How my family and I celebrate Samhain; the night before Samhain I usually make three pumpkin pies, three apple pies and three sweet potato pies. I also, usually make two cakes as well as cupcakes and cookies. I also make four braided bread circles. Two of the breads I coat with a butter and honey mixture. The other two get coated with garlic butter and have a sprinkling of an herb mixture.
The day of Samhain is when I prepare for the feast that will take place later that evening. As this is a fall feast; I try to use freshly harvested fruits and vegetables. I prepare a pork roast and let it slow cook in the oven at a low setting.
I then prepare the green beans with onion, garlic and bacon. I also make deviled eggs, potato salad, garlic mashed potatoes with the skin still on them; as well, as freshly steamed carrots with herbs.
For the beverages I serve herbal teas, spiced apple cider, milk and or hot chocolate. I also make a lime sherbet punch. That drink tends to go rather quickly as that is everyone’s favorite.
While waiting for the meal to finish cooking; we get out ‘our’ pumpkins and have a small carving/ painting contest. This is usually met with some unique designs and ideas from the younger ones. Once the pumpkins have been carved they are placed in our front garden for all too see. Seeing as how everyone is a winner that participated I have a small goody bag made up for them.
If there is still time we have apple and banana bobbing contests. Usually each year I have to stop someone from drowning themselves in their ambition to get either an apple or a banana.
The prizes are usually cookies or cupcakes that had been made the night before.
Once the meal is ready I set it up buffet style as everyone can get what they wish. Once everyone has filled their plates we all sit at the dining room table. I offer up a prayer of thanks for my friends and loved ones; both living and deceased.
During the meal we all speak of everyday topics and catch up with the ones we have not seen in while. The atmosphere is very relaxed and happy.
Once the meal has been completed we all place our dirty dishes in the kitchen to be dealt with later. We then adjourn in to the living room where all sit and light a small white candle. We then begin talking of our loved ones and friends that have crossed over. Everyone takes a turn in remembering someone; we go around in a circle.
We go around as many times as it takes for everyone to be remembered. Sometimes, there is laughter and sometimes there are tears. Once everyone has been remembered I then serve apple cider to the younger children and mead to the adults. We then drink to our loved ones memories after that we then have dessert.
Every year we always add in a new tradition that someone suggests. This is what keeps the celebration an exciting one.