Samhain marks one of the two great doorways of the Celtic year. The Celts divided the year into two seasons: the light and the dark- Beltane on May 1st and Samhain on November 1st. Samhain may have been the more important festival, marking the beginning of a whole new cycle. Just as the Celtic day began at night, it was understood that in dark silence comes whisperings of new beginnings, the stirring of the seed below the ground.
All the harvest must be gathered in – barley, oats, wheat, turnips, and apples – for come November, the faeries would blast every growing plant with their breath, blighting any nuts and berries remaining on the hedgerows. Peat and wood for winter fires were stacked high by the hearth. All members of the household worked together baking, salting meat, and making preserves for the winter to come.
This image appears on the calendar, Photomanipulation~ a New Vision (click to view)
Because the gods drew near to Earth at Samhain many sacrifices and gifts were offered up in thanksgiving. Personal prayers in the form of objects symbolizing the wishes of supplicants or ailments to be healed were cast into the Samhain Bonfire and at the end of the ceremony brands were lit from the great fire to re-kindle all their home fires. As they received the flame that marked this time of beginnings, people surely felt a sense of the kindling of new dreams, projects and hopes for the year to come.
Canon EOS REBEL T1i, Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-55mm.
A texture from Brenda-Starr, a layer from Muffet, and textures of my own were blended using Paint Shop Pro.
Location: a backyard in the rolling hills of upstate New York (USA).
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Samhain fires continue to blaze down the through the centuries.
A marriage (a new beginning) is celebrated by this modern Samhain bonfire.