Samhain and Halloween
Most people know the 31st of October as Halloween. Its true name is Samhain a time used by the pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter.
Samhain takes place on the 31st October - Halloween Eve. This is the time when black cats, orange pumpkins and winter starts to occupy your mind. This is the final harvest ritual of the Celtic year. Ripe fruits and nuts are gathered. Some are prepared for the feast and others are stored for future use. Many vegetables and fruits are canned and then placed away in cupboards. For those who rely on farming to exist, they thin the herds out so there will be enough food for the livestock through the winter months at this time. Often the animals they choose to butcher are the weakest and are the ones that will not survive the intense cold.
Samhain, contrary to what some believe, is not a Celtic god of the dead. Instead, it is a Celtic word meaning “summer end” The Celts, like many other cultures; saw the dark of the day or year as the beginning. Their days began at sunset and the winter half of the year starting on November 1st, was the beginning of their new year, just as it is for many Wicca’s or pagans. The end of summer was significant to them because it meant the time of year when the structure of their lives changed radically.
The cattle were brought down from the summer pastures in the hills and the people were gathered in their homes for the long winter nights of story-telling and handcrafts.
In the Druidic calendar, this was the time when barriers between man and the supernatural were lowered. Fires were lit to honor the descending sun god. On the eve of Samhain, the gates of the abyss were unlocked and spirits from below flew free. Human souls that had been trapped in the bodies of animals were released by the Lord of the Dead and sent to their new incarnations.
To Pagans Samhain is the festival of the dead, and for many it is the most important Sabbath of the year. Although the feast of the dead form a major part of most pagan celebrations on this eve, it is important to remember that nearly all pagans consider the disturbance of the dead immoral, and at this festival only voluntary communications are expected and hoped for.
The departed are never harassed, and their presence is never commanded. The spirits of the dead are however, ritually invited to attend the Sabbath and to be present within the circle. Samhain represents the threshold between the world of the living and the realm of spirit, and it is at this time that the veil between their world and our world is very thin.
In honor of this pagan festival they would offer a plate of fruits to the spirits in attendance, along with a goblet of wine. Candles are burned in remembrance of loved ones who have passed on. Apples and pomegranates are eaten to represent the opposites of life and death. On this night you can place a loved one’s picture and a candle in the window of your home, this shows them the way to return and celebrate with you.
Therefor Halloween is a night we have maded and has no connection with the real meaning for Sahaim.