Samhain

by MSO

The Celts believed that many trees were inhabited by spirits or had spirits of their own. From this ancient respect for the power of trees came the expressions 'touch wood' and 'knock on wood'.

Samhain (Samain, Samuin) is a Gaelic harvest festival held at the beginning of winter, which marked the end of the season for trade and warfare, and was an ideal date for tribal assemblies in medieval Ireland. The practice of Samhain has been documented in Old Irish literature dating as far back as the 10th century.

Beginning October 31st through November 5th, Samhain coincides with All Saints’ Day, and commemorates the souls of the blessed dead who had been canonized that year, and when prayers were to be offered to the souls who have departed and were waiting in Purgatory for entry into Heaven.

Considered a significant time for divination, Samhain was the chief of the the three Spirit Nights, bringing forth games which frequently featured apples and nuts from the recent harvest and a heavy use of candles as it added to the atmosphere of mystery. In Scottish tradition a child born on Samhain is said to be gifted with the “Two Sights” of clairvoyance.

Samhain is still celebrated today by neopagans.

Read more:

Feast of Samhain

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