On Saturday night, April 30, my helpers and I held a vigil on Ponsonby Road. We swept the pavement and set up an area with mats, ready to receive the candles and pumpkin lanterns that people brought. They wrote names on pieces of card, of those whom they wished to remember, and then lingered as others came by and the number of lanterns grew.

It felt special, to be holding faith with this significant moment on the threshold of winter, and the ancient festival of Samhain, day of the dead. This was an oppportunity to pay tribute to those who have passed over. This day of seasonal change felt very aligned to the cycles of birth, growth and dying, and the perfect time for commemoration.

For New Zealand Aotearoa this is still a new practice; but it feels important to offer an alternative to the commercial Halloween which has been thoughtlessly imported in spring time, when it makes very little sense.
Restoring meaning to our rituals; that’s what the people on Ponsonby Rd and all over the country did tonight when they lit their candles. Thank you to you all for holding faith; it was beautiful, and it will grow.