Samhain

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHalloween is a modern day holiday with it’s roots in Paganism.  It is actually the third harvest holiday and the Pagan New Year.   In old pagan traditions it was believed that Samhain was when the veil between the worlds of living and dead was thinnest.  Meaning we could communicate with our loved ones who had passed before us and perhaps be visited by them to receive help and advice.  Food was given as an offering and lights were set in hollowed-out turnips and gourds to guide the spirit of the dead home to them.

Modern day #Halloween takes a lot of customs from #Paganism check out some of the similarities. Click To Tweet

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  In modern day society kids dress up in costumes and go door-to-door collecting sweets and treats from neighbouring houses. This is a take on old pagan traditions.  Children dress up as ghosts and scary monsters representative of the spirits coming back to visit us and neighbours.  They are given treats  as an offering with jack’o’lanterns lighting the way for them.

No this does not mean that by participating in Halloween you are teaching your children about paganism and participating in a pagan tradition.  Although, it depends on how intense your religious views are.  This is just a fun lesson on where Halloween came from and what exactly Samhain is.

In paganism we believe in the triple goddess, which is three versions of the goddess: maiden, mother, and crone, all representing the stages of a female’s life cycle.  The maiden is young, carefree and in the early stages of life.  The mother is the nurturer, whether bearing children or not, and the crone is a woman who was gone through menopause, had all her children move out of the house, and/or reached the age of 50.  Viewed as an old woman, a respected elder, a wise woman.

The crone is where we get our modern-day stereotypical witch, the old hag, covered in warts, sometimes green, she was modelled after the crone.  I hate this view!  Your mother is a crone!  Your grandmother is a crone, you may be a crone!  I am a witch, and I am not green, covered in warts or anything like that.  I love the pictures of witches with their black hats, stripped socks or leggings, and cauldron.  Side note:  I would REALLY like a cauldron.

There you have the origins of Halloween and how similar they are to paganism.  Were you aware of all the correlations?  What do you think of the new Halloween in comparison to it’s traditional Pagan roots?

Samhain - Samhain is where Halloween got it's roots, come check out some traditions and celebrations to incorporate into your family's celebrations.

If you are pagan, or pagan-friendly (meaning not-pagan yourself but still enjoy being around pagans and sometimes celebrating with them) here are some fun ways to celebrate Samhain.

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  • Go pumpkin picking.
  • Go trick or treating.
  • Light a candle to remember and honour each loved one who has gone before you.
  • Bake sugar skull cookies to commemorate the ancestors and Day of the Dead.
  • Leave out an offering of food to your ancestors.
  • Carve a pumpkin and set a light in it to help your ancestors find you.
  • Celebrate the harvest by partaking in some pumpkin  related activity.  (Check out some links below for more ideas).
  • Dress in black to represent the dead and orange to represent the pumpkins lighting the way for them.
  • Visit your grandparents!  Or other seniors in the area, this is the time of the crone after all, don’t forget the wise-women in your family.
  • Make popcorn to celebrate the harvest, also a great way to celebrate since it is Popcorn month too.
  • Make crafts related to Samhain’s corresponding animals, bats, owls, and black cats.
  • Decorate your altar or mantle for Samhain using leaves, nuts, pumpkins, pictures of ancestors and any of your crafts you made.
Celebrate your ancestors this Samhain, visit the wise-women in your family! Click To Tweet

Samhain altar craft

Here is a really cute craft for your altar that is a nod to the quarters.  With two little grasping hands it can be hard to maintain a safe altar as they get into everything, this is a safe way to represent all the quarters without using candles and the items themselves (incense, water, earth, flame)

Coloured Wax Pumpkin - PT

What are your favourite ways to celebrate Samhain?  Please consider sharing this post and commenting below.

Thanks and have a happy Samhain and Halloween!

Samhain - Samhain is where Halloween got it's roots, come check out some traditions and celebrations to incorporate into your family's celebrations.

 

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A mom of two trying to stay sane while running a household, working part-time from home and looking after her baby, toddler and husband.


28 comments

  1. avatar
    Rose says:

    Your pumpkin was the first picture on instagram this morning so I read your article. Very informative. I knew Halloween was Pagan related but I enjoyed reading all the other tidbits of what it means crones and all. I like the thought of lighting a candle to remember and honor loved ones gone before me. That made me smile.

    • avatar
      Hil says:

      Wow Rose thanks so much! You just made my day 🙂 I guess I should post everyday when my son gets up so its the first picture people see! Thanks for reading and coming by!

  2. avatar
    Lali says:

    Love your thoughts and the information presented! Especially love the ideas anout the laterns and candles for loved ones!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  3. avatar
    Cinthia says:

    Hi Hilary,
    I had no idea of the relationship! Thank you. I love the information you provide and it would be great to see those pictures a bit larger (they are so small I can’t enjoy them). Also, have any good recipes for sugar skull cookies? 🙂

  4. avatar
    Cinthia says:

    Hi Hilary,
    Thank you for the post – I had no idea of the relationship! I love the information you provide and it would be great to see those pictures a bit larger (they are so small I can’t enjoy them). Also, have any good recipes for sugar skull cookies? 🙂
    Cinthia recently posted…Say what? Web Analytics Lingo MondaysMy Profile

    • avatar
      Hil says:

      Thanks Sourav. So that is where Diwali is from! It was mentioned in one of my daughters toddler books and I was unfamiliar with it. Thanks for letting me know about it too.

    • avatar
      Hil says:

      Thanks for sharing Brenda. I have some fanatic relatives that feel the same way. Trick or treating and Halloween is commercialized now it would be a shame to keep your kids from participating.

  5. avatar
    Krista says:

    I love the idea of lighting a candle to remember and honour each loved one who has gone before. Thanks for sharing an awesome new idea that I hope to make a Halloween tradition in our house.

    • avatar
      Hil says:

      Thanks Krista. It is a super easy way to remember our ancestors, and you can pray to whatever god(s) you believe in and make it your own too.

  6. avatar
    Sandra says:

    I liked this article a lot. My daughter is still too young to really get these things, but I can already see that she loves Halloween.

    I am a native Dutch, so not used to celebrate Halloween and here in Mexico it’s a mix of Halloween and Day of the Dead. I am looking forward to next year, making our own meaning and our own traditions.

    We already started this year by baking cookies together!

  7. avatar
    Willow says:

    I don’t think of myself as being associated with any religion, but have been draw to wiccan and pagan traditions. I even took a History of Wiccan class that I really enjoyed. I am glad you are getting the word out about where the holiday originated!
    Willow recently posted…Carrot Ginger SoupMy Profile

    • avatar
      Hil says:

      Wow, where were you that they offered a class? That is so cool! I wish my schools had offered that too. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing. Merry Meet!

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