User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow:

October 16, 2011

Samhain and Halloween in Britian and Ireland

by Marc Latham
Millions of people still celebrate the Halloween festival that takes place on October 31st, and this article describes its history and traditions.

At the end of October and early November people all over the world celebrate the end of summer with festivals of fire and tricks. In Britain and Ireland the celebration has been taking place for centuries.

From Samhain to Halloween
 Samhain means summer's end, and was the Celtic New Year. It was the second major fire festival of the Celtic Year, and ran from sunset on 31 October to sunset on 2 November. In Ancient Wisdom (Parragon: 2002), Cassandra Eason wrote that 'It originally marked the onset of winter, when the cattle were brought from the hills...The Celts believed that with the onset of winter the ghosts of the departed would come shivering from the woodlands and bare fields for the shelter of their former cottages. Food would be left in the kitchens or parlours for them.'

British Paganism came under attack from Christianity after the Romans invaded in the first century AD, with many holy sites destroyed, and the old traditions frowned upon.