Please Use Your Imagination!
A great book by Bart Vivian
Imagination is obviously important. When we use our imagination we are in a moment our senses are not being used to perceive, but instead our mind. It is an important role in the learning process helping us to make sense of the world. Imagination has provided humans with the creativity to advance society in art, music, dance, writing/stories, science, psychology, and much more. And it's just fun. I can't really fly to any tropical islands right now, but I'm so there whenever I want in my mind. And since we have something called the internet which came about through creativity, ideas, dreams and imagination, I can use google images to find pictures of my tropical island to advance my own dream.
So what am I getting at with this? Well we know that Halloween is pretend and features imaginative creatures and characters. My problem is that I'm just not a fan of the scary stuff. Although it's creative, it doesn't add a lot of improvement and inspiration to my life. In fact it just plain causes me anxiety and encourages me to want to take all sorts of self defense classes. I've been this way since I was small. Every year something different scared me out of my mind for several weeks before Halloween. The scariest costume I ever had was a cute witch. I'm sure I'm not alone in this. There's plenty of people who enjoy the scary, horror, haunted house type of stuff and there's plenty who are like me. My oldest is 4 and although he says he enjoys spooky stuff I know that he's quick to change his mind when he's sees the scary monster pictures, even though he does know and understand that it's pretend.
I don't want to just throw out Halloween completely. There's a lot of great imaginative things we can still do. For those of you that can't get enough of the haunted house scene, enjoy away! For us who don't care for it, you might enjoy some alternatives where you can still participate in the holiday. There's plenty examples out there already such as the different pictures you can trace and carve on your pumpkin. Last year we had Elmo and this year we hope to have Cookie Monster. We definitely don't just see scary faces on front porches!
I was reading up on the origins of Halloween and according to wikipedia there are several. The two main ones I posted below along with the link to read more. Most of it seems nice except for the Gaels bonfire to ward off evil spirits. The exact quotes will be below with the wiki link. Here is a list of things we like to do to enjoy our Halloween experience.
- Decorate the downstairs with autumn decor.
- Read books about imagination on Halloween.
- Put up pictures of family and friends who have passed away to remember and honor them.
- Put up pictures of people we view as heroic, dead or alive.
- Imagine ourselves as storybook characters and have a parade
- Attend fall festivals and pumpkin farms.
- Bake cookies, pies and more!
- Carve a pumpkin of course :)
- Trick or Treat!
There is a great song called Imagination by Hugworks. It's a good song for a wide range of elementary students. http://new.music.yahoo.com/hugworks/tracks/imagination--175230835
Would love to hear about anyone else's Halloween traditions!
Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-an orsow-in)", derived from the Old Irish Samuin meaning "summer's end". Samhain was the first and by far the most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Irish and Scottish calendar and, falling on the last day of Autumn, it was a time for stock-taking and preparation for the cold winter months ahead.[1 There was also a sense that this was the time of year when the physical and supernatural worlds were closest and magical things could happen. To ward off these spirits, the Gaels built huge, symbolically regenerative bonfires and invoked the help of the gods through animal and perhaps even human sacrifice.
Halloween is also thought to have been heavily influenced by the Christian holy days of All Saints' Day (also known as Hallowmas, All Hallows, Hallowtide) and All Souls' Day. Falling on November 1st and 2nd respectively, collectively they were a time for honoring the Saints and praying for the recently departed