Samhain traditions. This first one is something I do with my kids. They love eating dessert first anyways so might as well start with it! A dumb supper, contrary to popular belief, is not what we call it when my family has reunions! A dumb supper is a meal that is eaten to celebrate the loved ones who have passed. It is a meal eaten in total silence (something my family knows nothing about) and in reverse, or from ending to beginning.
Dessert is served first, then the main dish, and then salad, ending with appetizers. The meal begins with a ceremony to invite the loved ones through the veil to join you and a place is set just for them. Food is also served on their plates and will later be sat outside as an offering.
Photos or objects of the loved one are placed at their seat and a candle is lit to represent their life. Everyone attending must be in place as it begins to show respect for both the living and the dead. The meal and ceremony is done in total silence (well children and animals are different because they have a different kind of connection to the dead) to help the dead transition from one side of the veil to the other. This also allows the living a chance to remember and mourn the dead. While modern times have made things different cell phones should be turned off.
Though it may be tempting, photo ops should not be taken. If your loved ones are joining you it is not to play parlor tricks and games for your amusement. Respect the dead, they are your guardians and watch over you. Food has been offered to the dead throughout history, from prehistoric man through to the Celts, Egyptians, Romans, Japanese, Chinese, and even in the Catholic church. Dining with the dead is an ancient tradition that honors our divine ancestors regardless of culture or creed. Whether you're a Witch or simply wish to embrace your loved ones on the other side, we invite you to take part in this most sacred event.