My friend Amy and I have an annual pumpkin-carving tradition. I had a friend who was a Jehovah’s Witness who really made me think about pseudo-holidays like this. What exactly am I celebrating? I’m not Wiccan, right? But instead of casting aside all of my traditions, I then started reflecting on Dia de los Muertos and All Soul’s Day, both contemplating the passing of souls from one world to the next. I’m fascinated that our world religions created such competition. I can hear the marketing thought process: The feast of the Rising Sun is drawing some of our members to a pagan feast? Fine. Let’s make it the most important holiday we can…. how about Christ’s birth? Feast of the Rising Son, get it?
It just shows we are more similar than different. Now, I try to not just think of a fun costume, but to really reflect on the soul’s passing from the body. But as evidenced by the photos, Amy’s and my carving have little to do with spirituality and much more to do with recapturing a bit of youth.
Leave it to me to overthink something really fun. Amy and I spread out newspapers and hacked up some gourds. It’s actually somewhat artistic and our designs vary by year. I always think I’ll do one of those elaborate, shaded carvings, but I always end up wanting to just cut out some corncob teeth. Amy’s on the left with the scary pumpkin; I’m holding the sad face pumpkin.
I just hope that this year, I manage to discard the pumpkin a little earlier than last year.