Picture By Fredde 99 Most people know of Halloween! October 31 (or sometimes November 1, depending on who you talk to) is also Samhain, the Sabbat (holiday) that Halloween was derived from. Samhain is also considered the Witch's New Year. It's the end and beginning of the Wheel of the Year. This is the final harvest festival before winter begins. It is also the time of year when many Pagans and Wiccans believe that the veil between this world and the spirit word is thinnest.
Some symbols of Samhain are the jack-o'-lantern, the witch's besom (broom), food made from pumpkins, ghosts and skeletons, the cauldron, bats, black cats, owls, spiders, and so many other things that have been incorporated into Halloween throughout the years. As a religious holiday, Samhain is the best day of the year to honor the dead.
If you'd like to explore some more websites on Samhain, here are a few suggestions: Samhain History, Samhain Lore and Samhain.
Further Reading Suggestions:
Dunwich, Gerina. The Pagan Book of Halloween. New York: Penguin Compass, 2000.
RavenWolf, Silver. Halloween. St. Paul: Llwellyn Publications, 1999.
I hope you found this tidbit interesting! If you would like me to touch on a particular topic that fits in this series, please don't hesitate to contact me with suggestions.
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