Brief summery of Samhain. My favorite day of the year. Hope this get you excited, make sure to share your excitement with others. Enjoy :)
Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year.
It is celebrated from sunset on 31 October to sunset on 1 November, which is nearly halfway between the autumn equinoxand the winter solstice. Along with Imbolc,Beltane and Lughnasadh it makes up the four Gaelic seasonal festivals. It was observed in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Kindred festivals were held at the same time of year in other Celtic lands; for example the Brythonic Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall) and Kalan Goanv (in Brittany).
Samhain is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and is believed to have pre-Christian origins. Many important events inIrish mythology happen or begin on Samhain. It was the time when cattle were brought back down from the summer pastures and when livestock were slaughtered for the winter.As at Beltane, special bonfires were lit. These were deemed to have protective and cleansing powers and there were rituals involving them.
Samhain (like Beltane) was seen as a time when the spirits or fairies could more easily come into our world and were particularly active. Feasts were had, at which the souls of dead were beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them.However, the spirits or fairies could also cause harm, and needed to be propitiated or warded-off.
This may have led to the custom of guising. Divination rituals were also a big part of the festival. In the late 19th century, SirJohn Rhys and Sir James Frazer suggested that it was the "Celtic New Year", and this view has been repeated by some other scholars.