Friday, November 1, 2013

Celebrating Fall Folklore In The Thrift Store And The Orchard

Celtic Oracle Book, Cards and Calendar Set. $2

Early in the fall season I visited my favorite suburban thrift store, a renovated barn in Bryn Athyn, PA, affectionately known as BATS. 

And sitting in their  front parlor, seemingly out of place was this novelty fortunetelling set. And while it's faux vintage, the low price and the colorful artwork held my interest long enough to warrant a purchase. And good thing, too. Because I really brushed up on Halloween history. 

For instance, did you know that the modern interpretation of Halloween is based in part on Celtic traditions surrounding the end of the harvest season? From sunset on October 31st through sunset on November 1st, celebrations and offerings were held for Samhain. And according to folklore, the wall between the spirit world and the world of the living was quite feeble. 

And have you ever wondered why pumpkins and apples are so integral come Halloween time? These were some of the Gaelic traditional food offerings left for the spirits in remembrance of the dead. On Samhain (pronounced sah-win), spirits and other mischievous members of the spiritual realm would go door-to-door claiming these offerings, which centuries later evolved into modern day trick-or-treating. 

Pretty neat, huh?

Well, you better believe that after reading this, I decided to take part in some traditional autumnal activities. Just a few days before Halloween, I went off to Styer Orchard and picked a bucket of fresh apples and an armful of pumpkins, fresh from the patch. 

A scrumptious Granny Smith just hanging there all for me.

Harvest corn for fall decorating.

I found the the perfectly imperfect pumpkin, still attached to the vine.

It was the kind of fall day that reminded me what I had been looking forward to all summer. Crisp, cool air, hot apple cider and a Nightmare on Elm Street marathon later in the evening. And now that Halloween, or what the ancient celebrants called Samhain has officially ended, it's quite easy to get caught up in the Christmas craze. 

But hold on to fall for as long as it lasts. This is just the beginning of what the Celts referred to as the "dark months." There's no need to rush through them. 

Because, it's undoubtedly a beautiful time to celebrate. 

What's your favorite part of the fall season?

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Melissa said...

That book is really cool and full of such good info. Great pictures, glad you had a good time!

Jackie Jardine said...

Thanks, Melissa. I used some vacation time from the day job to do some nice fall-themed activities. Glad I was able to enjoy some of my favorite season!

<3 Jackie

Witchcrafted Life said...

Beautiful post and images, dear Jackie. As fall is, beyond any shadow of a doubt, my favourite time of the year, it's really hard to whittle my list down to just one sole element of it that stands out for me. I love the holidays, the jewel toned leaves, the nippy evenings, the harvest moon, the bounty of seasonal produce, the fact that my wedding anniversary takes place in October, Remembrance Day, walks along the river as the leaves come tumbling down at your feet, caramel apples, pumpkin pie, sweater weather, all of it!!! But if I absolutely had to pick just one thing, it would be Halloween for sure. My love for October 31st knows no bounds! :)

♥ Jessica

Jackie Jardine said...

I think you've just about captured everything I love about fall, Jessica!

<3 Jackie