Halloween approaches and time for another post!

and a story :

Magical dawn

Hallow’s eve or Samhain is almost upon us. On Oct 31 according to the ancient Celtic tradition we move from the harvest into winter.

October’s Child

We’ve had beautiful weather on the coast with clear, vibrant and colourful days. The crunch of the woodland path, the kids coming out of the little school by the train tracks, the jack o’ lanterns on porches, all fold across the tapestry of time back to our own childhood. This was a month of excitement, carving pumpkins, making costumes, the smell of leaves burning at the foot of the garden and everyone piling into dad’s car and heading into town to buy Chinese fireworks.

Samhain Fire

My father was a latent pyromaniac- and the bonfire and fireworks king of the neighbourhood! Our lovely border collie would run for the shelter of the bedroom at the first sight of Dad with his big bag of exploding delights. One time a malfunctioning Roman candle went off course, hissing and zigzagging  across the ground with loud bangs and sending us all screaming and scrambling. The flying sparks set a dried part of the outer hedge alight.  Dad had the extinguisher at hand but not before Mom ran out onto the porch and completed the row of pumpkin lanterns in their various states of menacing grimace.  A practical Scotswoman (who had some rituals of her own), she loomed like the Halloween oracle with arms crossed and  head nodding in vigorous affirmation of her dire predictions of celebratory disasters.

Of course in most cities now there are designated areas for fireworks but I remember all the kids that congregated on our lawn as my scallywag – hatted father with a botefeux in hand welcomed the motley neighbourhood crew of witches and goblins who excitedly arrived at the back gate along with various pirates, gypsies, a werewolf or two and even a Chinese Emperor. There was also a table with a lamp shade who shouted and danced joyously between the pinwheels and sparklers. Dad was actually quite military about it all and except for that one minor incident, no one was ever blown to smithereens or burnt to a crisp and no animals or children were ever harmed during production.

halloween kids2
a gaggle of local goblins and changelings

meanwhile, tread carefully in the woods as we approach the holiday, for the veil between life and death is very thin at this time of year and spirits may pass freely between two worlds.

autumn leaves2
the spaces between

and if you are lucky enough to be in Edinburgh this year The Beltane Society will be having a “Samhuinn” celebration on Calton Hill with music, performers and fire!! Link to their site from image.

If you like spooky stories I have a few here under my haunted tab

From ghosties and ghoulies and long legged beasties

and things that go bump in the night, Good Lord preserve us

The Custodian’s Tale

when the Bean Sidhe calls

the cosmic sneeze

Tales from the Basement

*Botefeux- a long stick used to light canons

*scallywag- a type of pirate hat

44 Comments Add yours

  1. Amy says:

    These photos are amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. many thanks dear Amy as are your!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed reading about your Halloween memories Cybele, it sounds like you’d have an eventful month! I’ve been to the Beltane celebration on Calton Hill too, that was an experience!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh that is wonderful!! Thanks for coming by and commenting!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Renee Espriu says:

    Love your artistic photos and story of this ancient celebration of the harvest. Your dad would have been a hit to my own children and when I was a girl, we went to a local park at times, as fireworks were already being deemed an unsafe practice in the city. But I do love watching them from a safe distance. When my children were young we would go a street over to a neighbor’s house who lived on a dead end street and light off a small amount for the children to enjoy but as it is expensive we didn’t buy much. But the children loved doing it. Thanks for the story and photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was fun Renee! But yes no more!! and yes they were expensive! thanks for visiting!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. sheldonk2014 says:

    Boo Friday..freaky is the only way to travel…and if all else fails..it doesn’t mean shit to a tree

    Liked by 1 person

  5. disperser says:

    Sorry for the tardy response; it’s been a bit busy here.

    Great post and stories. I had read one but the other two were from before I started following you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hey, always glad to hear from you Emilio!! Glad you enjoyed!

      Like

  6. Cybele – thanks for sharing your memories and I love when you wrote this part.
    meanwhile, tread carefully in the woods as we approach the holiday, for the veil between life and death is very thin at this time of year and spirits may pass freely between two worlds.

    gave me the chills – and still 🙂

    brava~~~”Storie’s”~

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Halloween is my favorite time of year. Thank you for such a lovely blog post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. glauco ulcigrai says:

    …so nice stories and fantastic images! Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. great to hear from you Glauco!! Thank you for visiting!

      Like

  9. Anita says:

    Beautiful pictures, and lovely memories! Your fireworks disaster story had me chuckling – we have seen / heard of quite a few similar ones here in India on the occasion of Diwali. Hope your excitement and fun continues to flow into the rest of the year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh I would love to see a Diwali celebration in India! Thank you Anita, glad you enjoyed!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. pattimoed says:

    Fabulous, Cybele! I love the story of your father, the pyromaniac. I have several of them in my family, including my son and grandfather who put on a fireworks show for his town on Long Island. I’m so glad that you’re posting again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. so good to hear from you Patti! I must join in on one of your challenges soon. Thanks for visiting and so glad you liked the story!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. pattimoed says:

        Please join us whenever you can. One of us (Tina (Travels and Trifles) , Ann-Christine (Leya), Amy (The World is a Book) and I take turns posting a challenge each week. It’s been a lot of fun and we’re getting great responses. I hope you join us!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Sherry Felix says:

    Lovely images and your family story is hilarious. Made my day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy it gave you a smile Sherry!

      Like

  12. paula graham says:

    Hauntingly lovely photos

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Peter Nena says:

    I haven’t read you for so long. Now I realize how much much I missed it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. you are a dear Peter! I always appreciate your visits and comments!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. smilecalm says:

    i’m feeling the season changing mood.
    poetically a thrill 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So pleased you feel it David!

      Like

  15. We never had Halloween here as kids (Australia) but it is slowly making its mark. We had Guy Fawkes, but sadly that was banned many years ago, but we had bonfires and fireworks then, it was such a community affair.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yes some places had Guy Fawkes. I think in Ireland and Scotland they celebrated it as the Celtic Samhain.

      Like

      1. Sadly too many kids and stupid adults got hurt

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Ah Cybele…may it be the best day for you xxxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Shey!! And yes wish we could raise a glass together!! Not sure if my broom can fly that far!

      Like

  17. The maples are glorious right now – I love the leaves falling on the face!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. What fun memories, and lovely images! Hope you have a wonderful Halloween! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hope you do too Deb! Thank you for visiting!

      Liked by 1 person

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