Samhain - Celtic New Year
Hallowmas, All Hallow's Eve, Halloween, Samhuinn
31st October or When Sun is 15 degrees Scorpio
Age of Sabbat - Approx. 6,000 years
Call Upon the Goddess as Crone and The God as The Sorcerer / the Hunt
This is considered to be the most sacred of wiccan festivals. It marks the end of the 'Light Half' and the beginning of the 'Dark Half' of the year. It is the beginning and therefore the end of the Wiccan year. At this time we honor the Dead and the Higher Self. The Goddess returns as the Crone or the Wise One.
The psychic Tide is at a high point, so we can use this time for transformation, regeneration, divination and inner workings.
The Gaelic custom of wearing costumes and masks, was an attempt to copy the spirits or placate them. In Scotland the dead were impersonated by young men with masked, veiled or blackened faces, dressed in white. Turnips that were hollowed-out and carved with faces to make lanterns, were also used to ward off harmful spirits.
This Gaelic festival became associated with the Christian All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, and has hugely influenced the secular customs now connected with Halloween, a name first attested in the 16th century as a Scottish shortening of the fuller All-Hallows-Even.