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Since Halloween is so close, I decide to recollect some history about the Celtics and what they do for the Halloween day.

The beginning of everything
The Samhain, actually called Halloween, was a pagan holiday to say goodbye to the year is over and to celebrate the start of a new one. The calendar wasn't solar. They combined the lunar cycles with the agricultural cycle. The year was divided into two seasons that correspond to the actual solar calendar: from November to March was the dark half. There was its beginning in the month of Samonios. From April to October was the clear half and started in the month of Giamonios. The last day of the year was between October and November, that’s the reason why Halloween celebrated on October 31st.

When the Catholic Church start his expansion, adopted a lot of holidays from another village to its own dogma. Then, when they know about the Samhain, the Catholic Leaders transformed the day in the “Saints Day”. In the beginning, the celebration was the 1st of November, but the Celtics celebrated in the night; that’s the reason why they started to name the last night of October. That’s the origin of Halloween since this word is an evolution of the expression: “All Hallow’s Eve”.

Halloween, october, and spooky image

Tradition
All the people go to the Real Court of Tara (the heart of the Celtic culture), to celebrate during three days the arrival of the New Year. During the celebration, especially in the last night, the deceased have permission to walk in the live world. The people appreciate to welcome and see their loved ones. They fear for the malignant souls than demand things like food and drinks. To avoid his madness, the people left plates with food, fruits, cereals, and alcohol drinks in the principal entrance of their house.
Is for this custom that in Halloween the kids wear costumes of ghosts, skeletons and a lot of characters to ask for candies. Also in the Samhain, people usually decorate their house with spider’s web, soil, skeletons and a lot of things to make it look like a cemetery dark and scary. In this way, the bad spirits don’t consider it tempting or inviting. Following this custom, the Halloween lovers decorate their house with masks, skeletons and modern scary characters.

Halloween, pumpkin, and autumn image Halloween, pumpkin, and autumn image Image by johnnydeppandmoi fall, Halloween, and pagan image

Samhain Ceremony
Start out by preparing a meal for the family, focusing on fruits and vegetables, and wild game meat if available. Include a loaf of dark bread like rye or pumpernickel and a cup of apple cider or wine. Set the dinner table with candles and a fall centerpiece, and put all the food on the table at once. Consider the dinner table a sacred space.

Gather everyone around the table, and say this, “Tonight is the first of three nights, on which we celebrate Samhain. It is the end of the harvest, the last days of summer, and the cold nights wait on the other side for us. The bounty of our labor, the abundance of the harvest, the success of the hunt, all lies before us. We thank the earth for all it has given us this season, and yet we look forward to winter, a time of sacred darkness.”

Take the cup of cider or wine, and lead everyone outside. Make this a ceremonial and formal occasion. Head to your garden,(if you don’t have one, find a grassy place in your yard). Each person in the family takes the cup in turn and sprinkles a little bit of cider onto the earth, saying, “Summer is gone, winter is coming. We have planted and we have watched the garden grow, we have weeded, and we have gathered the harvest. Now it is at its end.”

Collect any yard trimmings or dead plants and use them to make a straw man or woman. If you follow a more masculine path, he may be your King of Winter, and rule your home until spring returns. If you follow the Goddess in her many forms, make a female figure to represent the Goddess as hag or crone in winter. Once that is done, go back inside and bring your deity into your home. Place him on your table and prop him up with a plate of his own, and when you sit down to eat, serve him first.

Begin your meal with the breaking of the dark bread, and make sure you toss a few crumbs outside for the birds afterward. Keep the King of Winter in a place of honor all season long — you can put him back outside in your garden on a pole to watch over next spring’s seedlings, and eventually burn him at your Beltane celebration. When you are finished with your meal, put the leftovers out in the garden as an offering for the dead.

autumn, pumpkin, and fall image Halloween, décoration, and bougie image

Of course, there are many myths and stories about the rituals and ceremonies that took place in those days. It's all about researching and comparing stories :)

If you like to read more about, take a look to www.gaia.com. It’s an excellent source to learn about this interesting theme :)

That’s it, little hearts! I hope you liked it a lot, and have found interest in this rich and interesting culture.
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Thank you so much for reading my article!
Lot of love,
Ragí.

This article was written by @moonk01 on the We Heart It Writers Team.