ancient Celtic New Year

All Hallows Eve








The Celtic year cycle begins with Samhain (pronounced Sow-one), the "Summer's End." The Celts reckoned their days and years from the onset of darkness at dusk and autumn. On the eve of Samhain, a veil between the worlds parts, allowing communion with ancestors and the spirit world. Families would leave their doors open and set tables with meals for the dead who returned to visit. The faery hosts are also abroad on this night. In Scotland, the goddess Nicnevin or the Gyre Carline led revelling spirits on the Hallowmas Rade. People lit bonfires on hilltops on this night of power, danced and leaped over the blaze making wishes for the coming year, and tossed hazelnuts into the embers to divine future events.

Copyright 2000 Max Dashu

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