Saturday, November 17, 2012

Spirit Feast/Ghost Supper

We're having problems finding a date to have our Spirit Feast this year. Normally we avoid Thursday/Thanksgiving for two reasons... we hate it and Autumn is then free to enjoy her husband's family for the day. But between in-laws, class, pin-up shoots, girlfriends, bowling, D.J. gig... it's not looking good for anytime this next week or weekend. Sigh, I just need a heads up so I can thaw that big old turkey in the freezer in time for whichever date we can settle on... wish me luck!

 I found a good description on how we spend our day, with of course a few tweaks here and there;

November is not only the month in which Americans celebrate Thanksgiving; it is also a time for Native Americans to celebrate the tradition of honoring and remembering their ancestors and loved ones who have departed from the physical world. Ghost Supper (also known as Spirit Feast) is a custom practiced by the Odawa and Ojibwe Nations of Northern Michigan. This tradition is similar to the Catholic ritual of All Souls Day and the Mexican celebration of Day of the Dead. The feast is usually held during the first weekend of November. The food prepared for the Ghost Supper include traditional Native American dishes such as turkey and dressing, venison, wild rice, fry bread, potatoes, squash, corn soup and smoked whitefish. After all the guests have finished with their meal, it is tradition to leave the dishes of remaining food on the table for the spirits who may pass by throughout the night.

A ceremonial fire is lit at dusk before the evening begins and it is put out at dawn. The fire represents a portal to the ancestral spirits that may return for the meal. Any food that is leftover at the end of the evening is burned in the fire as an offering. Ghost Supper is not only an opportunity to remember those who have passed away, but also to reconnect with family and friends. After the meal is finished, many family members play card games and share stories of their ancestors. It is a time to be thankful for all of the wonderful people in our lives, present and past.


Gwen Buchanan said...

Anet, such a gentle thoughtful celebration.

Lisa said...

Sounds lovely. I hope you can find a day that works!!

Project Tara said...

I really like the description of this celebration. Wishing you a joyous time with your family -- whenever the celebration happens.

Anet said...

We have decided that we are doing a lunch/dinner at 2:00 on Thursday. Autumn and Kevin are just going to have to eat two turkey dinners that day... sigh. Now I hope that turkey thaws in time!

Jessica said...

I hope your lunch went well Anet, its a nice idea to prepare a dinner in which you remember the ancestors who hav egone before.I think thats a lost art these days with a lot of folks <3