Thursday, 31 October 2013

31st October HALLOWE'EN

Today the 31st October is known as Hallowe'en which is a religious festival that is celebrated differently by christians, wicca-folk and lots of young people.

For the christians Hallowe'en is properly known as All Hallows Day or All Saints Eve and tomorrow, 1st November, is All Saints Day. The wicca folk interpret it differently calling it a Witches' Sabbat and their activities are many and varied. 
For young people it is a night of bonfires, fireworks, dressing up in a variety of costumes and calling to neighbours in the hope of receiving a gift of sweets or money.

Among the things it is not the ancient festival of SAMHAIN,nor is it the end of summer or even the pagan new year. These misconceptions were brought about mainly by ignorance and the adjustment of the calendars.

So here is web site that shows the various dates for pagan rituals and explains how they are calculated.

The calendar in English and Irish

September....Meán Fómhair
October......Deireadh Fómhair

As can be seen above three of the four names of the cross quarter days are also months of the year and Imbolc is missing.  
Also, the current month names in Irish are a mixture of Irish and obviously Latin-derivations; there weren’t specific month names in Old Irish, more seasonal divisions.


  1. Well I couldn't pronounce them but my cousins could.

  2. After all those reasons to celebrate Hallowe'en you can also add another one - it just happens to be my birthday!

    1. Well, belatedly HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU ! and I hope that you had a wonderful time. Today it is Mrs H's birthday and we went a Coffee Shop.There I lay down on the table a long stemmed red rose and a card. Whilst her back was turned and that will give me brownie points for a considerable time - I hope !

  3. Fascinating, Mel. I didn't know this at all. I like your calendar, but would have no idea about how to say the names!

    1. Thank you Val. Pronouncing foreign words straight off without hearing the vowel and consonant sounds is very difficult, not impossible but difficult. I made some terrible clangers twenty-six years ago just with town names written in English. Twice I have had home tutoring with Native Irish speakers and each time they have run away.... except that the last one didn't actually run, he had a heart attack instead! Despite their grand cowardice I have a vocabulary of about a hundred words and an intuitive ear so that even if I don't know their words; I understand roughly what they are talking about.

    2. A heart attack! The lengths people will go to not to have to return..tut tut :-) Perhaps you could make a pronunciation video of the standard words for us, like days, months, numbers...that sort of thing? It would be fun to try and copy you too!

    3. Am sure that there are videos on YouTube giving Irish pronunciations. I shall have to do a search and let you know. The worst problem I & other foreigners have & do have with Irish, is that the pronunciations change according the Province of the speaker. Such I learn't a phrase from a Munster man and was strongly corrected by a Leinster person!

    4. Hi Val you might like to check out this:

  4. Hey thanks for that, that is an interesting calendar!

  5. Hey, thanks for that, that is an interesting what are the origins of All Hallows Eve then?

    1. All Hallows Eve was and is a Vigil, a time of prayer.
      Briefly:It was in Ireland and Scotland and England that All Hallows' Eve became a combination of prayer and merriment. Following the break with the Holy See, Queen Elizabeth forbade all observances connected with All Souls' Day. In spite of her laws, however, customs survived; even Shakespeare in his Two Gentlemen of Verona has Speed tell Valentine that he knows he is in love because he has learned to speak "puling like a beggar at Hallowmas." This line must have escaped the Queen.

      Tricks or treats — old style

      Begging at the door grew from an ancient English custom of knocking at doors to beg for a "soul cake" in return for which the beggars promised to pray for the dead of the household.


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