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Happy Halloween from the Enchanted Cottonwood Forest!

6th Grade Students giving a trick and a treat… On Halloween students visited the Enchanted Cottonwood Forest and journeyed through a magical world. The individual presentations touched hearts with messages of wisdom and humor, as well as images of light that will live on through the cold and dark season of the year. The Halloween Enchanted Cottonwood Forest was a wonder-filled celebration of Halloween during the school day. It was a chance for the middle schoolers to practice their dramatic talents outside of the typical class play. Students created their own skits with their theater skills and projected the voices of the various animal characters for the young students! 8th grade buddies also carved pumpkins with their 1st grade counterparts and these jack-o-lanterns helped line the journey through the Cottonwoods. This enchanting experience, performed by the BVWS middle school, is a lovely way for the older students to include younger students in a Halloween experience during the school day!

Halloween is a festival with more ancient beginnings than many others that we celebrate. This celebration began with the druids in Britain and Brittany. To frighten evil spirits away, huge bonfires were lit on hilltops in honor of the sun god. Nuts and apples and other fruit from winter stores were roasted on these fires. As the Romans adopted this festival, they combined a festival of the dead with an honoring of the goddess of fruits and feasting. Christianity moved their celebration of All Saints to the Feast of All Souls – Nov 1st. Also traditionally celebrated on Nov 1st is The Day of the Dead (Spanish: el Día de Muertos or el Día de los Muertos). Many traditions recognizing spirits good and bad include good luck charms as well as charms, spells and predictions. With this background, today children don masks and costumes, carve pumpkins and visit door to door. Trickery is tolerated as we experience the eerie quality of this festival.

As part of the BVWS Spanish curriculum, students connect with the meaning behind the Día de los Muertos celebrating deceased authors and their works and creating festive art displaying honoring those who have passed.