"When the world is running down, you make the best of what's still around"

Happy New Year (Samhain)

By Shanathalas
Happy Halloween to everyone. I get to celebrate my favourite and most sacred festival at the right time of year for the first time in seven years. There's a reason Halloween is not that big in the southern hemisphere: it's a harvest festival, not a rite of spring. It should be celebrated when its cold and dark and the leaves have fallen off the trees, leaving branches bare like skeletal arms reaching into the night sky. According to Celtic lore, Samhain is a time when the boundaries between the world of the living and the world of the dead become thinner, at times even fading away completely, allowing spirits and other supernatural entities to pass between the worlds to socialise with humans.

For me Halloween is very special as it is my own personal end of the year. Today is the last day of the old year and tomorrow will be a new year. October is my lucky month, and I am usually blessed with a positive change at this time of year. Last year is was a proposal. This year's blessing was the news I received yesterday that my application for a research job has finally been accepted. While I still have a few hurdles to jump, I am on my way to a research job. I may be agnostic, but I still have a profound feeling for the sacred, and this time of year is sacred to me.

Halloween is also for partying and our first Hallow's Eve festivities this year started with a trip to our friend Kass's Halloween Party on Saturday night. From there we made our way to the annual Parade of Lost Souls. This event, organised by Vancouver's Public Dreams Society, was great. Commercial Drive* was closed down to cars for ten blocks and all manner of people took the street to celebrate this festival of the dead. It truly was a night where demons, devils and ghouls could walk feely with the living. The costumes were fantastic and it was great to be street-partying with thousands of people in good humour. This year I dressed up as a elvin ranger. Jaime went as a ninja, Rob was "the Dude", Kass the Grim Sweeper, and Bjorn as Hannibal Lector. Wearing a costume makes one feel free and invulnerable, and generally gave the crowd an incredible feeling of camaraderie. Alas, the parade eventually ended when it started raining about 10:30pm. We retreated back to Kass & Bjorn's to teach the Kiwis a little thing called "Guitar Hero".

On Sunday evening, after a day of lounging around doing nothing, Jaime and I met up with our friend Ange to check out Sanctuary's Halloween Party. Sanctuary is Vancouver's regular Goth/Industrial night club and we had been meaning to check it out before this, but as it's always on a Sunday, we hadn't. So we braved the freezing temperatures (it was minus 2 that night) and the Monday morning hangover to go to this excellent Halloween dance party. The djs really rocked out and the music was great. The quality of the costumes was fantastic, but then again, it was a goth club; they might turn up like that every week. Ange made a great costume as what happens to a demon when hell freezes over. We would have loved to stayed all night but with work looming in the morning and the smoke machines making me asthmatic, we left just before the witching hour.

Today is Halloween actual. As its a Tuesday and were broke, there won't be much revelry, but I figure this elf and ninja should take to the streets to check out the kiddies in their trick or treat outfits. Alas, living in an apartment building with locked lobby, we are pretty unlikely to get any trickortreaters. Never the less, I have bought some treats, carved my jackolatern, and decorated. Children may not get through locked doors, but pixies, demons, and ghouls don't worry about such things, and I would hate for them to knock on the door demanding their treats, and us having nothing for them.

*Sydneysiders read King Street

3 comments so far.

  1. wulf 3:34 PM
    Happy Samhain shan.
  2. Kass 4:21 PM
    Happy Halloweenie! :D Hurrah~!~
  3. Sally 8:06 PM
    Ha! Ninja and Elf. Tres cute! Paul is so into guitar hero it's not funny. Nice to hear you guys are enjoying it too. Halloween sounded like heaps of fun! I'll always remember my halloween in SF one year. It was FANTASTIC!

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