What if trees could speak?

Blog by Aswathi Ashok


Photo by jplenio via Pixabay.

Trees can live up to 5000 years or more. Over the course of their lifetime they would have seen a myriad incidents happen in front of them. If trees could speak and were to narrate a story I am sure they would have a lot to tell.

We all know the importance of an eye witness of a crime or an incident, don’t we? These trees have witnessed different civilizations, the rise and fall of empires, the freedom struggle, the growth of technology -how tractors replaced cattles for ploughing., the gradual change in farming and irrigation techniques etc.

They have seen people of different era, how the humans lived and built cities to what they are today, how humans now live a much more sophisticated life, How we have developed so much in every possible field of study with our endless curiosity to learn, and how technology has supplanted every old traditional methods.

This means they are the witnesses to everything mankind has ever done over the years, right from when it grows out of a plant embryo into a seedling and starts photosynthesis. These plants would have seen humans both at our best and at our weakest.


Photo by Veeterzy via Pexels

I sometimes do wonder whether these tall trees around me- are happy the way they are? Do they wish to talk? If they did, what would they want to tell us?

I am sure they might have so many things to say or they might choose not to say at all. What would they actually want to tell us, that probably we would never know since they don’t speak, but I’m guessing if they did, they might have these following points in their mind, don’t you think?

1)As mentioned earlier, trees have been witnesses of how we (our ancestors) have fought the freedom struggle with unity and trust on each other to how we (humans) have evolved over the years distrusting each other. How easily we betray each other because of which we no longer trust anyone completely. Long gone are the days where humans worked with conscience, where people appreciated one’s success without being jealous.

2)How people have become money minded and no longer immune to venality. This being the main reason for rise in crime rates and corruption.

3)In earlier days kids go out and play. Now-a-days they sit at home all day with their tablet or iPhone/Android. Technology is definitely a boon since it has helped us handle many of the most herculean tasks with much ease. Machines play a major role in our lives now, but the way kids are getting addicted to technology is definitely not a good sign. Kids have always been the only friends trees had, apart from other animals. They might have noticed how the kids no longer play outside. Who knows , may be the trees are even waiting for their friends(kids) to return to play. 4) There have been so many issues of felling of trees for construction works and other human needs which depletes the forest. This in turn is deleterious to both the environment, animals as well as us. Yeah I agree people around the globe have also been considerate enough to plant more trees in order to maintain the greenery of the forests but the huge amount of trees that are cut down is undoubtedly more than the numbers being planted .We could be certain of this fact owing to the global warming issues we face today at various parts of the earth


Photo by Taryn Elliott via Pexels

Trees have always been there to help us when we knew nothing about technology. They have given us shade, fruits, maintained the level of carbon-di-oxide in the atmosphere, made the soil fertile for agriculture, gave shelter to many animals including us before we constructed houses, etc. Hence, it is our duty to save them as well. It’s time we think about these issues that trees might want to tell us.

In case you think trees might want to tell us more. Feel free to share your views in the comment section below.

Diwali- one festival- many stories.

Photo by Susannah Louise on Pexels.com

We know Diwali as Festival of Lights. In simpler terms, Win over evil is the message. This festival is celebrated in India and now all over the world. Each part of India celebrates this in various beliefs. I do not know any other festival out there with this many stories and beliefs. As a part of my blog series about my homeland Kerala. I found this as an apt time to write about Diwali. This weekend we celebrate Diwali. So why not?

When I was growing up, my parents told me why we celebrate Deepavali. (in my language Malayalam we say Deepavali for Diwali- If we break this word “Deepam” meaning Lights. “Vali” means crackers). South India, we celebrate this all night long with crackers. Women made lots of delicious delicacies and no one sleep that night. The story my parents and grandparents told me was.

Story one

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This auspicious day, Lord Shiva gave a boon to Chundasur (a demon). After many years of penance, Chundasur asked Lord Shiva, “If I point my finger to anyone, that person should blow up”. Lord Shiva gave him that power. Chundasur knows there are many times Gods have cheated demons. So he said, “Lord, I want to test this power on you. I want to make sure this works” Lord Shiva sensed the danger, and he started running. Chundasur followed him. The people put fireworks to hinder Chundasur’s path and placed lights for Shiva for a safer path. They made nice delicacies for Shiva to keep him energized. Later Chundasur got tricked to touch his own head, and he dies. What an interesting story isn’t it? As a child, I loved this festival. We placed crackers after crackers to make sure we keep this demon away from our homes and placed Diyas. This festival is etched in my heart and soul. I am sure very few people know about this story and its relation to Diwali.

There are many more stories.

Story two

Photo by Suvan Chowdhury on Pexels.com

The one we all know or popular is Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile and winning a war against Ravana. On this day there was no moon to show the path. People of Ayodhya welcomed him with thousands of lights on streets and houses. This is also a story we believe happened, and we celebrate Diwali.

Story three

Photo by Shiva Kumar on Pexels.com

Narakasur (Son of Earth and Varaham- third incarnation of Lord Vishnu) – Here Earth request Vishnu to make their son Narakasur the strongest of all. Later, Narakasur became a problem for everyone. He conquers the entire world and heaven. Vishnu had to incarnate himself as Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna kills him and frees almost 16000 women from slavery. Before death, Narakasur realized his mistake and prayed to Lord Krishna that his death should be celebrated with light and crackers. Hence a lot of us celebrate Diwali.

Story four

Photo by Raweena Perera on Pexels.com


According to Jainism. Lord Mahavira attained Nirvana on this auspicious day. We believe that his soul attained the purest form on this day. He preached Dharma.

Story five

According to Sikhism. Guru Har Govindji–Sixth Sikh Guru got released from prison. He came home with other prisoners got freed. People celebrated with decorating the streets with oil lamps. This marked Diwali.

If you read all these stories, one aspect we can see. Win over evil. A beautiful message. World need this. A little love and hope. Diwali definitely shows us the importance of this. We need to stand unified and fight for good. Let us flourish the light of hope on this November 14 and celebrate Diwali. Let us all welcome the positive vibes over to our homes. This year 2020 need this hope of new beginning. Let’s make this happen. Happy Diwali everyone.

Photo by Dhivakaran S on Pexels.com

theyyam-dance of gods

In my previous blog, I said, this month is all about my hometown. Kerala. Small yet rich in culture. Our traditions we follow in Kerala is not in practice with any other states in India. We hold that unique nature. We portray our vibrant culture and traditions through a wide variety of festivals.

Photo by Sidhick Kannur on Pexels.com

Today I am going to introduce you to an art form called Theyyam. We have festivals dedicated for this art form. Originated in Malabar (northern part of Kerala), I can describe this art form in modern day as Dance-Drama.  Usually the season for Theyyam festival is in the months of November to March. During my college days, I got the privilege to take part in these festivals. I still cannot forget those images of Theyyam characters. Vivid and colorful.

Theyyam is very sacred and related to temple arts. The stories they perform always revolves around Hindu mythology. They usually perform this art form before shrines and sometimes ancestor worshiped temples managed by some families. Not everyone can perform this art. Takes years of training and dedication. Before they perform these individuals perform religious practices including celibacy for a period of time.

Theyyam photo by Manyu Varma @ Unsplash

Theyyam simply means God. Some people refer to this art form as “Dance of Gods”. This art form is mainly performed by men from certain tribes from Kerala. They have the rights to perform. Mostly these tribes are called scheduled caste (in modern times we say low caste). This art form has deep roots from the times of Dravidian culture. 

People believe that when the performance happens, the spirit of the deity (GOD) conceptually transferred to the performer and they seek blessings from them. People widely believe that these performers, while they are in the presence of divine, they can cure their illness and give solutions to their problems.

I have to admit this. As a Keralite, I have witnessed this in person. I believe there are some supernatural abilities when you have faith. I have personally travelled to Parassini Kadavu Sri Muthappan Temple, one of the temples in North Kerala where my friends have told me that if we go there and pray to Theyyam, you will pass all the exams. I did. Not sure whether or not because of the prayer, I passed all the exams. Don’t think I have done any extra preparations for the exam. I did the same as all the years. But in the previous years I have failed many papers. All the papers got cleared after I met with this Theyyam. I cannot forget this experience in my life.

Theyyam Photo by Vineeth Vinod @ Unsplash

Some form of Theyyam have performers walking on fire, hot coal or even jumping in to them. We may think it is some sort of magic. I had a friend from Payyanur, and he invited me once to see this art form. I went to his home four days prior to this performance. I talked personally to the performer. He said, he is on a strict religious rules for forty-one days. He has to put daily some medicine oil on his body. He has to pray every single day before this performance. One day prior to the performance I saw two trucks full of wood came in. They put them on fire. The fire was about two stories high. I couldn’t believe these performers jumped in and we could feel the heat far away. Nothing happened. I saw the same person next day, and he did not even have one single burn spot.

One cannot take the eye from Theyyam. The headgear is so elaborate and the make on their faces are unique. Mostly makeup takes about hours. They lie down on the floor when their face get painted. Headgear is made from coconut leaves. They make the crown from bamboo and wooden planks. Some weigh a lot. Each character is unique to witness. Male and female characters are all played by men.

In short the performance is like this. Begins with a part called Vellattam or Thottam.  Here not much makeup you can see. They will recite about the shrine of that particular temple. Drummers and performer will accompany them, will recite some ritual songs. After that they will go back to get ready with all the headgear and makeup. This time they come out and the atmosphere will change. The energy will change. The music and drum beats will change. The people around will feel the energy or God in them.

Theyyam Photo by Vineeth Vinod @ Unsplash

The Theyyam will enter the shrine and he gets seated in front of the shrine. That is when symbolically people believe the power is in the Theyyam. We consider him divine. People will ask his blessings. He sometimes even predicts what is going to happen.

I hope you enjoyed this blog about Theyyam. I will try to bring more unique experiences about my hometown. Kerala- Gods Own Country. Thank you for reading.

the gone time!!

Poem by Ananya Agarwal

Photo by Ananya Agarwal

Why did you lose me?

Here in earth and heaven

Never will my love reduce for you

The long days or the never ending nights,

The dreams of being with you

Wanting to hear you out

Or rather having the time we used to.

From irritating to gossiping

From fighting to withstanding

Never would I lose your side

For then why did you lose me?

Went on a place I could never talk

Never knew whether you were good enough

Happy without us….

The smile through your eyes,

The care through your words

The shoulder for the tears

Or the back for my fears…

I was in love with your voice

Or the pattern of the noise,

From giggling to screaming

Never would I lose you

For then why did you lose me?

Photo by Cameron Yartz on Pexels.com

I miss you as a teddy misses the hugs

Or the stars without the moon

You were mere friend when you were here,

But your mere absence has made me numb.

For why does it happen?

Why did u just had to lose me?

Today as I know, late but realized

No amount of time I was with you

Did I ever re-read those memories

Cherish the moments with you;

Cauz weren’t we too busy

Running for the new and not stopping afar.

Every day gives a lesson

Your departure gave me a life lesson,

The short time was enough for us,

For you could just walk away,

Pondering me with a question

Why did you lose me?

Photo by Barna David on Pexels.com

All I could know now

So let us all focus on the present

Cauz today is always a gift

For the future always remains a mystery.

One never knows or could live…

Though I am in love with your voice

Or the pattern of your noise

The shoulder for my tears

the back for my fears…

kerala piravi- celebrating kerala day

Photo by Kiran Bhaskar on Pexels.com

What is Kerala Day and why we celebrate this?

Just like we celebrate Canada Day here. My small land where I come from has a day called Kerala Day #KeralaPiravi. Means birth of Kerala. The small state which differs from any other states in India. The most beautiful land with lots of greenery and backwaters. We call our land “Gods Own Country”

November 1,.1956, way after India’s Independence in 1947, Kerala became an independent state in the Republic of India. That day onwards we celebrated this day as Kerala Day or in Malayalam keralapiravi. Prior to this, Kerala was divided in to three provinces. Malabar, Cochin and Travancore. If today it stayed like that, I belong to Travancore Province.

Photo by Aneesh S on Pexels.com

The interesting fact we all should know- after independence there was an uproar among the people to carve out new states as per the language they speak. If you travel now in India, you can easily see all the states they have their own mother tongue or we call dialect. In Kerala we speak Malayalam.

They give the name Kerala to the state because of its abundance of coconut trees. The word “Kera” means coconut and “Alam” means land. In local dialect the state is know as Keralam. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Parasurama (the sixth incarnation of Lord Mahavishnu) threw his axe from Kanyakumari. He asked the water to move away to form the land. Hence the name “Gods Own Country” If we travel all across India, you can notice the difference as soon as you cross the border to Kerala. Devine for sure. Land, Greenery backwaters, food, Kerala stands different. May be because the land is formed by the God. Who know? Or in other words, I am little biased, because I am born there. Always we feel special towards our mother land. Don’t we?

Photo by Pritha Ganguly on Pexels.com

This month, I am dedicating my blogs to introduce some facts about my home town in general. Some festivals we celebrate, Some superstitions etc. Stay tuned for the coming weeks.

Halloween dream- a poem

Photo by Gabby K on Pexels.com

Blurred vision ahead with chillness around

Stumbled on a halt with frozen limbs

Felt so lonely alone in cold darkness

No helping hand around to rescue

Move forward a voice shouted with a push

Legs shaken and body without soul

Can I move forward my mind doubts?

Photo by Pedro Figueras on Pexels.com

Freaked brain with numerous questions

Cold wind touches my skin

Awareness of life in me

Felt the warmth of love on my face

Eyes start to clear through blurry vision

Wake up a voice whispered

Shaken and jolted with surprise

Woken up to see my younger one

Daada “I am hungry, Time to wake up”.

Photo by Gabby K on Pexels.com

Choose your hardships- A valid lesson to practice

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Happiness and Sadness. Two sides of a coin. I read somewhere today. Choose your hardships. The message is so beautiful. I felt compelled to write in my own way. What I learned from it. I am sharing here. Beauty of words can move you and forces you to change the way how you think. Today the message forced me to think in a different angle. More positive. I am glad I have this medium of blogging to let others know that it can change us. We need to change.

Recently I watched a documentary. I have to say this; I am not at all interested in documentary types or real life violence type. If I watch something terrible, it haunts me for a long period. Especially when I drive. My thoughts linger and I feel so bad. I often put myself in the victim’s shoes. This really sparks me to say a few things here. If those shows affect me negatively how much a person with those undesirable traits or mental health will get influenced? Why we have high viewership for these documentaries or shows? I urge everyone to watch shows like Friends, etc. Where you take your mind off from real life for a one hour or two. Laugh it out, people. Life is so short and we have many issues around us. Work, Family, Kids. We are surrounded by many challenges. When we have free time, why we watch these kinds of shows and put our mind in to more misery? I really don’t get it.

The show I am talking above is about a father taking his wife and his children’s life. Whatever reason he had, I am not bothered. But stuck with me is those kids faces and their last questions to their dad. Broke my heart and it still pains a lot. I still question myself, why I sat there and finished that documentary. Hope those kids are in a beautiful place up above enjoying the beauty of this world with out hardships.

Photo by Alex Azabache on Pexels.com

Earlier I said, Choose your hardships, why in a what sense.

Marriage and work you put to cherish that relationship is hard. Getting divorce and going through that order is hard. Which hardship you will chose? Nothing is easy. It is up to us which hardship we should choose. Depression and living with that is hard. Going out and get help to come out of depression is hard. Which one you will chose? Buying a home and maintaining that home is hard. Living without a home and stay in uncertain is hard. Which hardship you will chose? Paying mortgage is hard. Paying rent is hard. Which hardship will you choose?

I laid out some examples only. But anything you want to achieve is hard and not having that is also hard. So why don’t you chose the hardship you want to earn and run with it. Friends, we can choose our hardships ourselves and we sure can get the dreams fulfilled. Spread only positive energy and life out there. Of course there is trouble and destructive energy there. Don’t focus on it. Watch movies, shows etc which gives you happiness to your mind. Refresh yourself and go back to your hardships. Soon those hardships will move out of your way, because the energy you radiate will outlast those hardships.

Thank you guys. Hope you will choose the right hardships from now on. Support my book if you love reading.

Introducing Ananya Agarwal- Guest Blogger

Why am I here?

Ananya Agarwal

Let me start with a brief of who am I?

I am an eighteen-year-old from Mumbai, Ananya Agarwal. I have just completed class 12th and enrolled in Chartered Accountancy and Bcom Hons from HR College of Commerce and Economics. Being a book nerd, I believe in hard times like Corono. When we cannot travel, the best way is to read books. They let us travel with out moving our feet.

So here’s why Am I here?

It had been long since I was waiting and thinking about what I write! I had many doubts like, whether my writing had the power to relate with others or not? Is this worth to take a shot? Finally I started my page with the help and support of the people, who believed in me.

Thinking whether I write for others or myself, I let all of you to choose in coming months!

I’m a writer by passion and a reader by choice🌸. All your wishes, genuine remarks and comments will help me improve day by day!!. If you do find my work genuine, please don’t forget to like, share and comment!.

You can expect different ideas, opinions and views which most people tend to not discuss such as death, empowerment of women and not love.

A piece or two within a week or twice a week is what I am planning to do here. I take this oppportunity to thank Ajay Nair from onewhohatedbooks.com to allow me to write my thoughts here.

Also, stay tuned, happy reading and learning!!

“Being able to read and write is the best you can make from this world.”

Thank you ✨

The REd Door and the golden key

Story by Aswathi Ashok 

Photo by John Mark Arnold on Unsplash

Will you believe if I said, I found the key to the magical realm of possibilities by accident? This happened on one of our routine weekend day trips to Pulau Bin.

My friends and I, all four of us boarded the ferry just in time to the Island of Pulau Bin- A remote island closest to Singapore’s main land. There isn’t much to do, but the place is great for camping and cycling. We loved to explore the lush green pristine forest that covered the rest of the island on our rented bicycles. 

“Finally, a well-deserved break from our work routine” grinned Hana.

“Yes” cheered the rest of us simultaneously. 

“Well, let’s start the ride then” I said with a smile on my face. With that, all of us cycled forward. Since the road was slightly narrow, we cycled in twos. Hana and Eva went ahead of us. Elli and me, we followed them behind. We loved cycling through the island at our own pace, exploring, taking breaks for pictures and selfies. 

I lost my balance when something suddenly hit my bicycle. It wasn’t a bad fall only a slight scratch on my right knee. Elli, immediately pulled over to look back. She parked her bicycle by the road and pulled me up. “Are you okay Maya” she asked lifting me up, careful not to hurt me. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Hana and Eva were quite ahead of us to have noticed my fall. “I am perfectly fine, no worries, keep going Elli, I’ll join you soon” I said getting up and dusting my dress while other cyclists went past us. Elli waited to make sure I was okay, before she resumed her ride. 

I looked at the handles and then at the road ahead. I could see Elli take the turn before she disappeared around the turn on the road ahead, just a few miles away. I got down from my seat, parked my bicycle to look for what caused the fall. I was sure I had hit some kind of a metal. I don’t know what made me do this but I did it anyway.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I tossed the dried leaves on the road with my feet and saw something glitter in the daylight. I bent down to pick it up, it was a golden key with three holes at the handle. I turned it back and forth wondering. Assuming someone might have accidently dropped their key while cycling, I closed my grip on the key and decided to return it at the main rental store, so they could return it to those concerned.

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

 

As I stood up, a gush of wind blew my hair. Brushing my hair aside, I looked in front of me and saw a strange red door that had suddenly appeared out of nowhere. “This is strange” I said out aloud. The road suddenly seemed empty. None of the other cyclists were seen nearby either. I walked to see the other side of the door and there was nothing, just the door standing firmly erect like it was the door of some invisible building built in front of me. 

Google images courtesy.

Was this magic. If it was, this was scary. What’s scarier is that we are all so used to living our lives in this world without magic, if we saw things happening that our logical minds can’t explain, I am sure most of us would go insane. I really did go insane I guess, because to date I cannot tell, if all that I saw next actually happened in reality or was that all me – daydreaming.

I saw a keyhole on the door, the key in my hand sparkled golden-yellow. How did the door appear?? Can others see it too? Why is the way so deserted all of a sudden? Too many questions swirled in my mind. I took few steps ahead and tried the key on the door. The key fit perfectly well and the door clicked open. There wasn’t anything inside, it just looked like the door slid open and nothing happened. I could still see the road ahead of me.  I walked through the door and all of a sudden, the landscape changed. I was now on an empty beach, there was no one around except an old boat tied to a rock. I walked towards the boat and there was a note kept on the seat that said, “Ride me to get back to your realm or stay in hear as long as you wish”. I turned back to leave, as this had started to scare me now. The door had vanished, I was all alone on a lonely beach with no idea how to get back. It was just me and the boat on the beach. I was in a fix, having no other option I jumped into the boat after untying it and rowed into the sea. Not knowing where I was, nor why I was doing all that I was doing.

Photo by Photoklickr from Pexels

I kept rowing, wondering how to get out of this place. As I rowed ahead, I saw a yellow door that appeared from nowhere onto my left, standing adrift on the waters of the sea. I stared at it fearful of where it might lead me to and chose not to open the door. I kept rowing ahead instead. “What if that door was my way back home?” a thought crept into me. Doubtful, I turned to look back only to see the door vanish. Few more coloured doors appeared here and there in the sea, some didn’t open despite me trying to open them, while most that opened, I chose not to get through them, as they made me anxious about where they might lead me to, by the time I decided to go through them, for some odd reason the doors either vanished or remained closed and just wouldn’t open.

I kept rowing and numerous doors kept appearing. My anxiety and fear started to worry me. I couldn’t understand what was happening. How was I supposed to choose the right door and find my way back? Will it take me back to the island or will it take me to some other dangerous place? I stopped rowing overwhelmed with worries, tears rolled down my cheeks, I clenched my dress on my knees with a tight grip. I knew, I was lost. “I’ll probably die in here alone, and no one would ever know” it was my fear talking.

“No, I’ll definitely find a way out” I finally said out aloud with all the courage I had left, trying my best to sound brave. Atleast it sounded braver than I felt. Just then I heard a VOICE.

I jumped to a corner of the boat when I saw the source- “I didn’t realize you could talk” I said to the boat.

“That’s okay, I couldn’t talk, not until now. That’s how things work here. I can only talk when the one riding me overcomes their anxiety, like you just did” replied the boat.

“Please do not fear me, I am the voice inside you, the subtle supportive voice that stays mute when all your voices of anxiety and fear speak louder” said the boat.

“I don’t understand what in the world is happening? How are you a boat?”

“Don’t worry Maya… Yes I know your name” the boat replied before I opened my mouth to ask. “Remember, all this is just an illusion, but that doesn’t mean what you learn in here is false. The golden key that you found was hope. And I am the voice of your conscience. Now, whatever I am about to tell you is something that you already know, as I said I am the voice in you, but you let your voice of anxiety and fear speak to you louder” said the voice.

“What is this place? What are these doors, why am I here? How do I get back?” before I knew I had blurted out all the questions I had.

“Slow down, I understand you are scared and confused” said the voice. I am sure you’ll understand once you wake up, from this illusion”

“This is the world of Possibilities, you opened it when you touched the golden key. This world acts as a blueprint to how humans choose to live their life in your world”

I wanted to interrupt but decided not to and let the boat continue talking.

“This journey, you rowing through the water is how life is. All the different doors you saw in here are all the amazing opportunities you got to go home to your realm. When you lose some opportunities, many others open up. You let your fear and anxiety, stop you from opening few doors, didn’t you?”

There was silence, the boat had stopped talking. I realized what the boat was trying to tell me, I knew how to get back home.

I opened the door in front of me and walked through it and within seconds the landscape changed and I was back on the seat of my bicycle. I looked around and saw the golden key lying at my feet. “This was all real then” I thought as I bent down to pick it up but just then.. It vanished.

The newly gained confidence and hope brought a smile on my face, I had learnt what I had to in my life and cycled my way to my friends. To this day, I haven’t told this story to anyone, except share the lesson I learnt to all.

“Don’t let lose the rare golden opportunities that come your way, every door that comes your way opens up a new possibility. Don’t let your fear and anxiety, stop you from opening the door of possibilities. You never know, that door that you fear to open right now, might just be your next golden opportunity”.

Halloween 2020: Re-Assimilating the lost symbolism and customs of Halloween

Blog by Himani.

Halloween today is nothing how it could have been hundreds of years ago. Nor we see those primeval rituals and customs maintained as they were when Halloween was originally celebrated.

31st October, originated from a Celtic festival Samhain(sow-in), translating to summer’s end, Halloween today is celebrated by lighting bonfires, wearing costumes, going for trick or treating and house parties, partaking in house/yard decorations etc.

Even before the first fall of the leaves, even before the autumn starts, you’d see Halloween stores set up and decorations are already on sale. No one can deny we all love spooky, ghostly, eerie, cold, skittish kick of Halloween time. And don’t we wait just for this time of the year? To live the cold of the air once more, to feel the fear in the air, and once again, to have a smack of Halloween’s capricious excitement.

Though, this is not what excites me, being a lover of history that I am, I couldn’t help but wander my ways through learning about Halloween’s history and its lost symbolism and customs over the decades. So, if this interest you. I say and you shall. Read on.

Pumpkin Twins by David Menidrey (photo courtesy Unsplash.com)

Halloween History   

Halloween was celebrated by celts 2,000 years ago. The day was marked as the end of the summer and the beginning of cold, dark winters. The Halloween date today, 31’st of October, became so much more than just a marking of ending and beginning of a season as the time went on.

Samhain/Halloween/Hollow’s eve became the day before the new year, the day of bringing the new fire, the day the king would gain his powers, also for some reason it became the day, where the boundary between the both worlds (the dead and the living) is thinnest. Though there are absolutely no evidences, what and why was this decided or recorded and followed through. But it surely stuck throughout the centuries.

Halloween Symbolism

Some symbols of Halloween- the witches, jack o lanterns, bats, ghosts and skeletons, spiders and webs, bonfire, broomsticks and candles, black cats and pumpkin are all key symbols of Halloween. Nothing that it stands for today. In earlier days, Halloween was all about, the harvest, all saint’s day, all soul’s day, soul night, Soule-cake. And of course, as there were witches there was fortune telling customs. Which… there are… many. Halloween is too much to some up in something so little.

Here, I am leaving you with some old stories and customs you could try this Halloween. From making the deal with the devil, to looking into the future.  Do you want to know the name of your future lover? Or the number of years in you’d be married? All you must do is keep reading.

Devil- A deal with the devil– A farmer makes a deal with the devil. The farmer agrees to pay up when he would harvest his first crop. The farmer goes out and plants acorns.  

Candles-  one of the Halloween’s custom suggests, if you want to know the number of years before you’ll marry. You should. Take a candle, place it in the sink on a Halloween and hold a thread over the flame while counting slowly. The number of years before the thread burns, twice that and that would be the years before you will marry.

Holding Candle in October by Rebecca Peterson- Hall ( Photo Courtesy- Unsplash.com)

Ghosts-  It is said, on Halloween there are more souls in each house than there are grains on shores of the sea. Halloween always been a time where ghosts have believed to be walking amongst the living.  They return on the realm of the living for one day and one night.

Photo by Artem Kovalev. (Photo Courtesy- Unsplash.com)

As of one of the old customs- windows were left opened and beds were uncovered just so ghosts can return to the mortal land and can enjoy mortal comforts.

Apple Parsing-  Apples feature form apple bobbing, candied apples, caramel apples, decos and fortune telling.

According to another fortune telling customs- An apple is pared and the peels are waved over heard three times, before being thrown over the left shoulder and then read. And that’s a Fasttrack Halloweeney way of revealing initials of your beloved or to know your fate. But only if you sing-

Pairing, pairing long and green,

Tell my fate for Halloween.

Afternoon Sun by Bao Nguyen ( Photo courtesy- Unsplash.com)

Witches- greatly feared on Halloween, as per saying –

Hallowe’en will come, will come,

Witchcraft will be set going,

Avoid the road children, children.

Witches were seen as someone capable of transforming themselves in number of animal forms, their league with the devil, practicing their malicious art with the cauldron and chants. They were largely feared for abducting children.

I See You by Raquel Pedrotti (Photo Courtesy- Unsplash.com)

Bonfire-  the custom involves- tossing of nuts (chestnuts or any other nuts) onto a bonfire to predict the future. If the flames dance around when the nuts are thrown in, the coming year will be full of fun and excitement. And if the flames don’t change, the coming year will be dull.

Photo by Minh Trung Tran Cao (photo courtesy- Unsplash.com)

Wood-  Another of the fortune telling custom was to keep a small sliver of wood in a glass of water on your bedside on the Halloween’s night.

And chant the chant below, prior sleeping.

Consort of mine, that is to be,

Come this night, and rescue me.

And as you fall asleep, this will invoke the Halloween’s magic dream of falling off a bridge only to be saved by your future intended.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao (Photo Courtesy- Unsplash.com)

There are many, many more customs and rituals that involves, stepping/walking backwards to look into the mirror, wishing, and encircling the willows for finding your future intended, the beloved and true love. I cannot enlist them all. But they all are very rich and playfully interesting.

By now you know, what you are missing out on “modern” Halloween’s day. I hope this Halloween you try something new. Maybe one of the fortunes telling customs to find out how your next year will be, or maybe to find initials of your future intended. And if you really want to take it there, then maybe making a deal with the devil.

Photo by Melpoole (Photo Courtesy- Unsplash.com)