Sunday, November 1, 2009

Oídche Shamhna

Meaning : The night of Samhain

Samhain (pronounced “Sauwain”) – The autumn equinox.  As Beltaine (May 1st)  marked the beginnings of summer, so Samhain recorded the end.  Samhain was celebrated with ritual bonfires and is the origin of Halloween.  The Celtic year began with Samhain at the end of October, a time of deliberate misrule and contrariness.  It was also thought to be a time when the dead could return to warm themselves at the fires of the living and when poets were able to enter the Otherworld. 

Halloween pumpkin lanterns may have originated with Celts’s customs of placing the skulls of ancestors outside their doors at this time.

“Decoding the Celtic. Revealing the legacy of the Celtic Traditions, Claire Hamilton & Steve Eddy.”


Last night was the beginning of Samhain.  On my bucket list is to go to Scotland, but if I could put an asterisk next to it, it would say “Go during the celebration of Samhain”.  I’m deeply in love with Celtic history with all of its lore and mythology and I have Michael Linkletter to thank for that.  He was my Celtic professor at STFX (6/7 years ago).  Since that class I’ve read everything that I can with regards to their deep history.  Someday I hope to return to study the Gaelic language and divulge my time into taking another Celtic History course.  However until then I will bide my time reading my Celtic Lore, History & Mythology books

Meanwhile Halloween in Kugaaruk is over and the kids are probably holding their bellies after consuming all their treats from last night.  We gave out suckers, skittles – starbursts, goldfish crackers and tootsies pops.  It was a great evening and over all we had approximately 110 kids, unfortunately we didn’t get to see a lot of costumes,  half the kids were out in their winter garb considering it was –35 with wind-chill.  We did get to see plenty of face paint that turned the kidlets into mice, cats, clowns and scary creatures.  We also had a couple of furry animals grace our door early in the evening; a  very adorable puppy & bear. 

We thought about heading over to the Hamlet for the Costume Contest however it was damn cold out, and considering we spent a considerable amount of time there last year we felt that we wouldn’t see anything different.  So Hughie and I decided to kick back with a couple of good “old” horror movies.  Pet Semetary and Night of the Living Dead.  Two classic horror movies that still had my skin crawling.  I’m just glad we don’t own The Ring.  It was a great spooky evening. 

I came to the realization that we must live in one of the safest Trick n Treating locations.  The whole town knows one another as does the kids and the chances of someone tainting the candy is not even thought of.  As a child I was never allowed to eat “homemade” candy that was given out the doors however here I saw fudge, popcorn balls and squares in the bags of the kids .  There are also no pumpkins in town for kids to destroy no hay bails to burn and eggs are so expensive kids don’t buy them to throw at doors and cars.   It is nice to wake up in the morning look out the window and see nothing; in Selkirk you would see Toilet paper, destroyed pumpkins and egg shells spattering the roads and sidewalks.

I hope everyone one had a safe Samhain. 

I’m not sure if it is too soon for this but…54 days until Christmas Eve.


Christa said...

St. FX?! me too! I went there from 2001-2007 (biology then education degree). Such a small world :D

Tammy said...

I'm afraid I'm not a member of the X ring society, I did only a year at STFX and then decided to jump back into the working world. My husband however graduated in 2005 and he proudly wears his x-ring. We have seen more X-rings here in Nunavut than we have seen the whole time we were living in Manitoba.