The name Samhain means "Summer's End"
and that is just what it was. Samhain was the final harvest and the New
Year Festival. It was a time to clean out the old and welcome the
new, to reflect and forgive, and to visit with loved ones - both living
Celts believed, on October 31, the good spirits of the dead could come
back to earth, often in the form of a black cat, to be reunited with loved
ones, one last time.
The ancient Celts believed that the night before each new
year, a door opened between this world and the Otherworld - a place the
ancient Celts believed was inhabited by supernatural spirits both good and
bad. They believed that October 31 was the most dangerous night in the
year. That night, people were exposed to the entire supernatural world.
Once the doorway was opened to allow a loved one to visit, evil spirits
could pass through as well.
The ancient Celts left us a rich legacy of mythology
and of stories about fairies, leprechauns, banshees, and ghouls. Their
culture lives on today in music, story, and song, and in many of our
of the Dead
Lesson Plans & Activities
What is Samhain?
The Ancient Celts
Day of the
& Halloween (History Channel)
of the Dead (Edsitement)
Fall Leaf Clip Art (Kidsturn Central)