Samhain - pronounced “Sow-win” is a pagan religious festival originating from an ancient Celtic spiritual tradition.
It is pagan holiday
In the past, people wore costumes and masks to disguise themselves as harmful spirits so to avoid harm themselves
"Sow-win" is celebrated at sun-set
over the night of October 31st
as children are out "trick or treating"
dressed up in costumes
collecting sweets from willing participants.
"Sow-win" celebrates the Celtic new year
welcoming in the harvest
ushering in the "dark half" of the year
and the long cold winter nights ahead.
It is traditional to set up an altar for the dead,
often featuring offerings,
memories of relatives who have gone before
the perfect time to honor nature,
life and rebirth.
Bonfires, feasting and drinking play a large part in the festivities
The bones of slaughtered livestock were once cast into a communal fire
household fires were then extinguished and started again from that communal bonfire depicting a re-birth.
Those who believe
believe that the barriers between the physical world and the spirit world break down during "Sow-win"
allowing more interaction between us and humans of "The other world"
I like to take time with the family photos I have
and reflect on those in my family who have gone before me.