Autumn is the transition period between the warmth of summer and the cold of winter, when nature changes dramatically. As the landscape turns and daylight disappears, autumn brings a change of weather where the leaves fall with a warm refreshing breeze. The Love Yourself Foundation would like to take October to explore the diverse traditions and rituals that bring communities together, ultimately celebrating the unique spirit of autumn.
The Beauty of Fall
The beauty of fall lies in its ability to capture the breathtaking view. The lush greenery of winter turns into a stunning mosaic of oranges, yellows, and reds. The woods that were once a sea of green are now bursting with leaves of fire. The dramatic effect of this transformation is unparalleled, and the visual impact is nothing short of spectacular.
One of the most spectacular sights of autumn is the falling of the leaves. Every leaf is a work of art, from the beautiful cascading maple leaves to the gleaming oak leaves. The rustling of leaves underfoot and the intoxicating smell of fading leaves enhance the sensory experience, evoking feelings of nostalgia and a connection to nature.
As the temperature drops, the atmosphere takes on an organically refreshing quality. For example, this cooling off is a welcome change from the summer heat, and provides the perfect backdrop for outdoor activities such as walking, exploring Gilcrease Orchard, and the pumpkin patch.
Gilcrease Orchard is currently celebrating their Fall Harvest. From September 23, 2023 to October 31, 2023 from 7:00am to 2:00pm participants are able to pick sunflowers, granny smith apples, pumpkins, etc. Tuesdays and Thursdays are free entrance while Saturday and Sunday does require tickets to be purchased. If you are interested in exploring Gilcrease Orchard and its Autumnal atmosphere, tickets are available here!
Autumn brings a sense of rest and relaxation. It is a time for warm sweaters, hot drinks, and a glowing fireplace. The subtle, warm lighting and the sound of rain against the windowpane invite us to snuggle up with a good book, spend quality time with loved ones, and/or enjoy a hearty meal with the flavors of fall: pumpkin spice and apple cinnamon.
Autumn is a season deeply rooted in tradition. Harvest festivals, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and other cultural celebrations take center stage during this time. These traditions serve to foster community bonds, promote a sense of togetherness, and remind us of the importance of gratitude and generosity.
Fall traditions bring people together in celebration and appreciation. The harvest festival marks the end of many agricultural seasons, signifying the hard work of the farmers and a successful harvest. Communities bring music, food, and games to life, combining to showcase the earth’s richness. The following are some of these wonderful fall traditions.
The Spirit of Halloween
Halloween, celebrated on October 31st, is a beloved tradition where children and adults alike dress up in costumes, often representing supernatural or whimsical characters, and go trick-or-treating for sweets. This playful and spooky holiday has evolved into a creative art form, with haunted houses, pumpkin carving, and costume parties taking center stage.
This ancient tradition has evolved into a lively event that taps into the spirit of mystery and playfulness.
The spirit of Halloween is a unique and enchanting essence that is in the air during the autumn season. It's a time when imagination reigns supreme, and people of all ages embrace their inner child, letting their creativity be at the forefront. Halloween embodies a playful defiance of the ordinary, as individuals transform into pop-culture characters, ghosts, ghouls, and superheroes. The spirit of Halloween makes neighborhoods come alive with decorations and the joyful sounds of children trick-or-treating. It is a time where haunted houses, creepy costumes, and tales of the supernatural add a touch of exhilarating fear to the festivities. Ultimately, the spirit of Halloween encourages us to revel in the thrill of the unknown, and it reminds us that sometimes, it's perfectly acceptable to let our imaginations run wild.
Another beloved tradition is the carving of pumpkins, an integral part of Halloween festivities. This ancient custom has evolved into a playful art form, with individuals showcasing their creativity by crafting intricate and often spooky designs on pumpkins. The soft, flickering glow of these carved pumpkins is a symbol of Halloween's mystical allure. It is a rite of passage that brings families closer through this experience of shared fun. I remember growing up and being so excited to see my mom bring home pumpkins from the grocery store. We would buy the pumpkin carving kit with all of the plastic tools and spend the whole night working on our designs. I would always carve out my favorite cartoon character, while my mom stuck to the more traditional face cut out with triangles and squares. I would be so proud to show off my carved and cut pumpkin to my mom and we would put it near the front door every year. I will always cherish those memories.
Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos):
The Day of the Dead is a traditional Mexican holiday that’s celebrated from October 31st to November 2nd. During this period, families come together to honor their deceased loved ones through colorful altars decorated with marigolds, sugar skulls, and the deceased's favorite items.
Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a vibrant Mexican tradition that celebrates the dearly departed while embracing the essence of life itself. At its core, the Day of the Dead is a time for families and communities to come together and remember those who have passed away, not with sadness, but with joy and celebration.
The focal point of the tradition is the creation of ofrendas, or altars, which are adorned with photographs, mementos, marigold flowers, and the deceased’s favorite foods and drinks. Families build these colorful altars in their homes, cemeteries, and public spaces to welcome the spirits back to the living world. The candles illuminate the path for the returning souls.
Families gather to share stories, sing, dance, eat, and prepare traditional dishes like sugar skulls. Sugar skulls are made to represent departed souls. With music and laughter, we celebrate the lives of those who have passed, keeping their memory alive and ensuring they are never truly gone. Day of the Dead is not just a tradition. It is a profound celebration of the eternal connection between the living and the dead. Dia de los Muertos is where death is met with a vibrant affirmation of the enduring bonds of love and remembrance.
Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November focused on showing gratitude and sharing a nice meal with family and friends. Acknowledging the blessings of the year echoes the spirit of autumn and emphasizes the importance of appreciation and unity as it strengthens the bond between loved ones.
The spirit of Thanksgiving is a time-honored tradition that embraces gratitude, closeness, and reflection. Thanksgiving embodies a sense of warmth, unity, and appreciation for life's blessings. Families and friends gather to share a wonderful feast, and as they sit around the table, they take a moment to express what they’re thankful for. The centerpiece of this heartfelt occasion is typically a succulent turkey paired with cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, delectable array of pies, etc.
Beyond the culinary delights, Thanksgiving is a symbol of togetherness, reminding us of the importance of acknowledging the simple yet profound joys in our lives and fostering a sense of closeness that extends beyond the holiday itself. It is a time to appreciate the enduring values of family, friendship, and gratitude.
From the exhilarating spirit of Halloween, where creativity knows no bounds. The celebration of love, life, and death during Día de los Muertos. To the heartfelt and gratitude-filled celebration of Thanksgiving. Halloween is a time of playful defiance and costumes, Thanksgiving embodies a more serene and reflective essence, while Day of the Dead offers remembrance to the dearly departed. All of these holidays, however, share the common thread of fostering community and closeness. It is a transition from the playful spirit of October's end to the deeper, more contemplative November holidays, which emphasizes the importance of appreciation, reflection, and the strengthening of love among all our families.
Autumn is a season of change, beauty, and tradition. Its changes in weather, the multitude of colors in falling leaves, the crispness of the air, and the cozy atmosphere evoke a sense of wonder. Through the celebration of fall traditions, communities gather together, embodying the spirit of autumn. The magic of fall serves as an annual reminder of the enduring beauty of change and the profound connection we share with the natural world.
What is your favorite Fall tradition? Let’s celebrate Fall together!
About the Author
Dylan was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is 22- years old and currently going to CSN for Journalism/Media Studies: Advertising/Public Relations. His current interests are reading, working out, and playing with his dog. His career goal is to one day work for GQ magazine.