happy Samhain everyone!

Discussion in 'Pagan' started by bgruagach, Oct 30, 2007.

  1. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    I hope everyone has a blessed Samhain this year. My group will be getting together tomorrow night (the night before Halloween) to have a silent supper. We will have extra places set at the table, and will serve food at those places along with our own, so that the spirits of our dearly departed might join us.

    On the actual night I'll be at home handing out candies to all the little gremlins and goblins and ghosties that knock at the door! All that trick-or-treating activity makes it more difficult to do anything solemn on that particular night so I'll leave it for other times.

    What are others going to be doing? Anything special?
     
  2. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    Tell me more about the meals that are placed at empty seats! :D If you wouldn't mind that is.
     
  3. Julia59

    Julia59 Member

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    I'm on the night shift this week so I'll be up all night and hoping that the people I care for sleep well so that I can think about what I've achieved over the past year and what I want for the next. I'll remember the people who are no longer here and maybe they'll visit me

    Happy Halloween

    Julia
     
  4. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    We have a big potluck meal, and have extra places and chairs set at the table with us for the spirits that care to join in. The people who sit next to an empty spot take care to put food on the spirit's plate as the food is passed around, as well as food on their own of course. We also make sure there is plenty of drink poured in the spirits' glasses as well as our own.

    We generally try to make food that our dearly departed would have enjoyed in life. This year I'm planning to make roast pork or roast beef.

    The important thing during the silent supper though is that we have the extra places set and served for the spirits, and we don't speak or have music playing while we have the meal. (Some traditional versions of the silent supper insist that you should also do everything backwards -- i.e. start with dessert, and work your way backwards through the meal. My own group doesn't do that.)
     
  5. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    Awesome thank you for the reply...

    Now I am guessing, the plates that are put there for the passed ones, you don't really expect them to be eaten? Or is it more an act of memorial....? I also guessed you wouldn't speak... So it is a standard three course meal, in silence? Would you say the silence is again another act of memorial? As in say for example the minute silence for some tragic victims of an earthquake? You know? Or is there another meaning to what the silence represents? Also, What would the backwards act mean? Would that be connected say, to it used to be summer, get up in the light, go work come home in the light... Now it's all switched lol and get up in the darkness and come home in the darkness? Or am I just being crazy? Sorry Just trying to figure some stuff out.... If This is too many questions, simply ignore this post lol... I wouldn't be offended :)
     
  6. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    Samhain is all about remembering the dead and perhaps being closer to them than we usually are at other times of year. A lot of the folklore about this time of year says that the veil between the land of the living and the land of the dead is thin, and the dead can come back to visit their loved ones, and see the places they knew while they were alive. Holding a feast in their honour, whether they physically eat and drink or not, and giving ourselves the silence in which to remember and also perhaps to hear the voices of those who have passed over, is just one way to memorialize the dearly departed.

    There's a good article about silent supper traditions here at Witchvox.com.

    The backwards thing is a symbolic way of requesting the departed to return. It's like the participants are attempting to turn back time to when the departed were still alive. It might also be a way to remind the spirits that this is not a normal meal, and that they are merely visiting the living rather than becoming one of them. Some people suggest that is at least part of the purpose of a wake and funeral too -- it's a way for the living to remind the departed that they are dead, and that it is OK to move on.
     
  7. Impqueen

    Impqueen Queen of the Imps

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    I posted it in the Hallowe'en thread! :p I'm pretty low key about festivals.
     
  8. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    My thanks my canuck cousin!!! Again you have been most helpful. :)

    I really like the idea... The, symbolisim/symbology... Of eating the meal backwards.. That's nice.
     
  9. bob x

    bob x Well-Known Member

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    The "true" Samhain is coming up on the night between Monday and Tuesday (Nov. 5-6). It is supposed to be halfway between the equinox and solstice. The reason for the now-standard dates, "Groundhog" (Imbolg) on Feb. 2, "Mayday" (Beltane) on May 1, "Midsummers" (Lughnas) on Aug. 1, and "Halloween" (Samhain) on Oct. 31, is that these were fixed in early medieval times, when the Roman calendar dates were drifting slightly against the seasons (due to the discrepancy between "365 1/4" and the actual 365.2422 days per year); this drift reached 10 days before the Gregorian correction reset the dates and stopped the drifting, but was only about 5 days when the quarter-point dates got set the way they are.
     
  10. Impqueen

    Impqueen Queen of the Imps

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    Interesting. I have wondered about the relation between the Julian and Gregorian calendars and how it affected the festivals. :cool: Don't the Coptic Christians still celebrate Christmas on the 'old' date? It makes the alignment between Christmas and the solstice less obvious, and makes me question the whole 'they stole our festivals' thing. :p

    Personally, I celebrate the seasonal changes of the Earth, and not alot else. Part of me says that every day is a 'holy day' so why celebrate festivals at all? When, as the seasons change, I celebrate them in my heart every day. Is the festival of the Celts really relevant to me when I am in no way a Celtic reconstructionist? But the days rush by, with me with my head in the day to day reality of seasonal change, so I choose to step back and view it as a whole on one day. To say to myself, on that day, today I celebrate the end of the harvest, the slaughtering, I wave goodbye to the summer and greet the winter with a level of apprehension, I remember my dead and my ancestors. The actual date of that day is, to me, unimportant. I choose to use the day chosen by the 'mainstream' because it's easiest and gives me a feeling of community with other pagans, and with those celebrating Hallowe'en in a secular manner. I might, at some point, create my own calender of festivals, drawing on the solstices and equinoxes, seasonal events and maybe elements from the germanic calenders. Mind you, that all sounds like hard work.... :p
     
  11. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Very interesting post. :)
     

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