|Also called||Samhuinn/Samhainn (Scottish Gaelic)
Sauin (Manx Gaelic)
|Observed by||Historically: Gaels
Today: Irish people, Scottish people, Manx people, Celtic neopagans and Wiccans
Pagan (Celtic polytheism, Celtic Neopaganism, Wicca)
|Significance||End of the harvest season, beginning of winter|
|Date||Sunset 31 October – sunset 1 November (N. Hemisphere)
Sunset 30 April – sunset 1 May (S. Hemisphere)
|Celebrations||Bonfires, guising, divination, apple bobbing, feasting|
|Related to||Halloween, Hop-tu-Naa, Calan Gaeaf, Kalan Gwav, All Saints' Day, All Souls' Day|
Samhain (pron.: //, //, or //) is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year. Most commonly it is held on 31 October–1 November, or halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. Along with Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh it makes up the four Gaelic seasonal festivals. It was observed in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Kindred festivals were held at the same time of year in other Celtic lands; for example the Brythonic Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall) and Kalan Goañv (in Brittany).
Samhain is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature. Many important events in Irish mythology happen or begin on Samhain. It was the time when cattle were brought back down from the summer pastures and when livestock were slaughtered for the winter. In much of the Gaelic world, bonfires were lit and there were rituals involving them, as at Beltane. People and their livestock would often walk between two bonfires as a cleansing ritual, and the bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames. Samhain (like Beltane) was seen as a time when the "door" to the Otherworld opened enough for the souls of the dead, and other beings, to come into our world. Feasts were had, at which the souls of dead kin were beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them. It has thus been likened to a festival of the dead. People also took steps to protect themselves from harmful spirits, which is thought to have led to the custom of guising. Divination was also done at Samhain.
It was popularized as the "Celtic New Year" from the late 19th century, following Sir John Rhys and Sir James Frazer. It has been linked with All Saints' Day (and later All Souls' Day) since the 9th century, when the date of that holiday was shifted to November 1. Both have strongly influenced the secular customs of Halloween.
Samhain is still celebrated as a cultural festival by some (though it has mostly been replaced by Halloween) and, since the 20th century, has been celebrated as a religious festival by Celtic neopagans and Wiccans. Neopagans in the Southern Hemisphere often celebrate Samhain at the other end of the year (~30 April–1 May).
In Modern Irish the name is Samhain [ˈsˠaunʲ], in Scottish Gaelic Samhainn/Samhuinn [ˈsaũ.iɲ], and in Manx Gaelic Sauin. These are also the names of November in each language, shortened from Mí na Samhna (Irish), Mì na Samhna (Scottish Gaelic) and Mee Houney (Manx). The night of 31 October (Halloween) is Oíche Shamhna (Irish), Oidhche Shamhna (Scottish Gaelic) and Oie Houney (Manx), all meaning "Samhain night". 1 November, or the whole festival, may be called Lá Samhna (Irish), Là Samhna (Scottish Gaelic) and Laa Houney (Manx), all meaning "Samhain day".
These names all come from the Old Irish samain, samuin or samfuin [ˈsaṽɨnʲ] all referring to 1 November (latha na samna: 'samhain day'), and the festival and royal assembly held on that date in medieval Ireland (oenaig na samna: 'samhain assembly'). Its meaning is glossed as 'summer's end', and the frequent spelling with f suggests analysis by popular etymology as sam ('summer') and fuin ('end'). The Old Irish sam is from Proto-Indo-European (PIE) *semo-; cognates include Welsh haf, Breton hañv, English summer and Old Norse sumar, all meaning 'summer', and the Sanskrit sáma ('season').
In 1907, Whitley Stokes suggested an etymology from Proto-Celtic *samani ('assembly'), cognate to Sanskrit sámana, and Gothic samana. J. Vendryes concludes that samain is unrelated to *semo- ('summer'), remarking that the Celtic 'end of summer' was in July, not November, as evidenced by Welsh gorffennaf ('July'). We would therefore be dealing with an Insular Celtic word for 'assembly', *samani or *samoni, and a word for 'summer', saminos (from *samo-: 'summer') alongside samrad, *samo-roto-.
Coligny calendar 
The Gaulish month name SAMON[IOS] on the Coligny calendar is likely related to the words Samhain and summer. A festival of some kind may have been held during the 'three nights of Samonios' (Gaulish trinux[tion] samo[nii]). The Gaulish calendar seems to have split the year into two halves: the first beginning with the month SAMON[IOS] and the second beginning with the month GIAMONIOS, which is related to the word for winter, PIE *g'hei-men- (Latin hiems, Latvian ziema, Lithuanian žiema, Slavic zima, Greek kheimon, Hittite gimmanza), cf. Old Irish gem-adaig ('winter's night'). The lunations marking the middle of each half-year may also have been marked by festivals .
Samain or Samuin was the name of the feis or festival marking the beginning of winter in Gaelic Ireland. It is attested in some of the earliest Old Irish literature, from the 10th century onward. It was one of four Gaelic seasonal festivals: Samhain (~1 November), Imbolc (~1 February), Beltane (~1 May) and Lughnasadh (~1 August). Samhain and Beltane, at the witherward side of the year from each other, are thought to have been the most important. Sir James George Frazer wrote in The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion that 1 May and 1 November are of little importance to European crop-growers, but of great importance to herdsmen. It is at the beginning of summer that cattle is driven to the upland summer pastures and the beginning of winter that they are led back. Thus, Frazer suggests that halving the year at 1 May and 1 November dates from a time when the Celts were mainly a pastoral people, dependent on their herds. In medieval Ireland the festival marked the end of the season for trade and warfare and was an ideal date for tribal gatherings. These gatherings are a popular setting for early Irish tales.
In Irish mythology 
Irish mythology was originally a spoken tradition, but the tales were eventually written down by Christian monks in the Middle Ages, who are thought to have Christianized many of them. According to Irish mythology, Samhain (like Beltane) was a time when the 'door' to the Otherworld opened enough for fairies and the dead to communicate with us; but while Beltane was a summer festival for the living, Samhain "was essentially a festival for the dead". The Boyhood Deeds of Fionn says that the sídhe doorways (fairy mounds or portals to the fairy world) "were always open at Samhain". Like Beltane, Lughnasadh and Imbolc, Samhain also involved great feasts. Mythology suggests that drinking alcohol was part of the feast, and it is noteworthy that every tale that features drunkenness is said to take place at Samhain.
Many important events in Irish mythology happen or begin on Samhain. The invasion of Ulster that makes up the main action of the Táin Bó Cúailnge (Cattle Raid of Cooley) begins on Samhain. As cattle-raiding typically was a summer activity, the invasion during this off-season surprised the Ulstermen. The Second Battle of Maighe Tuireadh also begins on Samhain. The Morrígan (Morríghan) and The Dagda (Daghdha) meet and have sex before the battle against the Fomorians; in this way the Morrígan acts as a sovereignty figure and gives the victory to the Dagda's people, the Tuatha Dé Danann.
According to the Dindsenchas and Annals of the Four Masters, Samhain in ancient Ireland was associated with the god Crom Cruach. King Tigernmas (Tighearnmhas) was said to have made offerings to Crom Cruach each Samhain, sacrificing a first-born child by smashing their head against a stone idol of the god. The Four Masters says that Tigernmas, with "three fourths of the men of Ireland about him" died while worshiping Crom Cruach at Magh Slécht on Samhain. Irish kings Diarmait mac Cerbaill and Muirchertach mac Ercae both die a threefold death on Samhain, which may be linked to human sacrifice.
The Ulster Cycle contains many references to Samhain. In the 10th-century Tochmarc Emire (the Wooing of Emer), Samhain is the first of the four "quarter days" of the year mentioned by the heroine Emer. The 12th century tales Mesca Ulad and Serglige Con Culainn begin at Samhain. In Serglige Con Culainn, it is said that the festival of the Ulaidh at Samhain lasted a week: Samhain itself, and the three days before and after. They would gather on the Plain of Muirthemni where there would be meetings, games, and feasting. In Aislinge Óengusa (the Dream of Óengus) it is when he and his bride-to-be switch from bird to human form, and in Tochmarc Étaíne (the Wooing of Étaín) is the day on which Óengus claims the kingship of Brú na Bóinne. In Echtra Neraí (the Adventure of Nera), one Nera from Connacht undergoes a test of bravery on Samhain put forth by King Ailill. The prize is the king's own gold-hilted sword. To win it, a man must leave the warmth and safety of Ailill’s hall and make their way through the night to a gallows where two prisoners had been hanged the day before, tie a twig around one man's ankle, and return. Others had been thwarted by the demons and spirits that harried them as they attempted the task, quickly coming back to Ailill's hall in shame. However, Nera fulfills the task and infiltrates the fairy mound where he remains trapped until next Samhain. Taking etymology into consideration, it is interesting to note that the word for summer in the Echtra Nerai is samraid.
The other cycles feature Samhain as well. The 14th century Aided Chrimthainn maic Fidaig (the Killing of Crimthann mac Fidaig) tells how Mongfind (Mongfhionn) tried to kill her own brother Crimthann (the King of Munster) to make sure her son Brian succeeded to the throne. Mongfind offered Crimthann a poisoned drink at the Samhain feast, but he dared her to drink from it first. Having no other choice but to drink the poison, she died on the eve of Samhain, after which the festival came to be known as Mongfind's or Mongfhionn's Feast, "wherefore women and the rabble make petitions to her on samain-eve."
In the aforesaid Boyhood Deeds of Fionn, the young Fionn Mac Cumhaill visits Tara where Aillen the Burner, one of the Tuatha Dé Danann, puts everyone to sleep at Samhain and burns the place. However, Fionn is able to stay awake and slays Aillen, and is made the head of the fianna.
Several sites in Ireland are especially linked to Samhain. A host of otherworldly beings was said to emerge from Oweynagat ("cave of the cats"), near Rathcroghan in County Roscommon, each Samhain. The Hill of Ward (or Tlachta) in County Meath is thought to have been the site of a great Samhain gathering and bonfire; the Iron Age ringfort is said to have been where the goddess or druid Tlachta died, giving birth to triplets that resulted from rape.
In The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain (1996), Ronald Hutton writes: "No doubt there were [pagan] religious observances as well, but none of the tales ever portrays any". The only historic reference to religious rites is in the work of the "thoroughly unreliable" Geoffrey Keating (died 1644), who says that the druids of Ireland would gather on Tlachta on Samhain night to kindle a sacred fire. However, his source is unknown. Hutton says it may be that religious rites aren't mentioned because, centuries after Christianization, the writers didn't know what they had been.
The idea that, in Old Irish literature, Samhain is particularly associated with the supernatural is due to Jeffrey Gantz and others. Hutton criticizes this as unfounded; he argues that the gatherings of royalty and warriors on Samhain are simply an ideal setting for such tales in the same way that many Arthurian tales are set at courtly gatherings at Christmas or Pentecost.
Historic Samhain customs 
Samhain was one of the four main festivals of the Gaelic calendar, marking the last harvest and beginning of winter. Traditionally, Samhain was a time to take stock of the herds and food supplies. Cattle were brought down to the winter pastures after six months in the higher summer pastures. It was also the time to choose which animals would need to be slaughtered for the people to survive the winter. This custom is still observed by many who farm and raise livestock because it is when meat will keep since the freeze has come and also since summer grass is gone and free foraging is no longer possible.
As with the other three Gaelic seasonal festivals, there is evidence that bonfires were lit on hilltops at Samhain. However, Ronald Hutton says that this only seems to have been common along Scotland's Highland Line, on the Isle of Man, in north and mid Wales, and in parts of Ulster heavily settled by Scots. In Scotland, these bonfires were called samhnagan, and they were usually made from flammable materials like ferns, tar-barrels, and anything else that would burn. In the late 18th century, John Ramsay of Ochtertyre wrote that, in that part of Scotland, a ring of stones was laid round the fire to represent each person. Everyone then ran round it with a torch, "exulting". In the morning, the stones were examined and if any was mislaid it was said that the person for whom it was set would not live out the year. A similar practise was observed in north Wales and in Brittany. James Frazer says that this may come from "an older custom of actually burning them" (i.e. human sacrifice). In Moray, boys asked for bonfire fuel from each house in the village. When the fire was lit, "one after another of the youths laid himself down on the ground as near to the fire as possible so as not to be burned, and in such a position as to let the smoke roll over him. The others ran through the smoke and jumped over him". It is likely that the smoke was thought to have protective powers. In 19th century northeast Scotland, people carried a torch of fir wood around their fields to protect them. On South Uist, people did likewise with burning turf. Sometimes, two bonfires would be built side by side, and the people—sometimes with their livestock—would walk between them as a ritual of purification. The bones of slaughtered cattle were said to have been cast upon bonfires. In the pre-Christian Gaelic world, cattle were the main unit of currency and the center of agricultural and pastoral life. In some parts, people doused their hearth fires on Samhain night. Each family then solemnly lit its hearth from the communal bonfire, thus bonding the families of the village together. In the 17th century, Geoffrey Keating wrote that the druids of ancient Ireland would gather on Tlachta on Samhain night to kindle a sacred fire. From this, every bonfire in the land was lit, and from thence every home in the land relit their hearth, which had been doused that night. However, his source is unknown, and Ronald Hutton supposes that Keating had mistaken a Beltane custom for a Samhain one.
As noted earlier, beings and souls from the Otherworld were said to come into our world at Samhain. It is still the custom in some areas to set a place at the Samhain feast for the souls of dead kinfolk and to tell tales of one's forebears. However, the souls of thankful kin could return to bestow blessings just as easily as that of a murdered person could return to wreak revenge. Fairies were thought to steal humans on Samhain and fairy mounds were to be avoided. People took steps to allay or ward-off these harmful spirits and fairies. They stayed near to home or, if forced to walk in the darkness, turned their clothing inside-out or carried iron or salt to keep the fairies at bay. Offerings of food were left at the door for the fairies to ensure their favor in the coming year. Turnip lanterns, sometimes with faces carved into them, were common at Samhain in the 19th century in parts of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands. The purpose of these lanterns may have been threefold. They may have been used to light one's way while outside on Samhain night; to represent the spirits and otherworldly beings; and/or to protect oneself and one's home from them. Bettina Arnold writes that they were sometimes set on windowsills to keep them out of one's home. However, others suggest that they originated with All Saints/All Souls and that they represented Christian souls in purgatory.
Wearing costumes and masks (or 'guising') may have been another way to befuddle, ward-off or represent the harmful spirits and fairies. Guising or mumming was common at winter festivals in general, but was "particularly appropriate to a night upon which supernatural beings were said to be abroad". Before the 20th century, guising at Samhain was done in parts of Ireland, Mann, the Scottish Highlands and islands, and Wales. In Ireland, costumes were sometimes worn by those who went about before nightfall collecting for a Samhain feast. On Samhain in parts of southern Ireland during the 19th century there was a Láir Bhán (white mare) procession. Someone covered in a white sheet and carrying a decorated horse skull (representing the Láir Bhán) would lead a group of youths, blowing on cow horns, from house to house. At each, they recited verses and those inside were expected to donate food and other gifts. The greater the donation, the greater the blessings that would be bestowed on them by the 'Muck Olla'. This is akin to the Mari Lwyd (grey mare) procession in Wales. Some have linked this custom with pagan goddesses of sovereignty, who were often associated with white horses. In Scotland, young men would dress in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces. This was common in the 16th century in the Scottish countryside and persisted into the 20th. Hutton writes: "When imitating malignant spirits it was a very short step from guising to playing pranks". Playing pranks at Samhain is recorded in the Scottish Highlands as far back as 1736 and was also common in Ireland, which led to Samhain being nicknamed "Mischief Night" in some parts. Guising and pranks at All Saints isn't thought to have reached England until the 20th century, though mumming had been done at other festivals. At the time of mass transatlantic Irish and Scottish immigration, which popularized Halloween in North America, Halloween in Ireland and Scotland had a strong tradition of guising and pranks. Trick-or-treating may have come from the custom of going door-to-door collecting food for Samhain feasts, fuel for Samhain bonfires and/or offerings for the spirits and fairies. Alternatively, it may have come from the English All Saints/All Souls custom of collecting soul cakes.
Divination has likely been a part of the festival since ancient times, and it has survived in some rural areas. The most common uses were to find out the identity of one's future spouse, the location of one's future home, and how many children one might have. Seasonal foods such as apples and nuts were often eaten in these rituals. Apples were peeled, the peel tossed over the shoulder, and its shape examined to see if it formed the first letter of the future spouse's name. Nuts were roasted on the hearth and their behavior interpreted - if the nuts stayed together, so would the couple. Egg whites were dropped in water, and the shapes foretold the number of future children. Children would also chase crows and divine some of these things from the number of birds or the direction they flew.
A Samhain custom thought to be a survival of a pagan ritual was observed on Iona until the late 18th century and on Lewis until the early 19th. On 31 October, the locals would go down to the shore. One man would wade into the water up to his waist, where he would pour out a cup of ale and ask 'Seonaidh' (anglicized as 'Shoney')—likely an old pagan god—to bestow blessings on them.
Celtic Revival 
During the late 19th and early 20th century Celtic Revival, there was an upswell of interest in Samhain and the other Celtic festivals. Sir John Rhys put forth that it had been the "Celtic New Year". He inferred it from contemporary folklore in Ireland and Wales, which he felt was "full of Hallowe'en customs associated with new beginnings". He visited Mann and found that the Manx sometimes called 31 October "New Year's Night" or Hog-unnaa. The Tochmarc Emire, written in the Middle Ages, reckoned the year around the four festivals at the beginning of the seasons, and put Samhain at the beginning of those. However, Hutton says that the evidence for it being the Celtic or Gaelic New Year's Day is flimsy. Rhys's theory was popularized by Sir James George Frazer, though at times he did acknowledge that the evidence is inconclusive. Frazer also put forth that Samhain had been the pagan Celtic festival of the dead and that it had been Christianized as All Saints and All Souls. Since then, Samhain has been popularly seen as the Celtic New Year and an ancient festival of the dead. The calendar of the Celtic League, for example, begins and ends at Samhain.
Related festivals 
In the Brythonic branch of the Celtic languages, Samhain is known as the 'calends of winter'. The Brythonic lands of Wales, Cornwall and Brittany held festivals on 31 October similar to the Gaelic one. In Wales it is Calan Gaeaf, in Cornwall it is Allantide or Kalan Gwav and in Brittany it is Kalan Goañv.
The Manx celebrate Hop-tu-Naa on 31 October, which is a celebration of the original New Year's Eve. The term is Manx Gaelic in origin, possibly from Shogh ta'n Oie, meaning "this is the night". Traditionally, children dress as scary beings, carry turnips rather than pumpkins and sing an Anglicized version of Jinnie the Witch and may go from house to house asking for sweets or money.
All Saints' Day 
The Roman Catholic holy day of All Saints (or All Hallows) was introduced in the year 609, but was originally celebrated on 13 May. In 835, Louis the Pious switched it to 1 November in the Carolingian Empire, at the behest of Pope Gregory IV. However, from the testimony of Pseudo-Bede, it is known that churches in what are now England and Germany were already celebrating All Saints on 1 November at the beginning of the 8th century. Thus, Louis merely made official the custom of celebrating it on 1 November. James Frazer suggests that 1 November was chosen because it was the date of the Celtic festival of the dead (Samhain) – the Celts had influenced their English neighbors, and English missionaries had influenced the Germans. However, Ronald Hutton points out that, according to Óengus of Tallaght (d. ca. 824), the 7th/8th century church in Ireland celebrated All Saints on 20 April. He suggests that the 1 November date was a Germanic rather than a Celtic idea.
Over time, the night of October 31 came to be called All Hallows' Eve (or All Hallows' Even). Samhain influenced All Hallows' Eve and vice-versa, and the two eventually morphed into the secular holiday known as Halloween.
Samhain and Samhain-based festivals are held by some Neopagans. As there are many kinds of Neopaganism, their Samhain celebrations can be very different despite the shared name. Some try to emulate the historic festival as much as possible. Other Neopagans base their celebrations on sundry unrelated sources, Gaelic culture being only one of the sources. Folklorist Jenny Butler describes how Irish pagans pick some elements of historic Samhain celebrations and meld them with references to the Celtic past, making a new festival of Samhain that is inimitably part of neo-pagan culture.
Neopagans usually celebrate Samhain on 31 October–1 November in the Northern Hemisphere and 30 April–1 May in the Southern Hemisphere, beginning and ending at sundown. Some Neopagans celebrate it at the astronomical midpoint between the autumn equinox and winter solstice (or the full moon nearest this point). In the Northern Hemisphere, this midpoint is when the ecliptic longitude of the Sun reaches 225 degrees. In 2013, this is on 7 November.
Celtic Reconstructionism 
Like other Reconstructionist traditions, Celtic Reconstructionist Pagans emphasize historical accuracy. They base their celebrations and rituals on traditional lore as well as research into the beliefs of the polytheistic Celts.
Celtic Reconstructionist Pagans (or CRs) often celebrate Samhain on the date of first frost, or when the last of the harvest is in and the ground is dry enough to have a bonfire. Some follow the old tradition of building two bonfires, which celebrants and livestock then walk or dance between as a ritual of purification. For CRs, it is a time when the dead are especially honored. Though CRs make offerings at all times of the year, Samhain is a time when more elaborate offerings are made to specific ancestors. This may involve making a small shrine. Often there will be a meal, where a place for the dead is set at the table and they are invited to join. Traditional tales may be told and traditional songs, poems and dances performed. A western-facing door or window may be opened and a candle left burning on the windowsill to guide the dead home. Divination for the coming year is often done, whether in all solemnity or as games for the children. The more mystically inclined may also see this as a time for deeply communing with their deities, especially those seen as being particularly linked with this festival.
Wiccans celebrate a variation of Samhain as one of the yearly Sabbats of the Wheel of the Year. It is deemed by most Wiccans to be the most important of the four "greater Sabbats". Samhain is seen by some Wiccans as a time to celebrate the lives of those who have died, and it often involves paying respect to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets and other loved ones who have died. In some rituals the spirits of the dead are invited to attend the festivities. It is seen as a festival of darkness, which is balanced at the opposite point of the wheel by the spring festival of Beltane, which Wiccans celebrate as a festival of light and fertility.
Wiccans believe that at Samhain the veil between this world and the afterlife is at its thinnest point of the whole year, making it easier to communicate with those who have left this world.
See also 
- in English, the inaccurate spelling pronunciation // is sometimes heard: Random House, Oxford English Dictionary
- O'Driscoll, Robert (ed.) (1981) The Celtic Consciousness New York, Braziller ISBN 0-8076-1136-0 pp.197-216: Ross, Anne "Material Culture, Myth and Folk Memory" (on modern survivals); pp.217-242: Danaher, Kevin "Irish Folk Tradition and the Celtic Calendar" (on specific customs and rituals)
- Hutton, Ronald (1996) Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford, Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-288045-4, p. 363.
- Simpson, John; Weiner, Edmund (1989). Oxford English Dictionary (second ed.). London: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-861186-2. OCLC 17648714.
- Hutton, Ronald. The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy. Oxford, Blackwell. pp. 327–341. ISBN 0-631-18946-7.
- Pokorny, Julius. IEW (1959), s.v. "sem-3", p. 905.
- Rogers, Nicholas (2002). "Samhain and the Celtic Origins of Halloween". Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night, pp.11–21. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-516896-8.
- Stokes (1907). "Irish etyma". Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachforschung 40: 245.
- Vendryes, Lexique Étymologique de l'Irlandais Ancien (1959).[page needed]
- Stüber, Karin , The historical morphology of n-stems in Celtic, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, 1998, p. 111.
- Frazer, Sir James George. The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion. Forgotten Books, 2008. p.644
- Hutton, Ronald (1996) Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford, Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-288045-4, p. 361.
- Monaghan, Patricia. The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore. Infobase Publishing, 2004. p.41
- Koch, John T. Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia. 2006. p.388
- Monaghan, p.180
- Monaghan, p.407
- Monaghan, p.438
- Monaghan, p.345
- Monaghan, p.105
- Annals of the Four Masters: Part 6 at Corpus of Electronic Texts.
- Koch, John T. The Celts: History, Life, and Culture. 2012. p.690
- Monaghan, p.107
- Stokes, Whitley (1903). Revue Celtique 24: 179 http://www.archive.org/details/revueceltiqu24pari
|url=missing title (help).
- O'Halpin, Andy. Ireland: An Oxford Archaeological Guide. Oxford University Press, 2006. p.236
- Hutton, Ronald (1996) Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford, Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-288045-4, p. 362.
- McNeill, F. Marian (1961, 1990) The Silver Bough, Vol. 3. William MacLellan, Glasgow ISBN 0-948474-04-1 pp.11-46
- Hutton, p.369
- Campbell, John Gregorson (1900, 1902, 2005) The Gaelic Otherworld. Edited by Ronald Black. Edinburgh, Birlinn Ltd. ISBN 1-84158-207-7 pp.559-62
- Hutton, pp.365-368
- Frazer, p.647
- Frazer, pp.663-664
- Monaghan, p.120
- MacLeod, Sharon. Celtic Myth and Religion. McFarland, 2011.
- Hutton, p.382
- Hill, Christopher. Holidays and Holy Nights. Quest Books, 2003. p.56
- Arnold, Bettina (2001-10-31). "Bettina Arnold – Halloween Lecture: Halloween Customs in the Celtic World". Halloween Inaugural Celebration. University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee: Center for Celtic Studies. Retrieved 2007-10-16.
- Rogers, Nicholas. Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night. Oxford University Press, 2003. p.57
- Hutton, pp.380-382
- MacLeod, pp.61, 175
- Bannatyne, Lesley Pratt (1998) Forerunners to Halloween Pelican Publishing Company. ISBN 1-56554-346-7 p.44
- Rogers, Nicholas. (2002) "Festive Rights:Halloween in the British Isles". Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night. pp.43, p.48. Oxford University Press.
- Danaher (1972), pp.218-227
- Danaher (1972), p.223
- Hutton, p.363
- "The Celtic League Calendar". Celticleague.org. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
- Hutton, p.364
- Pseudo-Bede, Homiliae subdititiae; John Hennig, 'The Meaning of All the Saints', Mediaeval Studies 10 (1948), 147-161.
- "All Saints Day," The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 3rd edition, ed. E. A. Livingstone (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), 41-42; The New Catholic Encyclopedia, eo.loc.
- Adler, Margot (1979, revised edition 2006) Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today. Boston, Beacon Press ISBN 0-8070-3237-9. pp.3, 243-299
- McColman, Carl (2003) Complete Idiot's Guide to Celtic Wisdom. Alpha Press ISBN 0-02-864417-4. pp.12, 51
- Butler, Jenny (2009), "Neo-Pagan Celebrations of Samhain" 67-82 in Foley, M. and O'Donnell, H., ed. Treat or Trick? Halloween in a Globalising World, Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 1-4438-0153-4
- Nevill Drury (2009). "The Modern Magical Revival: Esbats and Sabbats". In Pizza, Murphy; Lewis, James R. Handbook of Contemporary Paganism. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill Publishers. pp. 63–67. ISBN 9789004163737.
- Hume, Lynne (1997). Witchcraft and Paganism in Australia. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. ISBN 9780522847826.
- Vos, Donna (2002). Dancing Under an African Moon: Paganism and Wicca in South Africa. Cape Town: Zebra Press. pp. 79–86. ISBN 9781868726530.
- Bodsworth, Roxanne T (2003). Sunwyse: Celebrating the Sacred Wheel of the Year in Australia. Victoria, Australia: Hihorse Publishing. ISBN 9780909223038.
- "Equinoxes, Solstice, Cross Quarters shown as seasonal cusps, worshipped by pagans and later religious holidays". Archaeoastronomy.com. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
- "Chart of 2013 equinox, solstice and cross quarter dates and times, worldwide from". archaeoastronomy.com. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
- Bonewits, Isaac (2006) Bonewits's Essential Guide to Druidism. New York, Kensington Publishing Group ISBN 0-8065-2710-2. pp.179, 183-4, 128-140
- Kathryn NicDhana et al. The CR FAQ: An Introduction to Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism. 2007. pp.97-98
- Starhawk (1979, 1989) The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess. New York, Harper and Row ISBN 0-06-250814-8 pp.193-6 (revised edition)
- Nevill Drury (2009). "The Modern Magical Revival". In Pizza, Murphy; Lewis, James R. Handbook of Contemporary Paganism. Leiden: BRILL. p. 65. ISBN 9789004163737.
Secondary sources 
- Arnold, Bettina (2001-10-31). "Bettina Arnold – Halloween Lecture: Halloween Customs in the Celtic World". Halloween Inaugural Celebration. University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee: Center for Celtic Studies. Retrieved 2007-10-16.
- Campbell, John Gregorson. The Gaelic Otherworld, edited by Ronald Black. (1900, 1902, 2005). Birlinn Ltd. pp. 559–62. ISBN 1-84158-207-7
- Danaher, Kevin. "Irish Folk Tradition and the Celtic Calendar." In The Celtic Consciousness, ed. Robert O'Driscoll. New York: Braziller, 1981. pp. 217–42. ISBN 0-8076-1136-0. On specific customs and rituals.
- Ross, Anne "Material Culture, Myth and Folk Memory". In The Celtic Consciousness, ed. Robert O'Driscoll. New York: Braziller, 1981. 197-216. ISBN 0-8076-1136-0.
- Stokes, Whitley (1907). "Irish etyma". Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachforschung 40: 243–9.
- Vendryes, J. Lexique Étymologique de l'Irlandais Ancien. 1959.
Further reading 
- Carmichael, Alexander (1992). Carmina Gadelica. Lindisfarne Press ISBN 0-940262-50-9
- Danaher, Kevin (1972) The Year in Ireland. Dublin, Mercier ISBN 1-85635-093-2
- Evans-Wentz, W. Y. (1966, 1990) The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries. New York, Citadel ISBN 0-8065-1160-5
- MacKillop, James (1998). Dictionary of Celtic Mythology. Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-280120-1
- Monaghan, Patricia (2003). The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth and Spirit. Novato, CA: New World Library. ISBM 9781577314585.
- McCone, Kim R. (1980). "Firinne agus torthúlacht". Léachtaí Cholm Cille 11: 136–173.
- McNeill, F. Marian (1959) The Silver Bough, Vol. 1-4. William MacLellan, Glasgow.
|Look up samhain in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- A to Z of Halloween - Ancient and modern Samhain and Halloween traditions in Ireland.
- Feast of Samhain/Celtic New Year/Celebration of All Celtic Saints - Celtic Christians in Massachusetts, USA.
- Halloween and Samhain - Bilingual, Irish folklore.
- Samhain: Season of Death and Renewal - Celtic Studies and Reconstructionism.
- Samhain at the Hill of Tara, 2007 - Photos of the lighting of the signal fires on Tlachtga and Tara
- The Witches' New Year - A ReClaiming Wiccan's account of her celebrations and beliefs regarding Samhain.
- Samain Film Festival - Festival website of the Film Festival's Samain du cinéma fantastique.