Beautiful Samhain custom: make an autumn altar with children
Celebrate Halloween the traditional way - with Celtic Tradition
- Samhain (Samuin or Samain) is the name of the ancient Celtic funerary and New Year, which by Celtic priests (Druids) was celebrated for thousands of years. For this Celtic Traditions Halloween should have developed, among other things, the modern horror festival. The Romans also enriches the Celtic traditions with elements of an ancient Roman harvest festival, which was celebrated every year on November 1 in honor of the goddess Pomona.
- The name of Samhain is a term from the Gaelic / Irish language and is often translated as "end of summer". In addition, this word is both in Gaelic and in Irish name for the month of November. Historians refer to the term Samhain mainly on Gaelic Halloween customs until the 19th century.
- Legend: The gates of hell are open on this special last evening in October and the spirits of the dead are allowed to mingle with the living.
- Therefore, a part of the ancient Celtic customs refers to the day of the dead festival on the spirits of deceased family members and ancestors, special respect and reverence which are proven.
- Other Samhain traditions mind prior to the protection and do fending off evil spirits. Even modern Halloween customs like the costuming or tinkering creepy pumpkin lanterns go back originally to this idea.
The date of Halloween Festival October 31st is also the last day of the Celtic year. It symbolizes the end of summer, which starts cold and dark season. Symbolically, the festival of the dead is thus marked by final, farewell, and looking back past. Nevertheless, the New Year is welcomed, partly with very similar traditions, as you probably know, the modern New Year celebrations this evening.
Ideas for social Samhain rituals
- An important part of the Celtic Samhain traditions is the loving memory of deceased family members. Turn out the dead respect, by bringing, for example, fresh flowers on the graves, prepare the favorite dish of deceased family members, who cover a seat at the table for the spirits of the ancestors or decorating a small altar with old family photos. Especially for children, it is important also to keep deceased pets in loving memory.
- At Samhain is celebrated in common, exchanges stories and memories. Create rituals together with family and friends. Visit older family members and let it tell with your children from the past. Help your children in this way in discovering their roots.
- Similarly, the common talk of a protection prayer - for living and deceased relatives - may be a nice and sociable Samhain tradition.
- The ancient Celtic customs have so shaped the popular Halloween traditions that are now cultivated in many countries: Build for example with your children pumpkin lanterns or carve - so it did the ancient Celts - scary faces into large turnips.
- Also among the Celts was dressed for Totenfest to be not easily discovered by evil spirits. Were especially popular in ancient times white costumes or disguises made of straw. Children also should be it common that girls disguised as boys and vice versa.
- As from 1 November, the new year begins with the Celts, New Year customs are maintained on the eve of this day, the modern New Year traditions are quite similar. Dare to take on Halloween a look into the future: Build an oracle from typical autumn fruits like hazelnuts, apples or walnuts.
- Samhain is also the same autumn and harvest festival: A good opportunity to express gratitude and appreciation for what nature has given you throughout the year. Children makes it fun, from pooled resources (fruits, berries, cones, etc.) to tinker a door wreath or so to decorate a fall altar.
- Plants with your children bulbs in the ground: This arouses the anticipation of spring and symbolizes hope and vitality.
- Be sure to include the Samhain fire symbolism. If you have no opportunity to ignite a campfire, you can make as an alternative several candles in a metal tub filled with sand. It is also important to decorate the windows of the house with burning candles to have so the spirits of the deceased the right way.
- In the Celtic religion the fire is also a sign of hope and anticipation: It symbolizes the sun and their return to a cold and dark winter.