“Rachael, why do we have pumpkins for Halloween?” -Client 4.5 y/o asks me this as I am heading to my car after our session. I honestly wasn’t totally sure why we use pumpkins for Halloween either and why can’t we decorate them throughout the year. Of course we can, but as I shared with my client, we do it because that’s just what we do for this holiday. Of course there are fall explanations and it is a fall vegetable, but why do we really carve them and make pumpkins seeds and put lights in them? Well, here is where I just learned more about the history of using pumpkins as part of Halloween! (Of course I’m sure there is more research out there but for the sake of time, check this one out for now!)
In the article, they explain that using pumpkins started as a Celtic tradition, during autumnal celebrations, they use the pumpkins to light their homes for good spirits. Later this became Jack-O-Lanterns based on a story that the Irish told about making a deal with the devil that he’ll basically be immortal.
Of course, I didn’t share this story with my kiddo and I don’t plan on sharing it with him, but it is quite interesting that there are these traditions that most of us celebrate and practice and 1. We’re not always even sure why we do it but we do it anyways and 2. We make it part of our lives and pass it on for generations.
I love how my client asked me this question because it shows he is still trying to figure out and learn about our human and social experience and why we do things the way we do them. He has a beautiful family who is very earthy and intentional as parents and they choose to not have a TV in their home and not to expose their kids to too much technology. Yet, of course, he is now in preschool and is part of society so unfortunately/ or fortunately, he will now be exposed to it whether they want that or not. Yet, the school they chose to put him in is one that is also about staying close to childhood and try to refrain from the discussion of media and also focus on the autumn celebration of carving pumpkins together! (This is why my client was curious about it because he was just about to go to school to join in on this tradition).
I find human beings so fascinating and the fact that we have these celebrations and traditions adds to our human experience but we aren’t always sure why do we them.
Halloween is a great time to dress up and pretend to be someone that you are not. It is finally a time where we get to be like children and play dress-up! I wish we did this more often (of course people do and I could if I wanted to) but there is something special about it being once a year as well. I love that my wife loves this holiday as much or even more than I do. We have celebrated 2 Halloweens and here comes our 3rd together! She is quite talented at doing the make-up and overall, we make sure to have a good time with our friends and get into the halloween spirit! I’ve always loved Halloween even as a kid and would go trick-or-treating and end up at my Grandma’s house and help her give out candy to children. It was always a holiday to look forward to and makes sense that is something that has been around for a looooongggg time because it is connecting to the seasons and to each other and it is a specific time we get to be someone that we’re not and even try out the darker side of ourselves while in costume 🙂
I hope YOU Enjoy dressing up if you dress up for Halloween or if you celebrate Dia De Los Muertos, and wish you a joyful, loving, and family oriented holiday where you get to connect to your ancestors, your environment, your family and friends, and ultimately, yourself!
ALSO, DON’T FORGET TO DANCE! You can have a halloween dance party and allow your body to feel this time of the year and express itself fully through the music and with each other. What does it feel like to dance like the costume that you are becoming? What does it feel like to dance like someone else? (of course you are still you but it is fun to try to dance in a different way than you are used to and see what that is like and what comes up for you!
MUAHAHAHAHAHA! LET’S EMBRACE THE WITCHY SIDE OF OURSELVES AND THE FAIRY. BE WHOEVER YOU WANT TO BE WHILE STILL BEING YOU!
Love, Rachael Anne Singer