Celts & Halloween!!

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The influence of the Celt on Halloween is thought to have been more profound than in any other part of the world where the festival is celebrated. The word Halloween has Christian roots but historians believe that it is more typically linked to the pagan Celtic festival of Samhain which comes from the Old Irish for “summer’s end.Samhain was the first and most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Gaelic (Irish, Scottish and Manx calendar.It was held on or about October 31 – November 1 and kindred festivals were held at the same time of year in other Celtic lands; for example the Brythonic Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall) and Kalan Goañv (in Brittany). Samhain is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and many important events in Irish mythology happen or begin on Samhain.

The event marked the end of the summer and the beginning of the dark half of the year. Bonfires were lit and sacrifices arranged some of them of the human variety. One can only hope that this pleasant end to the summer involved the English given the festival originated along the Belt of the Celts.

Happy Samhain J

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