Halloween is the traditional celebration of the veil between life and death. It originates with the Celtic (or Pagan) festival of Samhain, when ghosts, spirits and fairies were thought to wander the earth, down the ‘death roads’. Seers would sit at the Lych Gates of churches, and look out for the dead of the coming year at this time.
In other cultures there are similar festivals, such as the Day of the Dead in Mexico. To look at it another, more seriously spiritual way, Halloween can be interpreted as the time to honour our loved ones who have passed away, and invite their spirits into the home, to be warmed by the hearth, and be with family.
The fun side of this tradition is of course Trick or Treat, where children will dress up in ghoulish costumes, and come knocking on your door seeking sweets and other delights.
We’ve trawled the bowels of the world wide web, to bring you the best 5 flower-themed Halloween arts and craft ideas, that are the perfect half-term activities to do with the kids, on what looks to be a rainy holiday!
Alternatively, this west German black and red vase (right) from Vaseomania on Etsy.co.uk, makes the perfect substitute.
Equally striking, white roses delicately covered in sparkling black glitter makes a lovely Halloween treat. You can try black spray-on glitter for older children, but make sure you open the windows. Or a tiny brush with that gloopy old PVA, dabbed onto petals and then sprinkled with ordinary black glitter, means the little ones can have fun too!
This lovely bouquet (above), of fresh white roses teamed with fluffy gypsohpelia, imaginatively called ‘Six Stolen Kisses’, is £24.99 from Lily Blossom. Again, delivered straight to your door.
Scoop out your large pumpkin, and fill with rich red and orange flowers until it is overflowing. Try these from our Autumn Gift Bag, which starts at £22.99.
Or, paint your pumpkin black, with blackboard paint from Amazon, for around £5 per tin. Draw a face on your pumpkin with chalk- if it goes wrong, you can just rub it off! Fill with black and orange, black and red, or black and white flowers. Or spray your pumpkin a lustrous gold, and fill with cream roses.
Trick or Treat
A simple skull, on a ‘silver platter’ filled with vibrant, fiery autumn flowers conjures up more exotic celebrations of life and death, such as the Mexican Day of the Dead. We like this skull (below) from Fairtrade gift shop Evolution.
It is around £10.00. It’s actually a money box! Ask your guests to throw a £1 coin in the box, for a Halloween themed fundraising dinner ,and a novel twist on the tradition of Trick or Treat!
Creepy Crawly Calla Lilies
Ask us to deliver you thirteen luscious, mango-coloured calla lilies. Place them in an elegant tall, black or orange vase. Then get out your glue: a dab on each silky petal, and the kids can place a plastic creepy crawly onto the leaves and petals. Voila! A striking, yet elegant Halloween display.
You can buy big bags of creepy crawlies on Amazon, or your local Pond Shop will do plenty this time of year!
Honouring Loved Ones Past
For a more deeply spiritual homage to the tradition of Halloween, try sticking black butterflies (a symbol of transcendence and transformation), to these beautiful white calla lilies, which symbolise ascension and purity, and are used all over the world to mark the passage between life and death. Frame pictures of your loved ones who have passed away, in white or black frames, and place these around the vase of flowers, at the centre of the table, with a white candle. This is a lovely centrepiece, which invites the spirits of your loved ones to come and be with their family at the dinner table, for the night, and over the festive period. The candle is supposed to guide them home from the spirit world.
This is a lovely way to open up a conversation with your children about a loved one who has passed away. It’s a very therapeutic activity. Perhaps you’ll find yourself making it a yearly tradition.
Again, on Amazon, you will find black clip-on butterflies, stickers and wafer thin butterfly cake toppers for your crafty activity. And this White Calla Lily and Palm Vase from Lily Blossom,(left) makes the perfect tribute.
For more information about the traditional ‘Death Roads’, try Paul Devereux’s informative and interesting book Spirit Roads, which you can purchase here. And if you fancy, take a spooky ghost walk, or a night time family fairy hunt down the roads it talks about this half term. The book comes complete with GPS references.
We would love to see your pictures and photos of your Halloween themed displays, that you have made with your children. Send them to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.