EXPLANATION & INFORMATION
- “The Ancient Celtic Festivals and How We Celebrate Then Today” by Clare Walker Leslie and Frank E. Gerace (for ages 9-12)
- The Halloween Book of Facts and Fun by Wendie C. Old (for ages 8 – 11)
- “Tam Lin” by Jane Yolen (for ages 6-12)
- “When the Wind Stops” by Charlotte Zolotow (for ages 4-8) Use this book to introduce the concept of rebirth/continuance of life.
- “Tales from the Otherworld” from the book “Myths and Civilization of the Celts” by HM Matell
- “Cailleac Bheur” from “The Enchanted World of Fairies and Elves” Time-Life Books
- “Voyage of Bran” from “Names Upon the Harp” by Marie Heaney (for ages 9-12)
- “Idunn’s Apples of Youth” from “D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths” by Ingri & Edgar Parin d’Aulaire (for ages 5 and up)
- Make your own masks & costumes. Suggestion: use your costume to honor and remember one of your ancestors.
- Carve a turnip or pumpkin.
- Make skull necklaces/bracelets- look for skull beads in import shops and craft stores, or make your own.
- Make salt dough skulls to represent ancestors.
- Make a Silver Branch: find a fallen tree branch- not too big or small- a good size to hang on a wall close to your home (or personal) altar, perhaps the size of a long wand. Paint it silver with craft paint and let dry. Attach silk apple blossoms and silver or gold bells. You can use the silver branch to mark the beginning of rituals, or as a purification tool (the sound of the bells drives away malevolent spirits away). The Silver Branch is a symbol of the Celtic Otherworld, the Isle of Apples.
- Make an Ancestor Doll in the likeness of one of the ancestors for the ancestor altar. Use his/her favorite colors. If the ancestor had a favorite flower, attach one to the doll. If you have a scrap of fabric or an accessory that belonged to that her/him, use that too. You can also scent the doll with the ancestor’s favorite scent. One easy doll making method is the yarn doll. Kids old enough to use a knife could make an apple head ancestor doll (start well in advance of the holiday).
- Learn about your ancestors, visit graves and make grave stone rubbings.
- Commit to memory the names of your direct ancestors, back as far as you can.
- Play some traditional Samhain games like snap apple Jack’s-Alive and snapdragon.
- Find a hidden charm in barmbrack or colcannon.
- Watch movies or video clips that explain the Origin of Halloween: The Halloween Tree, and also some short “bet you didn’t know” Halloween clips from the history channel website.