It should come as no suprise that today's blog is about All Hallows Eve. For witches it is the biggest festival of the year. They call it Samhain (pronounced Sah-ween) and is a celebration of Summer's end and the time to prepare for Winter ahead.
All Hallows Eve (October 31st) has its roots in an ancient, pre-Christian Celtic festival. It was the date where the dead were able to mingle with living, because those souls were traveling to the otherworld. The Feast of the Dead, or Festival of the Dead was a celebration of rememberance. People gathered to sacrifce animals, fruits, and vegetables to honor the dead. They lit bonfires to honor the dead, to aid them in their journey, and to keep them away from the living.
Samhain became Halloween when Christian missionaries attempted to change the regiious practicies of the Celtic people. Wipe them out, really. The Christian feast of All Saints was assigned to November 1st. This is the day that every Christian saint is honored. It was meant to substitute for Samhain, but that didn't happen. Ancient Samhain beliefs remained strong. Even trick or treating can be traced back to the ancent Celtics. The wearing of costumes, for example, and roaming from door-to-door demanding treats is a Celtic practice. Food and drink were left outside the doors to placate fairies, witches and demonds. The practice was called mumming (which eventually turned into trick-or-treating). One English custom was begging at the door for a 'soul cake', a form of shortbread. Those beggers promised to pray for the dead of the houehold. Sound familiar?
All Hallows Eve. Halloween. All Saints Day. It doesn't matter what it is called. Witches and Christians celebrate the same day. It is the favorite time of year for witches. They are looking back and looking forward at the same time.
With that thought in mind, what are you putting behind you? What do hope to accomplish in the future?
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