Northern California Pirate Festival

A Pirate Festival Calls Our Name

Arrgggh, me matey, 'tis time to weigh anchor and sail into Vallejo, California.

We be joining a motley crew of pirates, swashbucklers and buccaneers. There be officers of the Royal Navy who claim to keep order 'round here and barmaids to keep us all happy with a bit of brew. We be going back in time to the high seas of piracy.

It's the Northern California Pirate Festival.

Northern California Pirate Festival

Arrgggh, me pirate matey, 'tis time fer a pirate gathering in the port of Vallejo.

Aye, ye be hearin' right. This gathering celebrates all things pirate and is an annual event in June.

This festival purports to be the largest pirate celebration in the country and 2015 marked their 9th year. Like any festival of this nature, there are food booths, shops and wares, music and entertainment and just plain relaxing. Here's my own little video.

Vallejo is an ideal venue for this event. Participants, excuse me, pirates benefit from the bay breeze that blows off the water. It cools many a pirate's brow as he lifts his tricorner hat. 

Join The Pirate Fun

If you're a fun-loving pirate who likes a good sword fight and to say argghhh, this is the place to be. You'll only feel out of place if you don't have anything of a pirate-nature hanging off of you.

Costume shops in town sell an inexpensive packaged pirate outfit like the one I bought some time back. I saw my outfit walking around on children and dads of all sizes. In this first picture you'll see me in the packaged costume. (The extras such as hat, belt, pistol and belaying pin are additional purchases.)

The downside of a mass-produced, lower-cost outfit is synthetic polyester material. Not particularly healthy to wear and it certainly doesn't breathe when you're baking under a summer sun.

Prepare Ye To Don Pirate's Clothing

You arrived without a pirate outfit? Fear not. There are vendors on the premises happy to deck you out in period clothing, albeit for a pretty farthing. 

Thanks to the plethora of vendors and booths, I updated my pirate outfit this year with a 100% cotton shirt and a gorgeous Hunter's vest. I also exchanged imitation gauntlets for leather ones.

While some complain that shopping makes the event too commercial, I find it convenient and helpful. I can't imagine it's easy to find high quality gauntlets at our local Target. 

Pirates And History

We're not talking only pirates here. The time period is the 1700s. Let's not forget those who chased after the pirates too. Members of the British Royal Navy delight us with their handsome uniforms; ladies of pleasure welcome one and all.

Costumes For Everyone

Speaking of ladies of pleasure: one thing you have to prepare yourself for is the sight of "heaving bosoms" as they are called in period writing. Some may think this is great, others not so much. Many costumes are historically accurate, including the bosom lifting corsets and laces. 

The Beginning Of My Pirate Tales

How did I even get involved in pirate fun? Check out this post Talk Like A Pirate Day where I detail the beginning of my slide into the life of a pirate. It all started innocently enough when I worked at a hospital that celebrated this illustrious day.

You may be asking what does a Pirate Festival and The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) have in common? It's all about taking the light with you wherever you go and whatever you do.

TRT® students can apply TRT® hands-on even while at the festival. Place a hand on the heart, or abdomen, while listening to music or a fellow pirate recounting a tale. Let your light shine from within your heart.

Students of The Second Degree of TRT® can also use their hands-on and can direct energy while walking about the festival grounds. As I say in my other post, "aye, even a pirate can meditate."

Of course, none of this is the least bit serious. It is about harmless fun and dancing and learning about this period of history.

Set Sails For Adventure

For those who share the love (or at least the idea) of the sea and swashbuckling, the Pirate Festival is like coming home, settling where you belong amongst your mates.

Enter back in time and sharpen up yer sword skills.

We Sail At Dawn

Arrrgggh, me fine salty dog, will ye be joinin' me and me mateys as we stroll the fine decks of our mighty, glorious ships?

What say ye?

Permission to board is granted.

Set sails for adventure!

Halloween – A Magical Night Beckons

History Of Halloween

Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain, as far back as 2,000 years ago. Samhain, (pronounced say-win or sow-in) means summer's end, and it was the day to mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter.

For people who survived on crops that grew in the fields and animals that were pastured, it was a significant cycle. 

Samhain started at sunset on 31 October and ran until sunset on 01 November.

All Saints Day, All Hallows Eve And Souling

All Hallows Eve is also the night before All Saints Day on 01 November which is celebrated by Christianity, particularly the Catholic Church.

All Saints Day is a time to honor all the saints and to offer prayers for the souls of the dead.

In England, from the medieval period, up until the 1930s, people practiced the Christian custom of “souling” on Halloween.

This involved groups of soulers, both Protestant and Catholic, going from parish to parish, begging the rich for soul cakes, in exchange for praying for the souls of the givers and their friends.

You could hear soulers singing: "a soul cake, a soul cake, have mercy on all Christian souls for a soul cake."

Or, how about this little refrain:

Soul, soul, an apple or two,
If you haven’t an apple, a pear will do,
One for Peter, two for Paul,
Three for the Man Who made us all

This is part of the history behind the custom we now have of trick-or-treating. Children go from door to door with the phrase "trick or treat" in hopes of a reward of candy.

Halloween In The United States

Halloween traditions in the United States include pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating and costume parties. Traditional colors are orange and black and link to the Samhain holiday. Orange symbolizes the colors of the crops and turning leaves, while black marks the 'death' of summer.

Decorations feature skulls, witches and bats, black cats, tombstones and ghosts. Candy corn is a not-to-be-missed Halloween candy. Costumes are to be as creative as possible.

It's a secular, but not a federal holiday which means we don't get the day off from work. Given all the activity around Halloween, it seems like we should have it off, don't you think?

Artist, Robert Ingpen

What Are Your Plans For This Magical Night?

October 31 will be here in the blink of a black cat's eye.

Do you have children? Perhaps you are already head-to-toe in costume fabrics and materials, busy making outfits for your little ones. What's the costume flavor of the year?

Maybe you're picking out a costume for yourself – for your own Halloween festivities.

In Scotland and Ireland, guising – children disguised in costume going from door to door for food or coins – is a traditional Halloween custom, and is recorded in Scotland at Halloween in 1895 where masqueraders in disguise carrying lanterns made out of scooped out turnips, visit homes to be rewarded with cakes, fruit and money.

The practice of guising at Halloween in North America is first recorded in 1911, where a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario reported children going “guising” around the neighborhood.

Organizing a party for Halloween?

Pumpkins need carving, decorations need to be hung and caramel apples await a sticky demise.

Do your plans include a visit to a haunted house?  

Spooky delights are lurking in the cobwebs and hallways of darkness.

Veils Disappear Between Worlds On Halloween

As the warmth of summer fades away, darkness and cold prevail. Winter is a time of year often associated with human death as the earth also "dies" before the rebirth in spring. Druids believed that the spirits of those who died the preceding year roamed the earth during the night of Samhain.

The Druids celebrated this holiday with a great fire festival to encourage the dimming Sun not to completely vanish. People danced around bonfires to keep evil spirits away. Doors were left open in hopes that the kind spirits of loved ones might join them at the hearth.

Spirits from the other side were either entertained by the living or they found a body to possess for the incoming year.

Dressing up like witches, ghosts and goblins protected the living from being possessed.

Halloween is still considered to be a magical night when the veils between our worlds of the dead and the living become transparent. As the veils disappear, spirits who have passed to the other side can cross back over; the dead walk among the living.

The belief that the souls of the dead return home on one night of the year has ancient origins. It's found in many cultures throughout the world.

Even the most skeptical among us become just a little superstitious on this night of shadows and spirits.

Bring The Radiance Technique® To Your Halloween

Whatever your views of Halloween, secular or religious, bring your use of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) to your many activities.

Students of all degrees of TRT® benefit from use of TRT® hands-on. For example, before heading out for the night. Or, while you're out and about.

Maybe some hands-on afterwards, to help relax and unwind. The beauty of TRT® is that it's available to you at any time.

Are you organizing little ones as they tap dance through Princess, Dinosaur, and Spider-Man costumes? Be sure to remember some TRT® hands-on for yourself to promote relaxation and to expand your joy.

Happy Halloween.