this time, so I can wear most of my clothes (I don’t really do shorts, or tank tops, or really shorts sleeves, and I love to layer). I’m just in a really good mood. I get to be festive and weird and it’s okay because that’s really the spirit of Halloween, which shares time and space on my calendar. So judgement is low around this time of year.
I like to have a Samhain feast every year, although to be more inclusive of other people who may not be pagan I usually call it our Harvest feast. I like to have it the evening of October 31st. We’ll decorate the house with some fun Halloween stuff, and dress up our
family altar which is in the living room. This altar is there year round, and has pictures of our family members who have past on– currently my my uncle Joe shares this space with my grandpa Francisco, my great-grandfather Arlington, Kourtney’s aunts Cindy and Tamiko, and a few others. I like to roast a chicken, and do some yummy sides like brussels sprouts with bacon, green beans, mashed potatoes, yams, stuff like that. I almost always make hot apple cider and bake soul cakes (I use recipe #3). Of course, I always have candy for any trick-or-treaters who happen to knock on our door, but we don’t really get them by our house– I don’t know why not, we’re awesome and always have primo candy selections. No generic brands on this, the best night of the year!
I like to invite pretty much everyone I know to stop by at any time, open door policy for the night. People filter in and out, grab a bite to eat, have a little conversation, and just enjoy the holiday. There have been years where we had a great turnout, others where hardly anyone came by. I understand that people have other plans for their Halloween night, especially those who just need an excuse to drink. A lot. I much prefer a night a home with friends and food, but I try not to hold it against anybody that feels differently. As long as at least a couple of people show up every year and appreciate having a place to stop by Halloween night, I’ll continue to host this feast every year.