Halloween or Samhain
Halloween on October 31st is the last day of the Celtic calendar. It was originally a pagan holiday, honoring the dead. Halloween was referred to as All Hallows Eve and dates back to over 2000 years ago.
Halloween culture can be traced back to the Druids, a Celtic culture in Ireland, Britain and Northern Europe. Roots lay in the feast of Samhain, which was annually on October 31st to honor the dead. Samhain signifies “summers end” or November. Samhain was a harvest festival with huge sacred bonfires, marking the end of the Celtic year and beginning of a new one. Many of the practices involved in this celebration were fed on superstition.The Celts believed the Souls of the dead roamed the streets and villages at night. Since not all souls were thought to be friendly, gifts and treats were left out to pacify the evil and ensure next years crops would be plentiful. This custom evolved into trick-or-treating.
- Halloween is the modern name for Samhain, an ancient Celtic holy day which many Neopagans — especially Wiccans, Druids and Celtic Reconstructionists — celebrate as a spiritual beginning of a new year.
- Halloween is a time to confront our personal and cultural attitudes towards death and those who have passed on before us.
- Halloween is a time to lift the veil between the many material and spiritual worlds in divination, so as to gain spiritual insight about our pasts and futures.
- Halloween is a time to deepen our connection to the cycles of the seasons, to the generations that have come before us and those that will follow, and to the Gods and Goddesses we worship.
Similar to Halloween, there a ceremony for Ancestors in India called as “Tharpanam”. Generally Pitru Tharpanam is done during “Pitru Paksha” or “Mahalaya Paksha” or “Shraadh Paksha” which means a period for ancestors and departed members of the family. It is 15 day during which we pay homage to pacify the departed souls of the ancestors and perform a Tharpanam to keep the souls of their ancestors at rest. Often it is a son performing the ceremony in honor of a father. The period starting from the day next to Full Moon day Sept 15th – Oct 15t and ending on the New Moon day is the most auspicious time for performing this ceremony.
This is very calm and peaceful, but no sorrow and cry, because death can take only the body but not the soul, the soul is immortal and our ancestor visit us every year. So this ceremony with a happy but peaceful mood.To gain happiness in our life we must have the blessings of our ancestors.
Relevant to this topic I found an interesting video on Soul Genetics…