Third/Last Harvest, Blood Harvest, Halloween, Old Hallowmas, All Hallows Eve, All Saint’s Eve, Witch’s New Year, Feast/Day of the Dead, Ancestor Night, Feast of Spirits, Feast of Apples, Festival of Pomona, Samonios, Samana, Shadowfest (Strega), Nos Galan/Calan Gaeaf (Welsh), Vetrablot/Winternight (Norse)

October 31

Cross-quarter Fire Festival, Greater Sabbat

Samhain (SOW-in), also known as the Witch’s New Year, is one of the most important Wiccan sabbats.  It marks the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter.  It is thought that the veil between the worlds is thinnest at this time, therefore Samhain is a good opportunity to honour our ancestors and celebrate the cycle of death and rebirth.

Families would light candles in their windows and set a place at their tables for deceased ancestors as it was thought that they would return at Samhain.  However some spirits were not welcome, leading to people to try to hide their identity by wearing masks and costumes.

It is a time to honour goddesses of the Underworld, including Hecate, Hel, the Morrigan, Cerridwen, and Persephone.  Symbols of Samhain include carved pumpkins and gourds, pomegranates, apples, food offerings, faeries, balefires, masks, besoms, cauldrons, divination, and the waning moon.


© A Year And A Day (2013)

One thought on “Samhain

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