October 31st is a fun time of year, Halloween parties, jack-o-lanterns, trick or treating and all the other traditions that come with it are super fun especially when you’re a kid dressing up and eating way too many sweets. The horror elements of Halloween are always my favourite though to this day I have never watched a horror film all the way through! If you want spooky stories or horror game tales I’ve got a few posts worth reading:
Halloween however, also falls on the same day as another older celebration. Samhain, a traditional gaelic celebration traditionally marking the end of the harvest season. The traditions of Samhain (pronounced “sow-in”) are still celebrated in parts of Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The celebration is also still celebrated in many modern pagan faiths as the most important holiday in the wheel of the year (pictured below) as almost the equivalent to New Year’s.
It just so happens that this year Samhain falls on Wednesday when I usually post and so I have decided I am taking a break from blogging on the day and most of the week. In my Coat of Arms post I allude to my pagan faith a bit and it is because of this that I have chosen to take the day off and celebrate!
For those of you who may be a little bit curious about what that means I thought I’d give a bit of detail about the day and traditions below. But if you’re not too interested, that’s fine too and I hope you have a great Halloween all the same! Are you doing anything to celebrate Halloween?
Samhain marks the end of summer and the beginning of winter. Traditionally it also marks the last harvest of the year and the time when the first frost usually arrives at least for us in the Northern Hemisphere. On Samhain it is believed that the veil between us and the afterlife is at its thinnest and spirits roam the world (christians hold similar beliefs around Halloween). As such its a time to honor those that have died.
Some of the traditions I follow on the day include carving a pumpkin, making a Samhain cake (an apple bread which tastes amazing!), also the lighting of a candle placed at an open window is supposed to help spirits of dead relatives find your home and setting a place for ancestors at the table is also a practice I follow. I also will visit the graves of dead family members and leave flowers as well as use forms of divination like tarot which work best on the night of Samhain. I would also like to state it’s all about celebrating and remembering your ancestors and is not meant to be as morbid as maybe visiting a graveyard sounds! It’s a time for good food, cakes, music and all that good stuff.
Everything I’ve said may seem a bit out there to some people and that’s fine. Purely looking at Samhain from a non-religious angle it is still a celebration to honor, remember and celebrate people close to us that have passed away. There’s a lot of stuff I do around this time and working it around my day job is tricky so I may be a little more quiet on social media and my blog than usual as I celebrate Samhain over the coming days and weekend.
Whether you celebrate Halloween, Samhain, All Saints Day, any other celebrations I may have missed or none at all hope you have an amazing week, keep warm (it was below freezing at home today!) and have fun. Normal geeky and gaming posts will be returning this weekend.
Thanks for reading to the end!
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