Samhain-pronounced SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SAM-hayne is one of the Greater Wiccan Sabbats and is usually celebrated on October 31st, although some Traditions prefer the date of November 1st. The various names for this Sabbat are Samhain which is Celtic, Shadowfest which is Strega, Martinmas or Old Hallowmas which is Scottish-Celtic, as well as Hallowmas, All Hallows Eve, Halloween, Day of the Dead, Feast of Spirits, Third Harvest, All Saints Eve and Celtic New Year. Though this Holiday is celebrated on October 31st, All Hallows Eve falls on November 7th, and Martinmas on November 11th.
The symbolism of this Sabbat is that of The Third and final Harvest, it marks the end of summer, the beginning of winter. It is a time marked by death when the Dead are honored - a time to celebrate and study the Dark Mysteries. Samhain means End of Summer. Its historical origin is The Feast of the Dead in Celtic lands. It is believed that on this night, the veil Between the Worlds is at its thinnest point, making this an excellent time to communicate with the Other Side.
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