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Thread: Samhain

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    Samhain

    Hi there!
    So tonight it's Samhain if I'm correct.
    My question is, who of you celebrates Samhain and how do you do that?

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    Bronze Member Munin-Hugin's Avatar
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    Re: Samhain

    Quote Originally Posted by DeOndergaandeZon View Post
    Hi there!
    So tonight it's Samhain if I'm correct.
    My question is, who of you celebrates Samhain and how do you do that?
    That it is! There's a thread right over here ----> http://www.paganforum.com/showthread...0928-Halloween for all the answers you seek! Enjoy!

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    Re: Samhain

    Oh, thank you! Should've looked further for it.

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    Re: Samhain

    I believe Samhain and Halloween to be separate things and will be celebrated differently depending on who you ask. Plus, the Halloween thread is in the Holiday section. This thread is in Celtic Traditions, therefore I expect the answers to differ based on that alone.
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    Copper Member Briton's Avatar
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    Re: Samhain

    Hallowe'en is completely different. Samhain was on the 28th. All Hallow's Eve is a non-pagan Christian fasting day (which always happens before a feast day/period) before the feast day All Saint's Day, November 1st which was made so in the 4th century when a bishop consecrated a chapel in northern Italy in, I believe, the 4th century. There is nothing, not a jot, pagan about Hallowe'en.

    Sorry it appears there is disagreement over the dating of Samhain. The important thing is that it is completely unrelated to Hallowe'en, founded by people who hadn't come across such a festival in a part of the world where it wasn't being celebrated, and for a completely different cause. The modern Hallowe'en with "evil stuff" is fairly recent, post medieval.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I'd be interested to know the basis for October 31st every year for Samhain regarding a culture which did not use our calendar but a lunar calendar and no written evidence. "October 31st" is rather meaningless in such a calendar. Can anyone explain?
    Last edited by Briton; 31 Oct 2015 at 09:53.
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    Bronze Member Munin-Hugin's Avatar
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    Re: Samhain

    Quote Originally Posted by Juniper View Post
    I believe Samhain and Halloween to be separate things and will be celebrated differently depending on who you ask. Plus, the Halloween thread is in the Holiday section. This thread is in Celtic Traditions, therefore I expect the answers to differ based on that alone.
    Very true. I didn't realize this was in the Celtic section earlier. My bad

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Briton View Post
    Hallowe'en is completely different. Samhain was on the 28th. All Hallow's Eve is a non-pagan Christian fasting day (which always happens before a feast day/period) before the feast day All Saint's Day, November 1st which was made so in the 4th century when a bishop consecrated a chapel in northern Italy in, I believe, the 4th century. There is nothing, not a jot, pagan about Hallowe'en.

    Sorry it appears there is disagreement over the dating of Samhain. The important thing is that it is completely unrelated to Hallowe'en, founded by people who hadn't come across such a festival in a part of the world where it wasn't being celebrated, and for a completely different cause. The modern Hallowe'en with "evil stuff" is fairly recent, post medieval.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I'd be interested to know the basis for October 31st every year for Samhain regarding a culture which did not use our calendar but a lunar calendar and no written evidence. "October 31st" is rather meaningless in such a calendar. Can anyone explain?
    Basically, it blends into the concepts brought up in the Pagan Cultural Appropriation thread. Since there is so much of a disagreement as to the date, whether it's a set day, or timing based off of moons, or the day after a certain frog fats seven times before sunrise, or whatever, it's really just very much simpler for folks to use the day of Halloween. After all, who knows just how much holidays have REALLY shifted since we added in daylight savings time and all that jazz, plus leap year. Which really, if you think about it, it's interesting that a Christian holiday venerating the Saints and the Dead aka All Souls Day, comes right around the same time as a pagan celebration for the dead, which was around long before the Christian shindig got started.

    As for the day, Well, see above.

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    Re: Samhain

    The "thinning of the veil" or the time that "spirits have access to the physical realms" is celebrated at the same time of year in many different cultures. When or where it started is a good question which might be debated for years. The specific names are all different due to the different languages (just like the names of deities) but I find it "interesting" that the practice is often around the same time of year.

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    Re: Samhain

    Quote Originally Posted by Munin-Hugin View Post
    Very true. I didn't realize this was in the Celtic section earlier. My bad
    I thought you didn't. Nevertheless, there are a few Samhain related posts in that thread so it was useful.

    As for the date, multiple sources said it to be today. (More or less) Briton, why do you think it's on the 28th? If they used lunar calendars (and they did), wouldn't the date change each year anyway?

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    Re: Samhain

    Well I am celebrating it today, lol.

    I took a hike on top of a ridge above my campus--was a bit difficult to get up there, but once I got to the top, I was kinda blown away by the view! I hiked over to this big tree which really stands out from down below, and students call it the "tree of life." It doesn't look unlike its namesake--I figured it would be a nice place to visit, and it was.

    On the way, I saw some dark stones, so I took them, and when sitting underneath the tree, I made a little altar type set-up, and meditated. I put one of those green pine needle fan type things on the ground at the base of the tree, then on top of that the 3 dark stones, and then an apple I brought with me, on top of that as an offering. I also burned some incense and mediated; I was thinking about my grandfather who deceased years ago. If I had the right booze, I would mix up one of his Manhattans and drink it in his honor! But he wasn't foreign to whiskey so that will do!

    Also I didn't think of it as connected to Samhain, but today I successfully baked my first batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, a "famous" (among my friends) recipe of my mom's, without any help, and I will share them with my living community.

    I believe that there was an English tradition, regarding "soul cakes"--not sure if there was any connection to old Pagan traditions there or what, but there's that.

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    Copper Member Briton's Avatar
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    Re: Samhain

    So my wife and I went to Avebury tonight and it was brilliant. A very enjoyable experience. We will go again next year.

    I wanted to go light a candle and some incense up at the back of the West Kennet long barrow but it was very foggy, late (about 10pm) and the only other vehicle parked was a battered white van. It was basically a horror movie script mixed with the local paper's next headline.

    Soul cakes are Christian.
    Last edited by Briton; 31 Oct 2015 at 14:29.
    I'm not one to ever pray for mercy
    Or to wish on pennies in the fountain or the shrine
    But that day you know I left my money
    And I thought of you only
    All that copper glowing fine

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