Happy Halloween, All Souls Night, and Samhain!

This week we celebrate Halloween, All Hollows Eve, All Souls Day, and for others Samhain.

In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints; soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain and included all souls.

The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, donning costumes and eating sweet treats.

This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the veil between the living and the dead became the thinnest. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. Today, there are those who choose to practice Wicca and hold many similar beliefs.

Loreena McKennitt Dantes Prayer

More from the History Channel Here

Halloween Origins: What is Samhain?
These Halloween origins are a time in which Druidism and Celtic Reconstructionists celebrate Samhain as a feast for the dead. Divination and fortune telling is believed to have better communication with the spirit world because the fall season holds the thinnest partition between the two worlds of the living and the dead. The Druids built huge sacred bonfires to offer sacrifices to the many Celtic deities that number over five hundred named gods. Before each yearly sacred bonfire, the Celts would extinguish their hearth fires and relight them with embers from the bonfire.

Samhain, All Souls Night, Celtic New Year. Music by Loreena McKennitt

Wishing everyone a wonderful week and a magickal Halloween, All Souls Night and Samhain.

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