Thursday, 31 October 2013

Samhain Makes More Sense




You have to wonder what the reasoning was behind making the current New Year's Day the end of the old year and the start of the new one? Most of the food is gone or hibernating. You can't collect firewood. You can't go outside for too long. Travelling long distances to see friends and family in a pre-transport age was impossible during to weather conditions. So you 'celebrated' the Roman New Year by remaining in your hut and gnawing some raw vegetables and roots while trying to avoid hypothermia.


Now considered the Irish/Celtic New Year falling on October 31 which before it was Anglicised as "Halloween" was known as "Samhain" - as is still called such in Ireland to this day. Compared to January 1st, at the end of October food is far more readily attainable. Most animals have not hibernated yet. Birds an other wild game are still plentiful. The recent harvest provides a bounty of fruits, grains, vegetables and nuts. Gathering firewood for the winter is ideal at this time of year and with all the nutritious food around you to consume, you actually have the strength to cut it and carry it. One can travel long distances to meet friends and families eating rose hips, haws, nuts and many other later season wild foods along the way which are long gone by January first. Drinking water is not trapped below ice.


It makes more sense to celebrate the New Year on October 31st than on January 1st. It's hard to stay happy when you are just trying to stay alive. Samhain or October 31,  is a more logical and natural date to say farewell to the old year and to welcome in the new. Let us reclaim it.


All artwork by Thomas Sheridan

3 comments:

  1. Absolutely! AlthougI do like the christmas light festival type stuff, similar to Divali, so leave Christmas where it is and just put up lights. Give presents and eat yourself silly, get drunk with friends at Samhain!

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  2. Sounds completely logical to me!

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  3. Only by picking October 31 is still following the roman calendar. The Lunar Cycle should be the determinator

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