Friday, October 31, 2014

HALLOWEEN BLOG HOP 2014 -- SAMHAIN


SAMHAIN (pronounced sah-win, sow-in, sah-vin) is a Celtic word that means "summer end".

Blog that has Wheel of Year image
It is a the beginning of the Wheel of the Year and heralds the third and final harvest before winter.

In pagan and Wiccan religions, this is the time when the Goddess is in Her third aspect, the Crone.  She is symbolized by the waning moon.  It is said that the God dies before He is reborn at Yule, the Winter Solstice.  It is when those who have gone before are remembered.

It is believed that the veil between the worlds is thinned and that the dead could roam freely on the Earth.  One tradition during this time was called the Dumb (Silent) Supper.  As a sign of honor, a place was set at the table for the departed.  The plate was filled with food for their spirit guest.  The supper would be completely silent. It was believed that looking at the chair was bad luck.  Also, to placate any evil spirits roaming around, food was placed on the doorstep to ward them off.

Another tradition happened to be to wear a mask if one had to travel on that night.  It was to fool the spirits.

Where I found Pomona image
Even the Romans had similar traditions that were incorporated into Samhain.  Feralia -- when Romans commemorated the passing of the dead, and Pomona -- when the goddess of fruit and trees, Pomona, was honored.
Many use this time for divination.

As Catholicism spread, the church kept some of the practices from the original.  It was when All Soul's Day came about as well as the name All Hallow's Eve (Halloween) or All Saint's Day.

Interestingly Dia De Los Muertos has similar rituals as Samhain although it was an Aztec holiday.  It boasts of honoring the dead, spirit visitation, and the offering of food.

Originally it was a month long
Where my Google search found this image
celebration around August honoring the goddess Mictecacihuatl.  The Aztec were definitely not shy about the dead.  When Catholicism reached them, it was moved to the same time as Halloween.


10 comments:

  1. Very cool post! I love the pagan history that lies behind holidays. I hadn't heard about the Dumb Supper. That's sounds wonderfully creepy and awkward. I would want to look at the chair! It's also cool how there are similar customs in different cultures. Goes to show that at the end of it all, we're all the same in trying to make sense of the world.

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    1. Neither had I until I went all research-y. It was too cool not to add. Traditions behind traditions.

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  2. Thanks for sharing - I hadn't heard of the silent supper either. It's weird but I always think of the winter solstice as being an ancestor time too.

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    1. In a different way it is. It was the hardship of winter that pulled them together to survive.

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  3. Hi, djinnia. I'd never heard of the Dumb (Silent) Supper. Not sure I could keep quiet. I'd probably make the mistake of asking someone to pass me something. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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    1. Me too! I would totally look over just to see if a spirit was there!

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  4. I didn't know about Dia de los muertos being Aztec. And the Silent Supper sounds like an interesting event.

    Happy Halloween!

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    1. I didn't either. Nor did I know that it was one big, month long party!

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  5. Very nice entry and thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Thank you. And thanks for visiting as well.

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