All Hallows Eve
The term Halloween, and its older spelling Hallowe'en, is shortened from All-hallow-even, as it is the evening before All Hallows' Day. In Ireland the name is All Hallows' Eve (usually shortened to Hallow Eve and pronounced Hallaeve).
A (very) Brief History
Samhain, (All Hallows Eve, Halloween) originated with the Celtic tribes who lived in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brittany. For the Celts this Festival marked the end of summer - the coming of winter. the two halves of the year - the dark and the light. Summer runs from Beltane to Samhain and winter from Samhain to Beltane. Samhain is one of the Greater Sabbats observed by pagans and Wiccans.
For Celts Samhain is a time when the bridge that separates the world of the living and the world of the dead becomes firmer, allowing spirits and ghosts and ghouls to cross over. These spirits or departed souls are honored and asked to grant luck and prosperity. Regardless what you call it today it is a festival dedicated to the dead
As the souls of the dead walk the land so do the evil spirits, people wear masks and light bonfires to scare them away.
ancient and astronomical
Halloween's origin is ancient and astronomical. Since the fifth century BC, Halloween has been celebrated as a cross-quarter day, a day halfway between an equinox (equal day / equal night) and a solstice (minimum day / maximum night in the northern hemisphere)
Samhain marks the start of the New Year, the dark time...
Did you know ?
in Ireland people went door-to-door collecting food and sticks or turf for a feast and bonfire. Those who gave got good luck; those who did not got bad luck.
lanterns were originally made from turnip
purdy (potato) pudding is only made in Ireland once a year at Samhain
Statue from Boa Island (Dreenan), County Fermanagh, Ireland
Perhaps this statue in Co Fermanagh represents that balance between male and female, where each is equal. This is much in evidence in the old world;- the dark - the light Samhain - Beltane..
Man and woman joined, a bridge to the old - to the new, to the dead - to the living, to the past - to the future.
This looking back and forward explains the reverence for the dead at this turn of the year and the focus on offerance to the gods for the future.
There is a tradition still in ireland that a place is set at the table for anyone who died during the year. The dead can return, if they so desire.
As the dead can enter this world the barrier to future 'worlds' is weakest at this time. All around the island of All Hallows Eve the barriers fall. This day was often selected for a scrying or glimpse of the future.
I'm the third from the left or the second from the left if you are standing behind us, you could even say I was in the middle if you just looked at us from the side.... if you're looking at us from satellite and your resolution is up to it I'm the one with the glove.