For most folks, Samhain (pronounced “sow-en” is known as Halloween however, for some of us hippy’s and Pagan folk it is marked as a Sabbat to honour those who came before us. Samhain marks the dark portion of the year.
There are many rumours about where the name Samhain derives from and I have even heard that Samhain is one of the names for the god of death – I think this is a little far fetched though. Scholars have agreed that Samhain is taken from the Gaelic “Samhiun” which means wither the beginning or the end of summer.
Sunset on Samhain the actually the beginning of the Celtic new year and offers opportunity to look at letting go of the old in our life and getting on with the new, embracing change and being at one with yourself and nature. The old year has passed, the harvest gathered and leaves are falling from the trees. This is a signification that the earth is dying around us and we must take great care of it to bring it back to life!
This is the perfect time to think about what you have done and achieved in the last 12 months and also, to look to the next 12 and work out what you want to do and where you want to be. De-clutter your life and get rid of those projects that you know that you just won’t finish (this is something that we are all guilty of) 🙂
During Samhain, the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest so, if you believe then it is the perfect time to try and make contact with the spirit world and celebrate the loves of loved ones lost. This time it is said is when if you are lucky enough, your loved ones can communicate back with you through some means. It is also said that because the limen is so thin that it is the perfect setting for the spirits of the Faeries to come through. These spirits have been known to be called Asos Si – most scholars see Asos Si as remnants of matures spirits and pagan gods.
Back when Samhain was celebrated many moons ago, offerings used to be left for the gods along the lines of animal sacrifices. These days we just tend to leave offerings of food and drink whilst celebrating the gods and the elements at our alters. There are many similarities between modern day Samhain and the past;
- Gatherings with friends and family to have drinks and feasts. At these feasts the ones lost to us are offered a place at the table to join in the celebrations.
- Trick or Treating (known back then as guising) where we dress up in costume, knock on doors and trade verse for goodies. Usually just by saying “Trick or Treat”.
- Carving pumpkins – now this is fun. We try to carve pumpkins every year if we can – we have a few in mind to carve this week so check back next week where we will post pics of our Samhain adventures.
As I mentioned Samhain is known to many as Halloween. Halloween has come from All Hallows Eve which is of course the eve before All Hallows Day 1st November. All Hallows Eve is from a Christian descent.
Regardless of if you are hippy, pagan, Christian or any religion there is no reason that Samhain cannot be celebrated in the same manner.
We celebrate Samhain from a young age where we are encouraged to dress up cute and scary costumes and go and knock our streets for sweeties and the occasional piece of fruit. As you get older it is not so celebrated in the same way as there is something not quite right about grownups trick or treating… older is when we can start hosting Samhain Halloween parties for friends and family. If you love decorating then Samhain is the holiday for you as it is a prefect opportunity to dress your house in spookiness!
No matter how you celebrate you should always have as much fun as you can and stay safe.
If you are out and about and are not dressing up, ensure that you stay nice and warm.
Here at Mystical Mayhem clothing we have a great range of hippy clothes that are perfect for being outdoors – from nice big woollen fleece lined hippy jumpers, hippy gloves, hats and scarves all the way through to nice thick trousers and woollen sock which are perfect for keeping your hippy feet warm at home or in your shoes.