Word for Wednesday #9

I’ve had no internet at home for two whole days! OMG I didn’t realise how much I would miss it! Anyway here’s this week’s word.

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For the week that’s in it and because I’m a bit of a Pagan I picked Samhain for this weeks word.

Samhain: Pronounced sow-in or sah-in the word comes from Old Irish, and refers to 1st of November. One of the four main festivals of the year, the others being Imbolc (February 1st), Bealtaine (1st May) and Lughnasa (1st August), Samhain is generally translated as ‘summer’s end’ and was when the last of the crops were harvested, the animals were brought down from summer pasture (some were slaughtered) and there was general preparation for winter. Samhain lasted from nightfall on 31st of October until nightfall on 1st of November and was also the time when the dead could be more easily contacted.

The Catholic All Saints day was originally celebrated on 13th of May but in 835 Louis the Pious moved it to 1st of November to stop those pesky Pagans with their traditional celebrations and so 31st October became the eve of All Hallows or Hallowe’en, but people still see it as the night for hauntings and many Pagans celebrate Samhain as their New Year. I love this time of year as the days get shorter, and we head into winter, that feeling of everything closing in, I can’t realy describe it properly 🙂 My favourite day is actually Winter Solstice as the days start to get longer. I never saw the big deal about summer solstice as to me that marks the time when everything starts dying.

And something that has not much to do with modern Halloween. The Mound of the Hostages at Tara which is a 4,500 year old burial mound is aligned to the winter solstice and before it was moved the Lia Fail or Stone of Destiny stood at the entrance to the mound. Must have made for an interesting sight at sunrise 🙂

On a side note here in Ireland some of the months still have the old festival names  in Gaelic. May is still Bealtaine, August is still Lunasa and November is still Samhain.

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