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.
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”.
When was the festival of Samhain created and why was it celebrated? The tradition originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints. Soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain.
Why was Samhain so significant to the Celts? Samhain was considered an auspicious time for the druids to practice divination, since the connection to the spirit world was stronger than usual. The lifting of the veil between the Otherworld and the physical world meant that Samhain was also considered to be a perilous time for the ancient Celts.