This is the start of the Celtic and Wiccan new year. Samhain translates from Irish-Gaelic into “summer’s end” and is pronounced sow-in, although I sometimes say it as it is spelt. This is the time of the death of Lugh, the summer sun-god. This is where we give thanks to Nature’s cycle of death and renewal, where all beginning have an ending, and all ending have a beginning. This is also the end of harvesting and anything picked after this time is seen as beginning tainted by a pwca, which is a mischievous fairy or spirit. The first month in Celtic tradition is called Samonios, which translate as “seed fall”. Two Roman festivals have been incorporated into Samhain, ‘Feralia’ which is the Roman festival for the dead and ‘Pomona’, which is the festival worshipped the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. This is where “apple bobbing” may have had its origins, as a coming together from the Roman festival for Pomona and the Druidic connections to water. Samhain is seen as the beginning of winter as the days shorten and the nights lengthen.
October 6, 2011