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Town Square

A Traditional New Years, one of many

Original post made by Hal, another community, on Oct 28, 2010

Dear Dolores,

This story contains 100 words.

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Posted by hal
a resident of another community
on Oct 29, 2010 at 7:26 am

Dear Dolores,

I received e-mail asking for an explanation of this New Year's celebration:

"The Celtic festival of Samhain, whose original spelling was Samuin (pronounced sow-an or sow-in)" The name is derived from Old Irish and means roughly "summer's end". The festival of Samhain celebrates the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half", and is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic New Year". The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family's ancestors were honoured and invited home while harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm."

halbailey@yahoo.com