A Conversation for Halloween
Huw B Started conversation Jun 17, 2000
I've often seen Samhain referred to as Celtic or Pagan but as far as I can see it was just an Irish term. Can anyone confirm this?
In Welsh (there are celts other than the Irish!) the day is 'Calangaeaf' or 'Winter's Eve'.
I'm not really here Posted Jun 19, 2000
As far as I know, Samhain (pronounced Saw-wain) was from the gaelic sam fuin meaning "end of summer". So in effect it is just an Irish word used for a pagan festival. In the same way that the word Easter is thought to come from Scandanavian Ostra, or Teutonic Ostern or Eastre and used for a Christian festival.
Huw B Posted Jun 25, 2000
End of Summer? In a good year Summer can last to the end of September - an 'Indian Summer/Haf Bach Mihangel'. But surely the end of October is much too late in the year?
Things like this intrigue me. It may be that the translation 'summer' is not quite accurate, that the day has moved over time or even that the weather has changed over the millenia. Do you know anything about this?
I'm not really here Posted Jun 25, 2000
The Celts observed only two seasons of the year: summer and winter. Which would match your "Winter's Eve".
But you are right that the Autumn Equinox is usually the 23rd (ish) September, and it is celebrated in it's own right.
Samhain is Irish Gaelic for the month of November. Samhuin is Scottish Gaelic for All Hallows, November 1st.
So really, I am now totally confused myself about it.
Huw B Posted Jul 2, 2000
Don't be confused!
Winter's Eve and Summer's End are the same thing if you're not bothered about Autumn. Yearly divisons have varied greatly throughout history and so it's not odd that there is this difference. After all, Halloween occurs in October. For historical reasons it is now the Tenth month although 'Octo' means Eight - explain that to the ancient Celts!.
Silly Willy Posted Nov 1, 2000
In days gone by Hallowe'en marked the end of one year and the beginning of another. All Hallows day was when the farm land was divided up between the people.
Key: Complain about this post
More Conversations for Halloween
Write an Entry
"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."