The Meaning of Samhain.
Samhain celebrates the transition from Summer to Winter and the beginning of the new year, in classic Celtic tradition. Although the new year starts on Nov. 1, celebrations begin at nightfall the prior evening, because it is the 'in between' time itself that is most significant. It is at this time that the worlds of the living and the dead are in closest contact and can be traversed. This means that we among the living can be visited by departed loved ones and ancestors, but also by less friendly or downright evil spirits.
Bright sign posts are set outside the home in the form of white candles and jack-o-lanterns, to guide home loved ones and to ward off mischievous spirits. People do not roam outdoors on this night except in disguise, and food and drink are left outside the home to placate any unwelcomed wanderers from the other world. Inside, a meal and an open place at the dinner table are prepared for family members who have departed.
The central feature of Samhain celebrations is a great bonfire tended by druids. Hearth fires are extinguished from each home and then re-lit from this central fire, as a symbol of village unity. The bonfires serve several other purposes, as well. They are a source of light in the night and a defence against malevolent spirits and the cold of Winter. They are a place to cast tokens such as bones, stones or chestnuts, to divine the future based on how these are rendered by the fire. Finally, the ashes of the bonfire will be spread over the fields to bless them for the next season.
oh wow how cool, i never knew that. sounds a lot better than commercial halloween and thanksgiving is just an excuse for an early christmas sale.
Happy Samhain! Wonderful celebration and wonderful graphic.
(I posted right after you made this thread yesterday, and can't believe it's not here)
Thanks Frank. Does this mean I will be handing out Samhain candy tomorrow night?
Here's me, in costume, accepting any & all candies
Nancy, I've heard that Samhain candy tastes just as good. It better, because it's intended to satisfy the ghosts and gremlins.
Thanks so much, Frank, for sharing the meaning of Samhaim. It is always fun to learn some of the background surrounding our celebrations and holidays, such as Halloween.
Wishing all of you a very Blessed Samhain!!! Thank you Frank for your beautiful graphic and your explanation of the meaning of this very special night.
As I have in previous years, I will once again spend time this evening with a meal for several family members who have passed over. It is quite an experience and one I look forward to every year.
Thank you Gail for the kind words and for sharing how you commemorate Samhain in your family. Have a most lovely evening tonight.
Enjoy your evening, Gail!
Thank you Frank for sharing meaning of this Holiday.And beutiful tag you made.Enjoy everyone this evening.Be safe and well.
Enjoy your evening, Lady F!
Nice to have music for the evening, Florika. The opening words "Samhain, Samhain" show how the word was actually pronounced, and the opening line goes well with my comment image.
Fascinating! I am recovering from a power outage.. On Halloween, there were no houses with power and no street lights. Even if children came to the houses the bells wouldn't ring.
Anyway thanks so much for this most interesting information about Samhain, Frank!
So it was all trick and no treat for Halloween - sounds spooky!