The Wilderness Hunter

exploring colorado in all seasons

Samhain

Happy Samhain! Or Halloween as it is called these days. For those of you who don’t know, I have a deep fascination with Celtic lore and ancient Celtic traditions, and Halloween is one of the ancient Celtic festivals that survived through the ages into modern times. Though the purpose, like so many other holidays and rituals, has deviated a bit from the original. This is actually the end of the Druid calendar, but more specifically during the new moon around this time, though it is easier to go by the the date October 31st. Samhain is one of the three traditional harvest festivals, following Lughnasadh and Autumn Equinox. The Celtic legend says that all crops were to be harvested by this day, since anything left in the fields belonged to the “callieach,” an old hag embodied in the final sheaf of crops that the sickle-bearing reapers ritually cut from the earth and preserved inside the cottage until planting the next year. The “callieach” is still present to day in the form of the witches that are a common theme with today’s Halloween. Samhain is also the Celtic period of opening to the Otherworlds that allow the spirits of the dead to crossover. Since during this time the restless spirits are their most active, we would dress up to look like them since the opening to the Otherworlds allow the living and dead to mingle for a period of time. On that note, enjoy your Halloween!

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