When did people start celebrating Samhain? It is first mentioned in the earliest Irish literature, from the 9th century, and is associated with many important events in Irish mythology. The early literature says Samhain was marked by great gatherings and feasts and was when the ancient burial mounds were open, which were seen as portals to the Otherworld.
Where was Samhain originally celebrated? It is the celebration that is the origin of Halloween. Samhain was first observed by Celtic Pagans. 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.
Where did the name Samhain come from? 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.
Why was Samhain so significant to the Celts? The Celtic Festival of Samhain
Ancient Celts marked Samhain as the most significant of the four quarterly fire festivals, taking place at the midpoint between the fall equinox and the winter solstice. During this time of year, hearth fires in family homes were left to burn out while the harvest was gathered.