What is Samhain?
The different ways to celebrate Samhain are time-honored traditions observed by witches, Wiccans, and pagans as October fades into November. Samhain is a celebration of Death that means “Summer’s End,” and it’s pronounced saah-win or saah-ween, not “sam-hane.”
The Samhain sabbat commemorates the Pagan Wheel of the Year’s death and gloom. Halloween is based on the pagan celebration Samhain. It would represent the dark moon in the lunar cycle, the period just before the new moon when the sky is completely dark. As a result, Samhain is sometimes referred to as “The Witch’s New Year” and is the first sabbat on the pagan Wheel of the Year.
Samhain is primarily a time to remember and respect loved ones who have passed away, especially ancestors. The veil between the physical and spiritual worlds is the thinnest, making it easier for spirits and ghosts to communicate. Because the barrier is thin, this sabbat emphasizes protection, particularly against unwelcome spirits. Because of their defensive powers, black crystals such as Tourmaline, Obsidian, Onyx, Shungite, Hematite, and Jet are a good choice for this period.
Most of us are familiar with Halloween costumes and trick-or-treating, but what are some ways how to celebrate Samhain 2021? Continue reading for ideas!
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Ways to celebrate Samhain
#1 Nice Walk on Samhain
Take a meditation walk in a nearby natural landscape. Observe and reflect on the season’s colors, scents, sounds, and other feelings. Consider yourself a part of the Circle of Life, and consider the importance of death and rebirth in the natural world. If the location you’re visiting allows it, collect some natural artifacts and use them to decorate your home when you get home.
#2 Carve A Pumpkin
You can paint a protective sigil on your pumpkin or carve it the traditional way. The pumpkin is a protective emblem in magick and witchcraft, which is most likely why the practice switched to pumpkins. Setting one in front of your door is already defensive, but you can amp it up with your own personal sigil of protection.
#3 Organize a Samhain Altar
If you’re new to the pagan ritual and don’t already have a permanent altar, you can easily build one up for the three days leading up to Samhain. Decorate the altar with late-fall emblems, such as:
-Skulls, skeletons, and ghosts
-, squash, and root vegetables, nuts and berries, as well as dark loaves of bread
-An abundance of fruit and vegetables, Dried leaves, and acorns
-Mulled cider, or wine.
#4 Conduct a Séance
As previously said, Samhain is supposed to be a period when the living and the dead are in close proximity. If you want to converse with someone on the other side, now is a good time, according to pagan customs.
#5 Cast a Spell for Protection
Not everyone who wishes to pass through the thin veil is pleasant. Before this sabbat arrives, take some time to ward your home with some protection magick.
Seek and reflect on direction for the coming year using tarot, runes, scrying, or another means of divination. Make a list of your steps and communications. Choose a suitable action to do and take it.
#7 Party & Feast
Another way to commemorate Samhain is to throw a Samhain party and feast. Participate in this event with your closest friends, family members, mentors, and coworkers. You can make an altar to please the spirits and offer them food and wine. A short speech followed by a toast can also be used to express gratitude to loved ones who have passed away.
#8 Invoke The Divine
Honor one or more sacred forms linked with Samhain, such as the Crone Goddess and the Horned God of Nature, and invoke the divine. Ask them to assist you in remembering the deceased and comprehending the life, death, and reincarnation cycle. Invoke these deities for comfort and assistance if you have lost loved ones in the past year.
#9 Spices, Herbs & Plants
Many plants have a strong connection to Samhain. Allspice berries, broom, catnip, mountain ash berries, mugwort, mullein, oak leaves, acorns, rosemary, sage, pine cones, and straw are just a few examples. Find inventive (and safe; do your homework before consuming) ways to incorporate them into your meals and as decorations around your home.
Samhain Foods & Samhain Recipes
Are a delightful accompaniment to almost any seasonal meal, and pumpkins are plentiful around Samhain! You may clean, roast, and season your pumpkin seeds with just about any taste you choose after removing the seeds all of which is all part of carving a pumpkin! Make sure you’ve removed all of the excess pumpkin from the seeds by rinsing them thoroughly.
Pumpkin isn’t only for dessert! It’s back in a new form, this time as a delicious soup. This is something I’ve cooked for Samhain in the past, and it’s always a hit. If you serve it with crusty bread, it will stick to your bones throughout the long Samhain ceremony or Halloween trick-or-treating.
-Soul Cakes with Butter
You’ll need the following items:
3 1/2 C flour, sifted 2 sticks butter, melted
1 cup of sugar
nutmeg, saffron, 1/2 teaspoon
1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp allspice
2 tablespoons malt vinegar
sugar in powdered form
With a large fork, cut the butter into the flour. Combine the sugar, nutmeg, saffron, cinnamon, and allspice in a mixing bowl. Lightly beat the eggs and stir them into the flour mixture. Pour in the malt vinegar. Mix until a firm dough forms. Knead for a few minutes, then roll out to 1/4 inch thick “thickening 3 cutouts with a floured glass “a circle Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees on a prepared baking sheet. While the cakes are still warm, dust with powdered sugar.
Common Ways To Celebrate Samhain Questions
How to celebrate Celtic Samhain
The ancient Celtic peoples of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales were the originators of how to celebrate Samhain.
The Celts believed that this period signified the separation of two worlds: the living world and the realm of spirits who had passed on to another life. It was celebrated as a festival, with people dressing up in costumes and sharing meals with those who had passed away.
Because the Celts were so superstitious, the Samhain ceremony was extremely important. They believed that if Samhain ceremonies were not performed precisely, horrible things would occur.
For example, it was claimed that any crops seeded during this season would never thrive because it would offend the spirits, thus people were advised to wait until spring to plant their fields.
Pumpkins carved into faces to depict ghosts, as well as bonfires lit to scare off spirits, are some of the most famous symbols of this celebration, which is usually honored around Halloween.
It’s also a day when people memorialize those who have passed away by sharing food with them. This was frequently a potato and apple dish, which evolved through time into the modern-day tradition of pumpkin pie.
How are Samhain and Halloween the same?
Other than the fact that they occur at the same time and have similar themes, Samhain and Halloween are not the same celebration and therefore aren’t the same. Halloween, short for All Hallow’s Eve, is a family-oriented holiday observed on or around October 31. Samhain, on the other hand, is more religious in nature and is observed spiritually by practitioners.
Why is Samhain the witches new year?
Samhain, also known as Halloween or All Hallow’s Eve, is the witches’ New Year, marking the end of the pagan’s Wheel of the Year as well as the start of a new one. The origins of Samhain as the start of the Wheel of the Year and the witches’ New Year can be traced back to fire, warmth, and light. As the last harvest and the official end of the growing season approaches, Samhain signals the start of the cold months and the need to rely on one’s community for sustenance.
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For more info on Ways To Celebrate Samhain check out the links below:
Samhain: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for Halloween By Diana Rajchel
Llewellyn’s 2022 Sabbats Almanac: Samhain 2021 to Mabon 2022 By Natalie Zaman
The Sacred Herbs of Samhain: Plants to Contact the Spirits of the Dead By Ellen Evert Hopman