Thursday, October 30, 2014

Samhain 2014

It's Samhain (SAH-wen) time again (actually, it's tomorrow, but I'll be at work, so I'm posting a day early). This is the old Celtic New Year, celebrating the last of the harvest and settling in for the "death" of the Earth in Winter, waiting for life to return in the Spring. It was a time when it was believed that the veil between this life and the afterlife was thin, and the dead could cross over and speak to the living. So it's a time for remembering those who have passed on, memorializing the ancestors and the recently departed. It's a somber time yet it's also a joyous time, celebrating the lives of our loved ones. It was appropriated and "Christianized" by the Church in the early days, turned into a holiday to celebrate the lives of the saints; it was called All Saints Day, or All Hallows Day, and the night before was called All Hallows Eve, which is now called Halloween. You can read my full essay on this here.

My favorite image for Samhain is a gravestone with Fall foliage. I decided to take a new one this year.
Samhain is also about the last harvest and getting ready for the onset of Winter. Mr. Squirrel knows all about that!
And of course Samhain happens at a time when Mama Gaia is at her most colorful, so we celebrate the holiday with the appropriate colors.
I missed it last year, so this year I've decided to go back to celebrating Samhain with two favorite videos appropriate to the holiday. First is the gorgeous PBS special animation of Camille Saint-Saëns' "Danse Macabre".

The other video is Loreena McKennett's "All Souls Night", a favorite of mine for years now, and I don't know what I was thinking not to post it last year. Here it is again.

A Blessed Samhain and a Happy Halloween to all!

© 2014 by A. Roy Hilbinger 


  1. Always love to see the bones dance - soon mine will be shaking, with chills rather than fright. Well maybe a little fright. I got all the Scream movies last week @ 3/$1 on VHS so I can have an "old fashioned" video marathon on my old TV. I'll drink a toast to Samhain on this, All Hallows Eve.

    1. Heh, heh! I'll be observing my own tradition tonight - I'll be watching "The Wizard of Oz" (I have it on DVD) after supper.

  2. Love the know what they say about the length and bushiness...looks like he's predicting a long, cold winter!

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