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Great Fire Festival October 31

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We always celebrated The Harvest, Gifts of Earth Mother,
and the
Night when the Ancestors walk among the living.



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Whoever celebrated with us came dressed as a Druid, Witch, Highlander, ancestral ghost; Celtic fire, forest or animal spirits.

Witch

We feasted and danced and processed with our candles to an eight-foot tall Strawman for the harvest celebration, which was set on fire in the ancient Celtic tradition (Scottish/Irish). Participants brought flutes, fiddles or bodhráns — the native drum of the Celts. Celtic music and dancing was done in gratitude to Earth Mother for a splendid harvest and in celebration of our unbreakable bonds to those who have gone before us.
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Celebration was held in the big dome, a building that echoed the old village structures in Scotland... without the thatched roof.
Studio

To Life!
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Samhuinn (Scottish Gaelic)
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Samhuinn (Samhain, Irish Gaelic) is an important Fire Festival celebrated by the Celts long before Christianity and the Romanization of the Western world. Contrary to some claims, it is not a celebration of a Celtic god of the dead. Samhuinn means, “summer's end.” In the Celtic calendar summer came to an end on October 31st and the New Year began on November 1st. The Celts followed a lunar calendar and their celebrations began at sunset.

During the day on October 31st, home hearth fires are extinguished. At sunset, clans or local villages begin the formal ceremonies of Samhuinn by lighting a giant bonfire or strawman filled with harvest gifts. The people gather round the fire to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the deities as a way to give the gods and goddesses gratitude for the year's herd and crops (no, we will not engage in human sacrifice this time around... although we are sorely tempted!). The sacred fires also signify a cleansing of the old year and preparation for the coming new year.

During the celebration, the Celts wear costumes, and dance round the bonfire. In days of yore these dances told stories or dramatized the cycles of life and death or commemorated the Wheel of Life. The costumes honor the dead who visit from the Otherworld on this night, honor Earth Mother, ancient heroes, and sacred trees and animal spirits. To the Celts the Earth, the very soil, is sacred and the mountains are holy places. Let us celebrate that love for the natural world!

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