By Francesca Lo Presti, Special to the News
Halloween customs vary around the world. One of my favourite childhood memories is Carnevale. This celebration is held in Italy 40 days before Easter. Children wear beautiful handmade costumes.
Mom made me a lovely princess costume with a matching mask and a basket filled with fresh flowers and delicious Italian candy. When visiting our relatives and neighbours, we offered them candy or a flower and in return we were given the Lira (Italian money), a similar idea to trick or treating. which originated with Druid children when begging for bonfire materials. Today, the Halloween celebration also held on Oct. 31 in Italy is gradually surpassing the well-known Italian Carnevale.
Halloween wasn’t a very popular American holiday until the Irish Catholic population came to North America in the mid-Nineteenth Century. They introduced a legend leading to the popularization of the jack-o-lantern.
Other decorations, such as branches with spiders and webs, can be nested in fresh floral arrangements. Many of us like to completely redecorate our homes by using a welcome floral wreath or garland on doors. Other accessories such as ghost balloons and black ribbon Autumn materials can be used to create a pleasant or spooky effect.
Lighting is very important too. There are a variety of coloured battery-operated candles, LED or solar lighting available. For safety purposes, please avoid wax candles.
Mask floral arrangements are also very popular.
Flowers always brighten a home. A thoughtful Boo-quet of crazy daisies is very inexpensive and a lovely accent piece for the Halloween festivity. Create your own by using a pumpkin.
Start by cutting out the top of the pumpkin to form a lid. (Insert a stick on the lid which will be used later in your piece).
Next, cut the pumpkin wide enough to allow for floral foam. (Remove the inner filling).
Spray some floral preservation and then add a layer of cello. Add a block of foam extending one inch above the top of the pumpkin to allow stems to go through sideways and downwards.
Arrange twigs, other novelties, fall foliage and flowers to form a shape and style.
Finish your creation by inserting the pumpkin lid and adding preservative water. Place a battery-operated candle in the pumpkin, (if available.)
Enjoy your decoration. Don’t forget to sprinkle a little salt and slightly bake your pumpkin seeds. Have a safe and happy Halloween.
Francesca Lo Presti is a floral educator at House of Floral Designs in Stoney Creek.