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Pagans & Wiccans: How do you celebrate October 31st?

I would like to be more informed about what other people do to celebrate Halloween/Samhain, etc. Can you please share with me what you do on this holiday? Christian groups always claim this to be a "Pagan" holiday. Of course, the Christian holidays (Christmas, Easter, etc) also have "Pagan" roots but have had Christian elements added to them. Please don't bash me because I am a Christian, I really just want some education on your beliefs surrounding this holiday. Thanks!

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Asked by indexmom at 1:42 PM on Oct. 21, 2008 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (18)

    because of what samhain is, it's a tween time (not summer, not winter) this is when the veil is thinest. Spirit activity is higher. Tween times are a little hard to explain LOL but if you want more of an explination, I'll gladly try.

    It's also about harvest. but mostly celebrating your ancestors (as the veil is thinist, most think it's a great time to comunicate with those ancestors)

    one tradition is to leave a feast (or just plate of food) out for the dead.


    Answer by flutterfae at 1:48 PM on Oct. 21, 2008

  • I'm Christian by definition that I believe that Jesus died for my sins, but I still honor many old religions, (not thier gods but their practices) I do leave a plate of food out and say a little prayer for the dead.


    Answer by flutterfae at 1:48 PM on Oct. 21, 2008

  • Okay, now this is a question I can get into! lol I have just recently started celebrating/practicing paganism (2006). So in 06 this metaphysical store had a gathering called "Parting the Veil." I went to that since I didn't know what else to do on my own. Basically it was just a meet-n-greet sort of thing. No rituals were done or anything. But, she did have white candles set up (tea lights) so that anyone who had a family member pass away in the past year could light a candle for them. This does a few things: brings comfort to the person lighting the candle, is in honor of the deceased person, and is a way for that deceased person to be represented and a part of the night. TO BE CONTINUED

    Answer by seakla at 1:50 PM on Oct. 21, 2008

  • CONT...Also, to ensure their soul crosses safely over to *whatever* the afterlife may be. In 07 I went to it again, but this year the store is closing so she won't be having it. *pout*. So, this year I am going to light the candles at a private ritual at home. But, we do trick-or-treat with the girls prior to that and I am also invited to a friend's house that night. On the 25th we have another halloween party/birthday party to go to. Basically, all the pagans I know in town celebrate it with any ordinary party that anyone of any faith might do. At the store gatherings there were different scrying methods (divining the future) and most people dressed in robes or medieval-type costumes. But it wasn't a requirement.

    Answer by seakla at 1:51 PM on Oct. 21, 2008

  • Halloween is pagan in nature and Christians( catholics in particular I believe) had tried at one point to adopt it as well as All Hallow's Eve, the Eve before All Saint's Day. Trick or Treating actually was adopted in this way in that Children would go door to door collecting "soul cakes" for the dead. The soul cakes were a representation of prayers meant for deceased family members and friends.
    In Pagan beliefs it is the celebration of Samhain Which was not only to celebrate the harvest and end of summer but was also in some celtic beliefs the beginning of the new year.

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 1:53 PM on Oct. 21, 2008

  • I have been really interested in the more information on where holidays started also, these are a couple sites that helped answer some questions I had.

    Paganism – What is It?
    Paganism has been broadly defined as anyone involved in any religious act, practice, or ceremony which is not Christian. Jews and Muslims also use the term to refer to anyone outside their religion. Others define it as religions outside of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, while some simply define it as being without a religion. CONTI.. at site below


    Answer by Anonymous at 2:20 PM on Oct. 21, 2008

  • We dress in costumes usually ren. fair type cothing. We do have a ritual just to open the nights festivities and during the evening we can light a candle for the loved ones that have died that year. They are invited to be arpart of our celebration and we help them cross over again to the path that they chose in life. It is a very comforting time for us. It helped me out a lot last year when my mom died. I got to say goodbye the way that brought me comfort instead of the christian way.

    Answer by pnwmom at 2:32 PM on Oct. 21, 2008

  • We celebrate Samhain---the Celtic name for what our culture calls Halloween for two purposes, to honor and remember our friends and family that have passed, and to celebrate the end of the harvest season. We generally go to the local public ritual, and generally have people over afterwards for a potluck dinner of seasonally appropriate foods.

    If we don't go to public ritual (or if ritual is held on a different day than the actual holiday), we do what is called a dumb supper--meaning it is silent--in which we invite the spirits of our friends, family, ancestors to join us--we put a empty place setting for them at the table as well. Prior to the dinner we have a mini-ritual to thank the gods, and the sacrifices of those that have come before us, and to invite them to share the celebration and bounty of the end of the harvest season with us.

    Answer by thalassa at 2:34 PM on Oct. 21, 2008

  • Thank you OP for asking for the sake of learning about another path and not judging that is so nice

    Answer by pnwmom at 2:34 PM on Oct. 21, 2008

  • with regards to the Anon @ 2:20...

    none of those sites are accurate.

    Answer by thalassa at 2:42 PM on Oct. 21, 2008

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