Samhain

Most people are aware by now that the beginnings of Halloween came from a Celtic festival. This harvest festival is called Samhain (pronounced sah-win or sow-in). It marked the end of harvest season and the beginning of winter, the darker half of the year, and is located right between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice. Many believe it also marked the Celtic New Year. This was the time when cattle were brought down from the summer high pastures, and some were slaughtered to provide meat for the winter.

Along with Beltane in the spring, Samhain was seen as a time when the veil between the earth and the spirit realm was thinnest. This was a time when the Sidhe (pronounced like she), the nature spirits, visited our world. It was also a time when the souls of the dead revisited their homes seeking hospitality. People went door to do in costume or disguise, reciting verses in exchange for food. The costumes may have been a way for the wearers to disguise themselves from the gods and nature spirits abroad that night.

Bonfires were lit on this night. People put out lanterns carved out of pumpkins and turnips to provide light since all households let their fires go out so they could be rekindled from the new fire; this was believed to be good luck for all households. The name “Jack-O-Lantern” means “Jack of the Lantern, ” and comes from an old Irish tale. Jack was a man who could enter neither heaven nor hell and was condemned to wander through the night with only a candle in a turnip for light. From this old festival, do our modern Halloween customs arise.

samhain

Quotes about Halloween

A grandmother pretends she doesn’t know who you are on Halloween.–Erma Bombeck

Never let your kids buy an off-the-shelf Halloween costume. Forbid it, no matter how close you may be to the witching hour. Instead, help them make their own. Encourage them to use their imaginations and their ingenuity. Show them that what can be created is often better than what can be bought. And besides, don’t the darkest, most frightening things live inside us anyway?–Joe Kita

Hold on, man. We don’t go anywhere with “scary,” “spooky,” “haunted,” or “forbidden” in the title.–From Scooby-Doo

When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween.
~Author unknown

I don’t know that there are real ghosts and goblins, but there are always more trick-or-treaters than neighborhood kids.–Robert Brault

Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen,
Voices whisper in the trees, “Tonight is Halloween!”–Dexter Kozen

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!
~ Scottish saying

Nothing beats a haunted moonlit night on All Hallows Eve… And on this fatal night, at this witching time, the starless sky laments black and unmoving. The somber hues of an ominous, dark forest are suddenly illuminated under the emerging face of the full moon.–Kim Elizabeth

The worst thing about Halloween is, of course, candy corn. It’s unbelievable to me. Candy corn is the only candy in the history of America that’s never been advertised. And there’s a reason. All of the candy corn that was ever made was made in 1911. And so, since nobody eats that stuff, every year there’s a ton of it left over.–Lewis Black

It’s said that All Hallows’ Eve is one of the nights when the veil between the worlds is thin – and whether you believe in such things or not, those roaming spirits probably believe in you, or at least acknowledge your existence, considering that it used to be their own. Even the air feels different on Halloween, autumn-crisp and bright.–Erin Morgenster

Find more than 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at http://www.quotelady.com

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