All Hallows Eve - the Celtic Samhain tradition

All Hallows Eve, Halloween, Samhain -

All Hallows Eve - the Celtic Samhain tradition

Halloween Blog

This would have to be my most favourite time of year, Halloween. Halloween has always been something that we have celebrated in our family and this tradition has been made so much more special by the addition of our children. Where it was once about parties and horror movies, now it is Trick or Treating and children’s horror movies. We also follow the old traditions of Samhain.

It is widely believed that Halloween originated from ancient Celtic Harvest Festivals, in particular Samhain. Samhain, comes from the Old Irish word for “Summer End” and was the first and most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Gaelic calendar. This was celebrated on the 31st of October till the 1st of November. Till this day, Samhain, is still the Gaelic and Welsh name for Halloween.

Halloween Blog - Crawford Gifts

Halloween is also seen as a liminal time, when the boundary between this world and the spirit worlds are thinned. This meant that spirits or fairies could move easily into our world. The souls of the dead were also said to visit the homes of loved ones. We set a place at the dinner table and also light candles to offer the spirits. Other festivities include apple bobbing, scrying, tarot card reading and dream interpreting.

Also another widespread tradition is the carving of the Jack-O-Lantern. Traditionally, pranksters used hallowed pumpkins or turnips carved with faces as lanterns to ward off evil spirits. 

Halloween Blog - Crawford Gifts

This tradition spread through England and over to America throughout the 19th century. Another method of warding off these spirits was to wear a mask so the spirit could not recognise their loved ones, this also has become the long tradition of wearing costumes while Trick or Treating. 

From all of us we are wishing you a night full of frights and a bag full of delights.

Nicole Grundy

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