Sunday 30 October 2011

Halloween and gluttony

I thought about blogging about it a while ago, not sure as I am typing this on how to deal with the subject. Tonight I had a cheese fondue in a small pumpkin, with a Hobgobling. Delicious, but sickening. Maybe blogging about it is unwise right now. But I am not a wise person. I think of how sickly it was, eating loads and loads of chocolates, smarties, marshmallows covered with chocolate (in form of Jack O'Lanterns, gosh I loved them), taffy, liquorice and many other things after going trick or treating as a child, especially since dinner before going trick-or-treating was often pizza (and not thin ones: stuff with thick base and lots of cheese), yet I survived. And I was thinking that eating and drinking in excess like I used to do and still do around Halloween was indeed an old, old, old tradition, a Pagan ritual that sneaked into the modern age deeply rooted in our psyche.

For instance, trick-or-treating is a ritual of sharing and a gesture of trust among neighbours. But more so, the treats we eat are the descendents of the perishable food gathered through the harvest that was needed to be eaten before turning bad or to make room for more recent stocks. Most holidays have this element of plenty, of needing to eat and fill one's belly while it is possible, while there is abundance. It is the case of Christmas, Easter, Halloween is of course no different. And as it also reminds of death, of the grave, of the shadows and fears that we face, there is a kind of defiance mixed with anxiety in the gluttony, in the eating excesses. "For life is short but death is long", as says a song I love to quote around this time of year (for me it is the perfect Halloween song). It is not incidential that Stingy Jack carries his lantern in a turnip, then a pumpkin and that he fools the Devil by having him climb into an apple tree. Turnips, pumpkins, apples, they are all products of harvest (and my allusions to gluttony in my take of the legend is not incidential either). This is one thing I love about Halloween: it is conscious of the fleeting nature of lively pleasures. So I love being gluttonous on that day and on the days leading to it.


The Artful Gypsy aka Wendy the Very Good Witch said...

Great post Guillaume! Enjoyed this one because I too view Hallowe'en in a sort of gluttonous way. I've been low carb dieting since July just so that come Hallowe'en time, I could eat all the goodies I wanted. On our vacation I ate pumpkin rolls with cream cheese filling and apple cider donuts and fresh squeezed apple cider and caramel apples and locally backed cakes and cookies. I've made pumpkin chocolate chip bread and fresh homemade whipped cream and I've been eating a slice spread with the whipped cream every morning this past week with Pumpkin/Chocolate/Spice coffee and pumpkin creamer. I could go on....but the point is, it's the absolute perfect time of the year to indulge in the tastes of the season and I am doing so without guilt or remorse! Defiant I am...but it's MY season I am intent on enjoying it!
HAPPY HALLOW'EN / SAMHAIN my friend! :o)

Chris 'Frog Queen' Davis said...

That was a great post.....I appreciate the life lesson. Now I gotta go find some smarties!!