Updated: Nov 9, 2022
Samhain, (pronounced Sow-In) is a beautiful and meaningful Wiccan holiday. It is one of eight major holidays or Sabbats. Samhain is observed from sunset on October 31st to sunset on November 1st. (It is actually the celebration that is the origin of Halloween.) Samhain marks the Celtic New Year, the end of summer, and the end of the harvest season. It also signals the beginning of winter, which they associated with death. So on this day, it is believed the veil between the living and the dead was especially thin. Meaning communication between this realm and those who have passed is prime for connection and honoring. The meaning behind Samhain remains the same today even if it's celebrated much differently.
There are many rituals associated with Samhain. These include ritual, sacred altars, dancing, feasting, taking nature walks and honoring your ancestors. If you are interested in creating a Samhain altar here are some options to consider. Do what calls to you and makes you feel connected to your ancestors.
To symbolize the end of the harvest you can include apples, pumpkins, or other fall crops.
To represent the spirits of the dead, skulls or skeletons are placed on the altar. Photos of deceased family members are also added.
You can also bake (or buy) bread for your altar to feed your ancestors and visiting spirits. You can turn your bread three times and repeat, “From the fields, through the stones and into the fire. As the bread turns may all be fed.”
Cast a circle and think of your deceased loved ones. Share stories of your ancestors or if you are alone re-tell some of your favorite stories as if your loved one is there in the room with you.
You can also visit the cemetery to honor your family members and leave some baked bread.
Meditate and set the intention to connect with your ancestors. Light a candle and ask for guidance.
Go for a walk and talk to your loved ones.
Whatever you choose to do, do it with reverence. Even if it’s just a conversation with your ancestors as you get ready for work. Make some resolutions and if you wear a costume know you are honoring the tradition of tricking evil spirits from finding you and enjoy!