Shin­ing a light on All Hal­lows Eve gath­er­ing

Central Leader - - News - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

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.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Au­tumn fes­ti­val: Juliet Bat­ten is bring­ing back the true mean­ing of Hal­loween.

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