Celtic for ‘summers end’, Samhain is one of the most important dates in the Celtic calendar, if not the most important. It marks the completion of one year and the beginning of another.
Calan Gaeaf is the name of the first day of winter in Wales, observed on 1 November. The night before is Nos Galan Gaeaf or Noson Galan Gaeaf, an Ysbrydnos (“spirit night”) when spirits are abroad. Traditionally, people avoid churchyards, stiles, and crossroads, since spirits are thought to gather there. The term is first recorded in literature as “Kalan Gayaf” in the laws of Hywel Dda.
Time for lamps and fires to be relit
ghosts lurking in dark corners
ancestors to be met
acknowledged, understood, forgiven
made peace with
time of letting go