Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Halloween Bonfire

Bonfire on Samhain
(Courtesy of www.hauntedbay.com)



As I was driving home from work one night last week, I was surprised to see a rather large bonfire high up on a hill overlooking the dark, windy road I was driving along. It was just after 9 p.m. and I could see and smell the smoke as I approached the lower hillside. I could see the tips of the flames almost licking the spindly branches of the oak trees overhead, and I suddenly felt a surge of excitement rush through me as I immediately thought of Halloween. It was the last thing I expected to find on my way home at such a late hour of the night. I slowed down slightly as I approached the side of the hill to get a better look. I wanted to stop my car and walk up the hill and really take it all in. I wanted to feel the warmth of the fire surround me. My imagination went wild with images of costumed partygoers dancing and laughing around the fire. I imagined music playing, and the scent of burning oak, along with brightly burning pumpkins. I wished I had a camera with me to capture the scene. Even though it is far from October, the sight of a roaring fire in the pitch blackness, and the smoke that permeated the chilly night air made it feel as though Halloween were near. It was wonderful.
This sight reminded me of an article I had seen some time ago on the Haunted Bay website about the ancient tradition of Halloween bonfires. It had a picture of an awesome bonfire lighting up the night, with a full moon glowing in the background (see picture above). I wanted to jump into that picture and join the small crowd of onlookers. I love the idea of gathering around a huge bonfire on a cool Halloween night. I didn't realize this was actually a tradition on Samhain going back years. It was believed that the fire would ward off any evil spirits.
I decided that one of these years, I am going to have myself a bonfire on Halloween. I have never been able to do this before, but somehow it seems as though it would be the perfect way to top off a Halloween celebration. Maybe I'll even dance around the fire in my costume, singing praises to the Harvest moon, as they did in ancient times. That sounds like my idea of a perfect Halloween night!
To read the full article, go here: http://www.hauntedbay.com/history/bonfire.shtml

7 comments:

The Frog Queen said...

Great post! And excellent idea! Completely agree, love bonfires :)

Cheers!

The Pumpkin Queen said...

Thanks! It made my night, that's for sure. Funny how something so simple can lift your mood! LOL It was the weirdest thing driving home at night in late April and seeing a big fire on the side of a hill! It was so cool. It wasn't like a little burn pile, either. It was pretty good-sized! When I drove to work yesterday during the day, I looked for the burn mark on the ground, almost as if I wanted to make sure I wasn't imagining it. hehe I was not. There was a huge burnt area on the hill. I kinda hoped they would be burning again last night, but no such luck. I think I'll have to make an area on our property for a bonfire so I can have one in the fall. I'm anxious to have one now! :)

Wendy the (Very) Good Witch said...

Enjoyed reading this, as I have been lacking my usual Halloween enthusiasm that I need to get started on Halloween art. But this put me in the mood! :o)

The Pumpkin Queen said...

Awesome, Wendy! I was in a party store last week and I asked a guy working there when they usually start getting Halloween stuff in. He said probably in July they would start. I couldn't believe they would start that early! That's not really too far away, so I was excited. I was in there last year and couldn't believe how much Halloween stuff they had. I even found some Halloween costumes on a wall way in the back of the store last week. They still had some up!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

oh cool....you saw a Walpurgis (sp?) night bonfire! there are some pagans in your midst!!! i have a bonfire every halloween!

The Pumpkin Queen said...

Hmm, don't know. My hunch is they were probably just having a burn pile, but who knows?? It was definitely cool, and gave me some great ideas for next fall!

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