What does the name Samhain mean? For the Celts, who lived during the Iron Age in what is now Ireland, Scotland, the U.K. and other parts of Northern Europe, Samhain (meaning literally, in modern Irish, “summer’s end”) marked the end of summer and kicked off the Celtic new year.
Does Samhain mean Halloween? Samhain is a pagan religious festival originating from an ancient Celtic spiritual tradition. In modern times, Samhain (a Gaelic word pronounced “SAH-win”) is usually celebrated from October 31 to November 1 to welcome in the harvest and usher in “the dark half of the year.”
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.
What is the origin of Samhain? Origins in Samhain. Most people agree that the origins of Halloween reside in the Celtic Festival of Samhain (pronounced Sow-an). This is the festival celebrating the time of year when “the summer goes to rest”. It was an agricultural festival and a time for “stock-taking” before the winter (Rogers 2002).