Shining a light on All Hallows Eve gathering
For most of us, a modern-day Halloween means costume parties and trick or treaters at our door as summer creeps in.
But tomorrow, Juliet Batten is bringing back the real meaning of the day – to remember the dead.
The Ponsonby author and rituals enthusiast hopes people will join her for the Kiwi Halloween candlelit vigil, which will be held on the roadside near the Three Lamps intersection.
Ms Batten, author of Celebrating the Southern Seasons, initiated her Thousand Candles project two years ago in an attempt to get people around the country lighting candles to remember their loved ones.
This is the first year she’s made the idea public and is encouraging people to go and light a candle or carved pumpkin and commemorate the dead by writing their names on a card.
The date, April 30, falls exactly opposite October 31 and is the correct Halloween date for the southern hemisphere.
She says the whole idea behind Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, was a Celtic autumn festival held when nature was dying and the world was going into darkness.
“We’ve gone and imported it just as a commercial event in springtime which is crazy.”
Ms Batten, who has been teaching ritual workshops for more than 25 years, says her book is all about how to celebrate the seasons in the right time of year for the southern hemisphere.
She’s been passionate about celebrating rituals ever since she was a little girl and says there’s a growing interest in New Zealand from people wanting simple rituals to commemorate events in their lives.
“People are getting more and more interested in it.”
The Kiwi Halloween will be held at the corner of Ponsonby Rd and Pompallier Tce tomorrow evening. People can visit from 7pm to 8.30pm.
Autumn festival: Juliet Batten is bringing back the true meaning of Halloween.