SAMHAIN marks the end of the harvest and Wiccan New year.
Samhain, (Sow-in) an ancient pagan Celtic festival that is Gaelic for “summer’s end,” a day to bid good-bye to warmth and light. The ancient Celts believed that the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was at its thinnest during Samhain, thereby making it the ideal time to communicate with the deceased and to divine the future.
Following the triumph of the Roman Empire over Celt-occupied lands in the 1st century A.D., the Romans combined many of the Celtic traditions, including Samhain, with their own. This day evolved into All Hallows’ Day or All Hallowmas, “hallow” meaning “to sanctify.”
Years later, the Roman Catholic Church designated November 1 as All Saints’ Day, in honor of all Catholic saints. It was celebrated with a mass, bonfires, and people costumed as angels and saints parading through the villages. November 2 brings All Souls’ Day, a holy day set aside for honoring the dead and departed.
Just as November 1 was once called All Hallows’ Day, October 31 was called All Hallows’ Eve. Over time, All Hallows’ Eve was shortened to Halloween!
Trick-or-treating is said to have been derived from ancient Irish and Scottish practices in the nights leading up to Samhain. In Ireland, mumming was the practice of putting on costumes, going door-to-door and singing songs to the dead. Cakes were given as payment which now have been replaced by sweets.
Halloween pranks also have a tradition in Samhain, though in the ancient celebration, tricks were typically blamed on fairies.
This also marks the thinning of the veils between us and the spirit world.
I believe in every religion, tradition, and culture there is a day where you honour the deceased in the family and different rituals to pay homage and respect to all those who have come before you, our ancestors.