I got asked a few minutes ago at work if I was dressing up at all for tomorrow. Why tomorrow? Well tomorrow is October 31, and as well it falling on a Friday, it’s also Halloween. Americans seem to love Halloween and we’re owned by an American company. So reasonable question, then?
Yes it is, but that’s actually not my point. For years I lived under the misapprehension of Halloween being a satanic festival when it is nothing of the sort. It is mostly a mangled mimicry of a pagan festival: Samhain. And the other problem is that the consumerist version of it is extremely American.
It was also an interesting opportunity for a discussion on beliefs. One I did not take, I hasten to add, though I admit I was tempted.
Picking up a more pagan belief system inevitably means picking up on the eight sabbats and Samhain is one of the really big important ones. It also means becoming more aware of the seasons and once you do that, it is an inescapable fact in the Southern Hemisphere, Halloween does not co-incide with Samhain like it does north of the equator. Instead, it is Beltane.