Samhain offers a multitude of honest-to-goddess fun ways to celebrate for both kids and adults. Here are ten ideas to get you started!
Top Ten Tricks for Samhain
1. 1. Tie classic powdered sugar doughnuts (or more creative flavors such as chocolate-dipped, sprinkled, maple or spiced apple) from a rod/pole or low tree limb with color-coordinated ribbons to match your party theme. Then, either having participants hold their hands behind their back or tying them, have everyone attempt to eat a doughnut without dropping any pieces! This is a wholesome, classic game everyone will love.
2. 2. Another nostalgic Halloween game: bobbing for apples. Fill a metal tub or, better yet, a cauldron, with lukewarm water and float crimson apples in it. Everyone gathers around the pot and tries to grab an apple using only their mouths!
3. 3.Have a costume contest! Offer candy or trinket prizes for Best in Show, Best Couple, Most Creative, Sexiest…
4. 4. Hold a bonfire, an ancient part of the Samhain celebration. Or, if you don’t have access to a fire pit, fill the bottom of a metal cauldron with sand and set candles of all shapes and sizes inside for a similar, indoor effect.
5. 5. Of course, a Samhain classic… carving pumpkins! Jack o’ lanterns have been popular for hundreds of years. Today there are all sorts of fancy stencils and decorative ideas but the simple, jagged faces of several centuries are still the favorite design. To mix it up a bit, try using different colored pumpkins such as white or green. Also, buy smaller or miniature pumpkins for kids so they don’t have to spend as much time degutting and can get straight to the fun part!
6. 6.Invite pagan friends over for a small ritual, even if you are not members of a formal coven. Gather around a fire of some kind, share a meal, pray for protection and family safety and read about the ancient traditions of Samhain.
7. 7.Practice divination. Try tarot, tea leaves or old classics like breaking an egg white into a glass of water and searching for shapes. This can be a serious activity or a fun party idea.
8. 8.Start a ‘Good Things’ calendar. Purchase either 2011 and 2012 wall calendars or a student datebook from July 2011 to July 2012. Starting October 31, write one good thing that happened to you every day. This is sort of like resolutions but better – at the end of the coming pagan year you will be able to look back on all the wonderful events (big and small) that happened in your life.
9. 9.Honor Samhain as the pagan New Year: countdown to midnight (or sunset, the beginning of the day in ancient times), offer champagne or another celebratory drink and share a kiss with someone!
10.Take a family outing to leave flowers at the grave of a loved one or ancestor. If you do not have any relatives buried near you, try simply visiting a cemetery and seeing which headstones draw you to them. Honoring the dead is a big part of Samhain and worth partaking in.