Hallowe’en is the start of my favourite three days of the year: the triduum of Allhallowtide – All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween), All Saints, and All Souls feast days. Before the sugar-fuelled shenanigans of Halloween, there was Samhain. Samhain’s origins are with the Celts, marking their new year, and a time when he boundary between the living and the dead was permeable. Ghosts returned and got up to all manner of mischievous behavior, and Celts wore costumes to scare the spirits away from their crops (since harvest was imminent- Samhain was also the harvest festival). The presence of spirits also helped the Celtic priests (we’d know them better as Druids), make prophesies for the upcoming year.
So how does this all relate to the Remembrance project, you ask? Samhain was the end of the fighting and hunting season for the Celtic warriors. Samhain marked the start of the dark half of the year, and the warriors used the time to fortify for what would come when they returned to the light half of the year on (what we know as) May Day Eve.
May current warriors, soldiers, and veterans find time to rest and heal and prepare for what battles lie ahead.
One year ago: The Unknown Soldier
Two years ago: Remembrance Project – Day 6: All Hallow’s Eve