Samhain marks one of the two great doorways of the Celtic year. Beltane on May first marks the light season, while November first marks the dark. It is believed that dark silences are preliminary to new beginnings and so is celebrated as the beginning of the cycle of the year, or New Year. The most potent day of this season is Samhain eve or Halloween.
Traditionally, Samhain was time to take stock of the herds and grain supplies, and decide which animals would need to be slaughtered in order for the people and livestock to survive the winter. Villagers would extinquish all other fires and walk between two bonfires as a ritual of purification, even parading thier herds as well.
The time between sundown on Samhain to sundown the following day was said to be a “thin place”, a place where deep insights could pass more easily to those who were open to them. Beggars played an important part in the faith-life of the community. Most often, people were beggars not because they didn’t feel like working or settling down, but because they were…. special, touched lightly by the hand of the divine.
Wearing costumes was an attempt to ward off evil spirits. Lanterns made from carved turnips and placed in windows also served this purpose. Halloween, in many countries, and in much of the church, has always involved good works, providing food for the poor was part of the earliest tradition. In Europe, special Halloween cakes, made of breaded dough, called “Soul food” were given to the children of the city, particularly the poor children.
It is still the custom in some areas to set a place for the dead at the Samhain feast, and to tell tales of the ancestors on that night. Anthropologists tell us that one of the very first things that distinguishes human life is this propensity for remembering the dead. Honoring the dead or the wisdom of our elders is something we are losing in our too busy lives. Halloween is becoming frivolous, and to believe some, evil in and of itself. A look to our past will show this to be not only false, but also expose a very human need to take hold of our roots once again. To embrace our humanity.
Upcoming Siege Perilous Events:
Oct 30: Trick or Treating at 3pm cst
Treasure Hunting Event by JasmineSP at 4pm cst, or whenever Trick or Treating ends.
Chicken Fights at 5pm cst, or whenever Treasure Hunting ends.
Oct 31: Halloween Party Event by OldAsTheHills: 4pm est to 1am est.
Nov 1 to Nov 20: Fishing Event by AlaricSP
And don’t forget about Shard of the Dead! Look for details on all events in the forums.