I love Halloween season. It's my favorite holiday, and time of year, for so many reasons.
The air feels fresh and clean. I can wear leggings and sweaters. Arm warmers and legwarmers. Hoodies and layers and boots. All the comfort of winter clothes, without the frozen nose or frozen toes. It's chider (chai + cider) season. The season of spices. Of colored leaves and striped socks and fried dough. October is my favorite.
And it all leads up to one day
(or two or three).
All Hallow's Eve, Samhain, The Day of the Dead, Tricks or Treats.
It all blends together for me, but I just call it Halloween.
I lived in New Mexico for a while, and one year I attended a festival for the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos. I don't know if my memory of this festival is factual or twisted and turned in my imagination over the years. After spending time looking into it, I never found an explanation, but this is what I remember (and how I think of Halloween):
There was a giant puppet in the middle of a field close to the center of town. A crudely created puppet, as tall as a house. It swayed and moaned. The image and sound will stick with me forever. The puppet represented the year gone, all the events of the year, all the gains and losses, all the emotions, all the good, the bad, and everything in the middle. At the end of the festival, the puppet was burned. A sacrifice to the universe. As it went up in flames, we all let go of the past, to make room for the future.
I enjoy the whole month of October. The superficial things that make me happy during this season are just as important to me as the spiritual depth of the culmination. It's the celebration of life and fun, followed by remembrance then release of the past. The internal growth of winter, and the coming rebirth of spring. The reminder that I'm part of the whole.
And that is why I love Halloween.