At the beginning of May we celebrated Samhuinn, the mid-point between Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice. In the Druid tradition, this is the time when we honour those who have gone before us and recognise that as we journey into the dark of the year, we give our soul much needed rest. This is also the time of Hallowe’en in the Southern Hemisphere – of dark evenings, and pumpkins.
As T. grows up, I feel my drive to make something of each season for him, particularly this year. Samhuinn was a perfect opportunity as it has always been my favourite seasonal festival. It’s funny too, but as I spend time thinking about the different activities I want to do, and the stories to read, and special foods to eat, I feel much more deeply connected with the season than I have in the past. This post is a little overdue as just this week I have started thinking about Winter Solstice, but better late than never.
We spent some time leading up to Samhuinn making different kinds of leaf art. We made magic leaves with white crayon and autumn toned water colour paints.
We did leaf rubbings with crayons which we then painted with water colours.
And of course we decorated the house with symbols of the season.
And read stories about Autumn.
I also set to work creating some new felt decorations for Samhuinn, which was great fun. We strung these up around the house in preparation for Samhuinn.
The autumn leaf garland was my particular favourite.
Together we all made scary felt pumpkin faces to string up around the house.
In our Druid community there are a couple of families with young children, and for the first time, we decided to get together with a Samhuinn party for the littles. We did some art activities – making felt spiders, decorating pumpkins and painting magic pumpkins whose faces appeared when painted over with water colour (these were perfect for the 2 and 3 year olds, while the pumpkin decorating was great for the two 5 year olds).
We finished off with some trick or treating around the garden. It was such a fun evening and the kids all had a blast.
As I mentioned, I’ve already started thinking about and planning Winter Solstice, so I’ll be sharing some ideas about what we might be doing soon.