The Celtic Festival of Samhain

The Celtic festival of Samhain marked the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter, the darker half of the year. It was traditionally celebrated on the 1st November and the evening of the 31st October and has become modern day Hallowe'en. 

Samhain was one of four significant seasonal festivals in the Celtic calendar and all centred around important times in nature and farming, heralding the beginning of new seasons and new activities. They were called Imbolc (February), Beltane or Beltene (May), Lughnasadh (August) and Samhain (October).

Samhain marked the time of the year when livestock would be brought in from the fields and it was also thought to be a time when the Otherworld could become visible to the land of humans. This connection with the supernatural is a key feature of the modern day Hallowe'en celebrations. As with other Celtic festivals, fires were lit and feasts were prepared as part of the gatherings and celebrations.

 

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