The Samhain moon this year was fleeting but awesome. A great start to the night.
Samhain (pronounced sow-an), is the Gaelic harvest festival that marked the end of the harvest, the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half" of the year. We celebrate it as close to Halloween as we can and sometime before November 1st.
Is it a little pagan for us modernized Christian folks? Maybe, but so is almost every Christian holiday!
The bonfire is lit. Come join us! We won't let the dragon eat you.
This is the night we remember, honor, and toast our dead, for it is supposed that the veil between the living and the dead is thin, and communication is possible on Samhain Eve. We burn a door to make it a little easier. In Oregon we all tend to do a fair amount of remodeling so someone always has a door.
We gather around a bonfire and pass the Quaich (quake), which is a silver dish with handles on both sides full of really good scotch; and toast the people we’ve lost in the last year. The cup gets refilled and at some point there is more scotch than people we’ve lost so we toast people we’ve lost…..for as long as we can remember until the scotch is all gone, or we are.
This year we used my great Glenmorangie Lasanta in honor of my Grandfather.
One of the other customs of the Celtic Feast of the Dead was the making a ‘tumpshie’ (turnip) lantern. People cut the head off a large turnip and hollowed out the inside. Then a skull face was carved into the side of the turnip. When it was done, a candle was placed in the centre to give out an eerie light. Presently it has become more favorable to use a pumpkin, but the face of death, of the souls that have passed on is it’s true representation.
Samhain is a great night to play with fire photography. I am really fond of fire photography. It might have something to do with the whole being a glassblower for 40 years thing. I’m predisposed to fire fascination.
Anyway, I love to see the things that show up in fire photography. For instance, in this one I see a dancing demon, an avenging angel, a cat face and the Eiffel Tower (I usually see the Eiffel Tower in everything, especially on Fridays.)
Shhhhh. Look! the dragon is here...
You know of course that where there’s fire, if you sit quietly the dragons will come….because, you must know how dragons like fire.
Samhain in Scotland
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