I LOVE Halloween! Unfortunately this year, Jay and I did not have an actual costume party to attend. We’ve had a lot of fun with our outfits in the past years, and had even started to get something together for this one, but I supose it will have to wait until next year.
At the last minute, we decided to have a few folks over on the Saturday before All Hallow’s Eve for some adult beverages, a bonfire and weenie roast.
Our modern Halloween celebrations are derived from the Celtic holiday of Samhain. Samhain was Celtic New Year. It was a harvest festival which marked the dying of the sun god and a turning to the colder, dormant half of the year. On this night, the celts believed the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was at its lowest point. The dead could more easily travel back over to our side, and if we weren’t careful, we could accidentally wander over in to their world and be trapped-a good reason to stay close to home and bonfires, no doubt! This belief likely gave rise to our halloween legends of ghosts, ghouls and witches wandering about on this night in particular. As Christian beliefs took hold, Samhain celebrations became re-branded as All Soul’s Eve. By the eighth century beggars, rather than the spirits from the other world, would travel door to door on this night. In exchange for their prayers for the family’s departed, they were given a small cake, known as a Soul Cake. Paying homage to the history of my favourite holiday, I made some soul cakes for our gathering.
They are a mildly sweet, spicy cross between a cookie and a cake that is topped with currants. Perhaps more of a historical novelty than a culinary delight, but fun to have nevertheless. Thanks to all who stopped by and Happy Halloween!