|Names||Samhain, All Saints’ Day, All hallows eve, Halloween, Samuin, Samain|
|Importance in the Wheel of the year||Beginning of the wheel of the year, beginning of the winter half-year.|
|Colours||Orange, Black, White|
|Stones||Onyx, rock crystal|
|Keywords||Death, dying, ancestors, hope for a new beginning.|
Why do we celebrate Samhain?On Samhain, the old year ends and the new begins. The winter half-year begins at the same time. It is the festival of the dead and unborn life. Now the border to the Otherworld is open, and we can communicate with our ancestors. The focus is on death and dying, so it is also the ideal time to let go of old things and sow the seeds for new things. In the cold season, we can draw new strength and reflect on our roots. The Celts believed that in this night, the souls of the people who died that year would finally pass over. To aid them in this transformation, there was literally dancing on the graves. Lights were put up to guide them on their way. Even today, many people put up lanterns or carved pumpkins.
How did Samhain turn into Halloween?During the proselytizing in the 6-8th century, not all of the Celtic and Germanic traditions could be erased as the peoples unwaveringly clung to them. Therefore the church began to Christianize pagan festivals and to include them in the church calendar. For example, Easter came from Ostara, Valentine’s Day from Vali and All Saints’ Day from Samhain. Pope Gregory IV postponed All Saints’ Day in the year 837 from the first Sunday after Pentecost to November 1st. The previous evening was celebrated as All-Hallows-Eve, today Halloween, as a replacement for Samhain.
How can we celebrate Samhain today?We can use this day and night to say goodbye to the old and review the past year. We can also celebrate the new beginning. Now the dark season begins, which allows us to reflect and develop spiritually.
Samhain Fire ceremonyYou need:
- Candle / bonfire
- Three sheets of paper
- A glass of water or fresh juice