We are in sunny Santa Barbara, California, this Autumn. It’s the first time in well over a decade, certainly in my children’s lives, that we’ve been in the northern hemisphere for Halloween. It always irked me that New Zealand chose to follow the commercial line of Halloween, and ‘do it’ on 31 October (in the spring!) when really it would be much better in the Autumn, around April time. There are no pumpkins available in spring, only pineapples (which make a fun substitute for a jack-o-lantern). I always preferred holding a ‘Bright Light Party’ to welcome the return of the light, rather than Halloween, but still let my children partake in neighbourhood, community fun too.
This year we are overwhelmed with plentiful, plump, pumpkins and it is wonderful for the children to enjoy carving them out. We are going to spend the night of Halloween at a friend’s home, but have been enjoying some pre-Halloween events already.
The local climbing club had a lovely family event, including the traditional ‘apple bobbing’ that I fondly recall from my childhood and there are plentiful ‘pumpkin patches’, where fun, rides and entertainment is mixed with buying your pumpkins.
I took these photos the other day, on a typically sunny day, when the children were playing dress-ups. The youngest two played ‘Princesses’ for much of the day, whilst I was scrap booking with my eldest daughter, who momentarily joined the ‘photo shoot’ dressed as a self-described ‘red thing’.
I like to remember our loved ones that have passed on at this time of year, more like the Mexican tradition, and there is plenty of that cultural influence here.
With the darkening nights, of the northern hemisphere autumn, I am enjoying lighting candles and it is fun to have events building up to Christmas. Normally, in the spring of New Zealand, I am busy in the garden at this time of year, wanting to embrace the return of light evenings and make the most of the long days to be outdoors.
This year I am trying not to dwell on missing the light evenings, and make the most of twinkling lights and candles as the days are shorter. We arrived here in August, so at least we had a good dose of long, light days, but my body is still rebelling and thinking it should be light till 9pm!
Anyway, ‘Happy Halloween’ however you spend it! xx