Kiwi Halloween on Ponsonby Rd

by | Apr 30, 2011 | Uncategorized | 7 comments

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.


  1. Joan

    Oh I love this Juliet. I lit candles too.. I was hoping to invite friens but I’ve had a very sore throat so I just stayed indoors and had my own little Kiwi Halloween.

  2. juliet

    Sorry to hear you were unwell Joan, but thank you for being so present to this event all the same.

  3. Nikki

    Beautiful! I love the tree carving.

  4. lifeonthecutoff

    It has been so wonderful to watch your seasonal rituals and change from this far away, in another hemisphere with different seasons. Juliet. I thank you for sharing them and admire your pumpkins, which are a bit different from ours. I love them.

  5. Kerry-Ann Stanton

    so beautiful Juliet and a stimulus to light a simple candle at home to burn through the night
    loving regards Kerry-Ann

  6. juliet

    Thank you all for your participation and interest. Penny, I searched for those orange pumpkins that are much easier to carve, but they are a bit hard to find here. I’m glad you enjoy seeing our Kiwi pumpkins.

  7. Anne Dean Ruffell

    What a wonderful idea to carve the pumpkins and light them in the darkness to remember people we have known and loved. I have been reading all the April entries and been following your moods as they change with the weather and the season. Your thoughts and pictures evoke so many happy memories, some much more recent than others. You have a wonderful gift to be able to express yourself in words so well. The poems are lovely. I could see everything in the one you wrote at the bach when you escaped for the day.


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