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athgarvan

Samhain

This is the season of Samhain in Ireland. It marks the time of 'death' in nature and since Celtic and Christian times all the dead (family, friends, and unknown) are remembered and celebrated during November. It begins with the bonfires and storytelling of All Saints Eve (Halloween).

The religious celebrations now appear to have been taken over by big business if one is to judge by all the spooky gear being displayed in shops and family homes.

But I like this little light-hearted poem It's Halloween by Jack Prelutsky.

It's Halloween! It's Halloween!
 The moon is full and bright
 And we shall see what can't be seen
 On any other night.samhain night

Skeletons and ghosts and ghouls,
 Grinning goblins fighting duels,
 Werewolves rising from their tombs,
 Witches on their magic brooms.

In masks and gowns
 We haunt the street
 And knock on doors
 For trick or treat.

Tonight we are
 The king and queen,
 For oh tonight
 It's Halloween!

Comments

I'm about to go give a service and sermon themed around remembering our ancestors in our school chapel. :-)
Good luck!
Thank you!
I like to think of it as the one night a year I don't have to wear a disguise.
Very good! I like it!
I'd just been wondering what happened with Samhain in Ireland these days - thank you so much!
Over here it's Dia de los Muertos, the day of the dead, very popular with Mexican-Texans. My mom and sister are heading to Lubbock to celebrate with my other sister, an art history prof at the university there. Lots of art and candles and decorated skulls.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_of_the_Dead
Isn't the world a small place after all?
I'm saddened at how the various English traditions have been destroyed by the rampant commercialism (as is there wasn't enough of that at Christmas) of the half understood US import of 'trick or treat'.

I haven't seen a Guy for years :o(

I would imagine that the huge bonfires - especially in Northern Ireland - make up for Guy Fawkes.
A lot less of those here these days too.
I am in two minds. On the one hand, Bonfire Night, as celebrated in Manchester back when I was a child in the 50s and 60s, was horrendously dangerous and usually resulted in a few deaths and even more serious injuries. The new Halloween customs, imported from the US are a pretty safe substitute. But on the other hand, they are imported American customs and not our own.

Meanwhile, on the third hand, we did export the customs in the first place and have since then forgotten we used to have customs very like the modern Trick or Treat, for example Wassailing and the Welsh Mari Llwyd (Grey Mare) which goes around the village with a rag-tag of people around Christmas/New Year time.
The Mari Llwyd is a close relative of our local hooden horse here in Kent! :o)

'What use is a dead horse?
What can it do?
Anything he ( the hooden horse) can
Without bitin' ee too!'
Never heard of the Mari Llwyd before. Go raibh maith agat.