What does Samhain mean in Halloween? In the Druid tradition, Samhain celebrates the dead with a festival on October 31 and usually features a bonfire and communion with the dead. American pagans often hold music and dance celebrations called Witches’ Balls in proximity to Samhain.
What is the story behind Samhain? According to Irish mythology, Samhain (like Bealtaine) was a time when the ‘doorways’ to the Otherworld opened, allowing supernatural beings and the souls of the dead to come into our world; while Bealtaine was a summer festival for the living, Samhain “was essentially a festival for the dead”.
What is so special about Samhain? Samhain marked the Celtic New Year, the end of summer, and the end of the harvest season. It also signaled the beginning of winter, which they associated with death. On this day, the Celts believed the veil between the living and the dead was especially thin. This allowed spirits of the dead to visit the living.
How is Samhain different from Halloween? While Samhain might have had supernatural elements, Halloween was nothing but the supernatural and the dead, plus candy of course. By the time that Halloween took over as the holiday celebrated on the evening of October 31, the jubilant mood of this time of year was darker.