We all love Halloween, but do you know about Samhain, the ancient festival that it came from? We’ll explore some Samhain-inspired quotes and find out how Samhain is being revived once more.
Halloween also called All Hallows’ Eve, is a spooky time of year when everyone is allowed to be someone else for one day. Thus, it’s a great escape and time for fun and relief from the mundane routine. Not to mention, it’s a great excuse to treat yourself and others. This year, Halloween could be more important than ever as families take a break from daily life stresses.
We love celebrating Halloween and sharing spooky Halloween quotes. With the Nightmare Before Christmas, one can enjoy the mood all year long. However, this time, we’re going to take a closer look at the early origins of All Hallows’ Eve.
Before Halloween became the American commercialized day of Tricks and Treats, it was a day to mark the changing seasons. Ancient people prepared for long winter dormancy and looked forward to the coming rebirth of nature.
The Ancient Festival of Samhain
Over 2,000 years ago, the pre-Christian Celts in Europe celebrated Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”) around November 1. The name translates to “summer’s end” in Gaelic, as people marked the end of harvest and beginning of a new year.
Today, it’s widely believed that Samhain was the early inspiration for what would eventually become Halloween. The day marked the dividing line between the light and the dark part of the year. At that moment, the veil between the world of the living and the dead was at its thinnest.
As told by Irish Central, below is a Samhain prayer for children:
Samhain is here, cold is the earth,
As we celebrate the cycle of death and rebirth.
Tonight we speak to those through the veil,
The lines between worlds are thin and frail.
Ghosts and spirits in the night,
Magical beings rising in flight,
Owls hooting up in a moonlit tree,
I don’t fear you and you don’t fear me.
As the sun goes down, far to the west,
My ancestors watch over me as I rest.
They keep me safe and without fear,
On the night of Samhain, the Witches’ New Year.
Samhain Prayer to Ancestors
On Samhain, the people lit bonfires in honor of the dead and ward off otherworldly spirits. The night was a moment of transition when the spirits of those who passed could cross into another world.
Circling about the fires, bats flew about catching insects attracted by the light. Today, we still associate bats with Halloween.
Here is the full “Samhain Prayer to Ancestors” from Irish Central:
This is the night when the gateway between
our world and the spirit world is thinnest.
Tonight is a night to call out those who came before.
Tonight I honor my ancestors.
Spirits of my fathers and mothers, I call to you,
and welcome you to join me for this night.
You watch over me always,
protecting and guiding me,
and tonight I thank you.
Your blood runs in my veins,
your spirit is in my heart,
your memories are in my soul.
With the gift of remembrance.
I remember all of you.
You are dead but never forgotten,
and you live on within me,
and within those who are yet to come.
On the Samhain Full Moon
In the ancient Samhain festival, a full moon had an integral role. This year, for the first time in 19 years, we’ll see a full moon on Halloween. Making the occasion even more unique, this time, it will also be a Blue Moon, the second full moon in the month.
On October 1, 2020, there was a full Harvest Moon, and on October 31, there will be a rare Halloween full Hunter’s Moon in all time zones, according to the Farmer’s Almanac. It’s the first time there will be a full Halloween moon for everyone in all times zones since 1944.
Below, the perfect poem entitled “Samhain Moon” by S.R. Hardy:
The moon sits low,
Above the trees,
Above the world;
A reminder that there is light in darkness
And darkness in light,
And that everything that was
Will be again.
Samhain Reborn Again
As we enjoy our Halloween festivities, remember the ancient origins that inspired the day thousands of years ago. After all that time, Halloween customs arrived in North America with the earliest Irish immigrants.
Last year, a new three-day festival called Púca took place in Ireland. According to Ireland.com, a púca is “a mysterious creature from Ireland’s folklore who can change the fortunes of anyone who meets it.”
See more about the festival last year from Travel Zoo below:
Featured image: Screenshot via YouTube
Tina Gray is a freelance journalist, theatre enthusiast and aspiring author. She has a passion for telling stories through various mediums and regularly writes for various online publications. Her short stories will soon be published in her first volume. Currently, she resides in the San Fernando Valley and is studying screenwriting.