The origins of Halloween are more than likely not what you thought. Before Christianity, the night before November 1st was known as Samhain. A Gaelic word meaning “summer’s end”, and Celts observed it in Europe. Most people believe Halloween to be a night of the ghouls and devil, but this is not true. The festival celebrated the day when animals were slaughtered for food stores to last through winter. And the harvest was carried out, marking the beginning of Celtic New Year on November 1st./p>
It is believed that Druids would light bonfires and wear costumes to scare away harmful spirits from their homes.Wwhile families would share stories of ghosts or otherworldly beings who might visit them that night. With the veil between the living and the dead at its weakest, the fires burning drew out the spirits. Not necessarily evil spirits, but they did come through and cause havoc. Our team at Spirit Shack have been fascinated by Samhain and the arrival of the spirits for many years. And it is a great night to get your ghost hunting equipment out!
Samhaim; A Harvest Festival Tradition
Samhain is a festival that goes hand in hand with Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh all Celtic seasonal festivals from around 2000 years ago. Carried out in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England and Northern France. These festivals were to symbolise the changing seasons. Samhain was held on October 31st at sunset, through into the early hours of November 1st. Representing the change from the autumn equinox into the winter solstice.
The word “Samhain” in Gaelic is pronounced SAH-wen, and it means Summers end; this festival was one of the most significant of the four. This festival represented the harvest and the food stores for winter.
Where Did Samhain Come From?
Samhain is the festival of harvest. It became a festival when the Celts began slaughtering animals and harvesting their crops for winter. During this time, they burned pyres to keep villagers warm. It quickly became Samhain, the festival that continued for many years to come. Preparing homes for the winter was also carried out during this festival.
It is also a spiritual festival; this is the time of year when the barrier between earth and the spirit world is at its weakest. Allowing spirits, ghosts, faeries and paranormal to enter the realm of the earth and revisit their past, cause havoc or walk the earth. The intensity of paranormal and ghost activity is continuously recorded to be the highest on Samhain. Back in the days of the festival and even modern-day.
The burning of the fires is said to of helped control the spirits. Still, we have found that not much is written down about the original Celtic festival of Samhain. Most of the specifics remain shrouded in mystery; how exciting!
Is Samhain Linked To Satanic Origins?
It is a common misconception that Samhain was a night associated with the devil. This is mainly down to an amateur historian Charles Vallancey, who visited Ireland on a mission in 1762, where the Celts were following Samhain traditions at the time. During his visits to Ireland, he wrote a three-volume work on history and culture. Within this documentation, he wrongly stated that historians had misinterpreted the word “Samhain”.
Vallancey referred to it as being about a Celt god named “Balsab”, which in turn meant “Lord Of Death”. Scholars across the globe dismissed this theory, but he continued to write about the Lord Samhain, burning human sacrifices and barbaric rituals of Samhain. Celts were referred to in the early days as barbaric people who were bloodthirsty and often engaged in rituals and sacrifices of animals. But it has never been found to be true they followed the lord of death into the dark of night on Samhain. What do you think? Is Samhain a festival of harvest or a ritual to the lord of death?
Samhain Is Still Celebrated Now
It is not celebrated in the same way as history suggests, but Samhain is still celebrated. Religious groups such as Neo-Pagans have given it a modern twist. From ritual recreations to full harvest festivals, with pyres, dancing and music along with a great feast.
Continuing a historical tradition that the celts began over 2000 years ago is impressive. And practising pagans have made sure the harvest festival rituals have continued. In a world where other countries have turned it into a night of ghost hunting and asking for sweets. It would be an adventure to go to Ireland to celebrate a traditional Samhain.
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From a more spiritual perspective, the Samhain holiday celebrates the end of the harvest season and is seen as a time of reflection. The Celtic people would offer gifts to their departed loved ones to honour them for helping with crops during the year.
In addition, it was believed that on October 31st, all manner of spirits from around the world were said to wander about freely. Including fairies, goblins, ghosts, witches and warlocks. While many modern versions have been watered down over centuries by Christian influence (such as trick or treating). There are still some aspects worth celebrating – such as honouring your ancestors who came before you and enjoying some spooky fun!
Why not use our high-quality ghost hunting equipment to help try and communicate with the spirits who come and visit you on Samhain this year? Regardless of whether you believe it is a satanic festival or for the harvest, Samhain/ Halloween is a great time to try your hand at ghost hunting. There will be spirits of every kind walking the earth on November 31st, be ready!