While many may find the holiday of Halloween to be a dark, and perhaps dismal holiday, there is plenty of history and belief, as well as superstition, behind it. Over the centuries, this time of the year has been known as many things, all of them coalescing in modern day celebrations. Whether you call it Halloween or something else entirely, there is a similar root to all accounts, and it’s probably far less complex than you thought. The central reasoning for holidays surrounding the end of October and the beginning of November is light.
Light isn’t necessarily the first thing you think about when you think about the spooky haunted houses and celebrations of the harvest, but if it were not for the changing light, we would never stop to note this time of year.
As we all know, light is something that humans need. Without light we do not keep a normal schedule, see what’s around us, work, play, or even sleep. The light we choose to keep in our environment has a huge effect on our subconscious and our health, even as we don’t know it. Therefore, when the light dims and the darker time of the year approaches, it’s enough to give our ancestors pause to consider what was to come; the dark half of the year was to arrive soon.
Modern Lights on Halloween
Today, many people find themselves caught up in the commercial nature of the holiday, though that provides a good reason to join with others in the community and enjoy the creative nature of local kids. For others, it offers a time to gather and fellowship, or just to relax and enjoy the cool air of the autumn nights. Myself, well, I love to decorate, and light often becomes a pretty big part of things.
Since we’re talking about light here, I thought I’d share some of the things I do to gear up for my favorite time of year and all the cool things that come with it.
It might seem funny, but light and air can combine to make some of the coolest decorations in the simplest way. Recently, inflatables have really stolen the scene. They come in all sizes and are both durable and affordable, lasting multiple seasons and offering a great way to decorate in seconds. Indeed, all you need to do is plug it in, and set the tie downs and your decoration is done! We’ve got a few of these in our yard and they really do offer the right touch. The led lights inside bring them to life at night as well as during the day.
Decorating your windows can be a very interesting and awesome experience. There are a number of things you can do in your windows, but I love to create sillhouettes. I cut a shape out of a black piece of foam board, I put it in the window and put tissue paper behind it, then I string BrightTouch lights around the window behind the tissue paper. The result is pretty amazing and can be seen a good distance away, depending on what you do with the foam board. If you have bigger windows, entire scenes can be created. The limit is only what you can think of, and what you have room for of course.
The lack of light is part of what makes this time of year important. The plants are dying and the days grow short so that the nights are longer and the Earth seems darker. When you are like us, and you enjoy a good spook this time of year, then consider limiting light. We’ve exchanged our front porch light for a flickering light that gives a dim and creepy addition to our walkway. I can’t wait to see what the kids are going to think that night!
While this is a great time to be in the dark and try to scare each other, it’s also a time to think about safety. No matter what you use to decorate, or how you plan on celebrating, remember that people can fear things they don’t see and they can easily get hurt when the flight instinct kicks in. Remember to offer an out and a lit pathway somewhere close. Make sure stairways are lit too. The last thing you’ll want is someone to get hurt on your property.
We use BrightTouch lights for this too. They are weatherproof, so lining the sidewalk with them offers just the right light to the path without overpowering the decorations.
Just Get Creative!
There’s so many different ways to celebrate these days, even if you only enjoy the season for the changing of the leaves and the cooler air. From the scariest to the most bountiful harvest, using light can add something definitive and special to your autumn living space. String lights offer a great way to get creative with your light too. With different colors, your thoughts can become some of your favorite decorations in a home that is uniquely yours.