For Wiccans, Oct. 31 is time for religious ritual


Halloween events


• Boo Bash Celebration: Kids can participate in Halloween-themed activities at the Macy’s Men’s Court,. followed by mall-wide Trick or Treating in a safe environment; 4-6 p.m. Oct. 31; Miami International Mall, 1455 NW 107th Ave., Doral. Free. 305-593-1775, www.simon.com.

• Howl-O-Ween-Bring your Dog to Fairchild: Put your best paw forward and bring your dog to the Garden. Event includes dog costume contest, trick-or-treats from local vendors and tons of activities for dogs and their owners as they parade through the Garden; 9:30 a.m. Oct. 31; Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables. $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 65+, $12 kids 6-17; free for members & kids 5 and under. 305-667-1651, www.fairchildgarden.org.

• Halloween at Cross Gardens Care Center: Celebrate the holiday at the nursing home with the carving of pumpkins and trick or treating in a safe place for those in the community to visit and also gives the residents in our building the opportunity to interact with the surrounding community; 190 NE 191st St., Northeast Miami-Dade. Free. 305-651-9690.

• Halloween at JUMP A ROOS: Children in costume can enter the Southland Mall indoor play and party center for $5.99. Includes a food special of 2 slices of pizza and a drink for $5; 10 a.m. Oct. 31; Jump A Roos, 20505 S. Dixie Hwy., Cutler Bay. 305-542-5934, 305-238-5867, www.jumparoos.com.

• Halloween Celebration-Mall of the Americas: Kids Club at 4 p.m. for ages 10 and under with the friendly, bilingual Witch Gigi. At 5 p.m., it’s music and prizes for all ages with Mix 98.3 FM, including trip prizes plus Karla Bakery hands out Halloween cupcakes. Trick or treat begins at 6 p.m. Costumes encouraged, but masks are prohibited inside the mall; 4 p.m. Oct. 31; Mall of the Americas, 7795 W. Flagler St., West Miami-Dade. Free. 305-261-8772, www.MalloftheAmericas.com/events/halloween-trick-or-treating.

• Halloween on the Mile: This 16th annual event returns with fun for all, including those of the canine variety. See website for full schedule of activities. Held along Miracle Mile between Le Jeune and Douglas roads and nearby shops and institutions, 4 p.m. Oct. 31; Miracle Mile, 372 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables. Free. 305-569-0311, www.shopcoralgables.com/events/16th-annual-halloween-on-the-mile/.

• Haunted House at Veronica’s Dollhouse: During South Miami’s Safe Streets Halloween, the boutique store turns into a creepy Victorian style haunted house; 4 p.m. Oct. 31; Veronica’s Dollhouse, 7212 SW 57th Ave., South Miami. Free. 305-662-2966, www.VeronicasDollhouse.Wordpress.com, www.veronicasdollhouseboutique.com.

• Trick or Treat-Happy Halloween: Kids in costume can pick up the store’s Halloween bag from customer service and make their way around the store for a special treat from each department. Just say “Trick or Treat!;” 4 p.m. Oct. 31; Whole Foods Market, 21105 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura. Free. 305-682-4400, 305-933-1543, www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/aventura/index.html.

• Wayside Western Fiesta: A fun and family-friendly event where your kids can have a blast on Halloween with rides, games and candy; 5:30 p.m. Oct. 31; Wayside Baptist Church, 7701 SW 98th St., Kendall. Free (including rides). 305-595-6550, www.waysidemiami.org.

• Christ Journey Church Block Party: Bring the family to enjoy the block party at the Shoppes of Country Walk featuring food trucks, games, costume contest, trunk or treating, and bounce houses; 6 p.m. Oct. 31; Shoppes of Country Walk, 14425 Country Walk Dr., Country Walk.

• Harvest Festival: Fun, family-friendly event hosted at downtown campus with candy, cake walks, music and fun. Families are encouraged to wear costumes; 6 p.m. Oct. 31; Christ Fellowship Church, 500 NE First St., Downtown Miami. Free. 305-238-1818, www.cfmiami.org.

• Miami Beach Halloween Happenings: Children are encouraged to come in costume and enjoy a night of spooky fun. Features new Treats for Tots area and ice skating. Tickets for carnival rides and concessions available on site; 6 p.m. Oct. 31; Scott Rakow Youth Center, 2700 Sheridan Ave., Miami Beach. Free (including ice skating). 305-673-7767, www.miamibeachparks.com, web.miamibeachfl.gov.

• Miami Beach Safe Night of Fright: Ghouls & Goblins are invited to enjoy a safe night of trick or treat, music and fun; 6 p.m. Oct. 31; North Shore Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Free. 305-861-3616, 305-673-7300, www.miamibeachfl.gov.

• Monster Mash Bash at North Miami Beach: Family friendly event that features bounce houses, rides, music, and a haunted trail. Food is also available for purchase; 6 p.m. Oct. 31; Gwen Margolis Amphitheater, 16501 NE 16th Ave., North Miami Beach. $5 per person or $15 for a family 4 pack. 305-948-2957, www.citynmb.com.

• Monsters In The Park Movie Night Featuring Monsters University: Wear Halloween costumes and play in the newly-refurbished tennis courts to win prizes. Trick or treat at 6 p.m., movie starts at 7 p.m. Food available for purchase or bring your own picnic and blankets; 6 p.m. Oct. 31; Coral Reef Park, 7895 SW 152nd St., Palmetto Bay. Free. 305-259-1234, www.PalmettoBay-Fl.gov.

• Fire and Ice Halloween Costume Party: Event features complementary sips and bites from 8-10 p.m. and live and spooky entertainment all night long; 7 p.m. Oct. 31; Porcao Grill, 910 S. Miami Ave., Brickell. Free.

• Vocal Arts Series- Midnight Madness Halloween: Family event benefits scholarships for voice students. Wear Halloween costumes. Vocal students will be dressed like the infamous villains from musical theater and the opera stage. Reception included; 8:30 p.m. Oct. 31; Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center at FIU, 10910 SW 17th St., University Park. $15; $10 seniors and FIU faculty/staff; $5 FIU students and alumni association members. 305-348-0496, https://calendar.fiu.edu, www.wpac.fiu.edu.

• Serendipity’s Halloween POP-UP GoGo Bar: Annual celebration on Lincoln Road features desserts for the kids until 9 p.m. and cocktails and fun for the adults thereafter. At 9 p.m., the restaurant opens to the over 21 crowd exclusively and includes DJ and GoGo dancers all night long; 9 p.m. Oct. 31; Serendipity 3, 1102 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Free. 305-403-2210, www.facebook.com/serendipity3mia?sk=info.


• Reformation Day Faire: Journey back in time to Wittenberg, Germany during the time of the Protestant Reformation and Martin Luther. Event features dinner, shopping in the town square, madrigal singers, games and contests. Wear your best 16th century attire; 6:30 p.m. Nov. 1; Kendall Presbyterian Church, 8485 SW 112th St., Kendall. Free but donations accepted. 305-271-5262, www.kendallpres.org.


• Ghost Quest — A Cemetery Experience: Find out what bumps in the night during a lecture and tour of the cemetery; 8 p.m. Nov. 2; Celestial Treasures, 3444 Main Hwy. Suite 17, Coconut Grove. $30. 305-461-2341, www.celestial-treasures.com, www.celestialtreasuresnetwork.com.

Special to the Miami Herald

For Jessica Enamorado, Halloween has always been a time to dress up in costumes, go out with friends and visit haunted houses.

But this year, she decided to try something new.

The 22-year-old Hollywood resident participated in an ancient pagan ritual called Samhain. Stemming from pagan religions, Samhain is celebrated from the eve of Oct. 31 to the morning of Nov. 1. Part of the Samhain holiday falls on the date of modern-day Halloween, Oct. 31.

But before there was the modern-day Halloween complete with costumes of superheroes, politicians and pop stars; trick or treating; and haunted houses, there was the ancient tradition of Samhain.

“Today, it has becomes really commercialized,” said James Jones, a Wicca-practitioner who also participated in the Samhain ritual. “It has become a thing for people and children to dress up in costumes. Halloween, I would say, is more secular and for most people it represents a holiday of having fun and dressing up. It doesn’t have a spiritual connection to them. For us, Wiccans, we honor our ancestors.

“I’ve dabbled in pagan and Wicca work before, and I thought it was the right time to do” the Samhain ritual, said Enamorado. “During the ritual, I felt more connected to a spirit.”

Indeed, the Samhain ritual is a way to connect to a spirit and honor family and friends who have passed away, said Sandra Cheryl Richardson, a psychic consultant who co-led the ritual.

At the ceremony, held behind the Coconut Grove Celestial Treasures store that caters to people who identify themselves as pagan-beliefs practitioners, about 20 people stood in a circle, or what Richardson said was a “sacred space.”

The Samhain is “a time when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead is at its thinnest,” said Kyle Leite, who also co-led the ritual. “At this time we honor those who have passed on through the veil between the worlds.”

For Wicca-practitioner Jones, 57, participating in the recent Samhain ritual was a way for him to commemorate the holiday and feel closer to members of his family who have died – his grandparents on his mother’s side, his grandmother on his father’s side and his mother.

“Those were the images that were coming through my mind during the ritual,” said southwest Miami-Dade resident Jones, who has been a Wicca-practitioner for the past 23 years. “Our memory of them – our ancestors – and their essence, lives on through that.”

Because it is so deeply rooted in ancient paganism, the Samhain ritual is also a New Year celebration, marking the last harvest of the year and the beginning of the winter.

“In pagan interpretation, the Earth is dying, the green is gone. All they have is sticks,” said Joe Richardson, a psychic consultant who also works at Celestial Treasures.

In a true New Year’s celebration spirit, ritual participants picked out fortune messages and looked forward to the upcoming year.

“I see this as my new year because I see it as a transition from the warm weather to cooler weather,” said Jones, the Wicca-practitioner. It is a way to mark the wheel of the year. It keeps me in closer connection to the cycles of the Earth. We live in a city and sometimes we are not in touch with the natural cycles of the Earth.”

Jones said the word pagan is a general term for people who identify themselves as Wiccan or identify themselves as practitioners of other forms of nature-based religions.

During the ritual, held Oct. 26, an altar was placed in the middle of the circle of people. On it were placed representations of the four elements of nature, which are water, air, earth and fire.

In attendance: Lifelong Wicca-practitioners like Jones as well as people who were just curious.

“I am always looking for peace and good vibes,” said 23-year-old Cecilia Gonzalez. “I was just thinking about my grandfather, who died, the whole day and then I ended up here. I don’t known how. I felt tickles in my whole body during the ritual.”

Wiccan or no, most Samhain participants said that they also enjoy the more commercialized part of Halloween.

“I do the commercial thing, too,” said Enamorado. “I go out, have a couple of drinks, go to haunted houses – those are fun.”

Added Jones, the long-time Wicca-practitioner: “I also enjoy the regular Halloween activities, like trick or treating. When the children come to my door for candy, I like to tell them, ‘This is a real witch giving you the candy. The look at me with their big eyes.’ ”

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