Samhain by Dalriada

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Samhain by Dalriada

Post by Comyn » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:50 pm

This was originally found at, but that site appears to no longer be online, so I have reposted it here from my personal archives.

No other festival in the old Celtic year fires the imagination like Samhain. On a material level, it was the time the clan took stock of supplies for the winter ahead, and brought people and cattle in from the hills and glens to their winter quarters, re-tying the social bonds of kinship in the process. On a spiritual level, it was the most magical time of the year. It was the day that did not exist when the barriers between the worlds of life and death faded and the forces of chaos could invade our realms of order.

To be alone and missing at this dangerous time was to expose your spirit to the perils of the chaotic Otherworld. In present times the importance of this part of the festival has diminished for most people living in this country, but you should try to see this from the stand-point of a tribal people for whom a bad season meant facing a long winter of famine in which many would not survive to see the spring.

At this time the Spirits of the Dead and those yet to be born of the Clan walk freely amongst the living. Food and entertainment are provided in their honour. In this way the Clan is at one with its past, present and future. This level of the festival was never totally subdued by Christianity and survives today as Hallowe'en. Sadly, it has been adopted by most as the sum and total of Samhain.

the above text is [© Dalriada Celtic Heritage Trust, Isle of Arran, 1992]

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