Friday, November 20, 2009

Majestic Lynx returns to Langbard!

Lynx back in Italy

Collared animal wanders in from Switzerland

Italy News Agency article link

Linda Brown - April 4, 2008

(ANSA) - Bolzano, April 4 - The lynx has returned to Italy after being wiped out 100 years ago, the forestry service said Friday.

The reappearance of one of the wild cats in the northern Italian mountains, which has wandered in from neighbouring Switzerland, was an event ''of exceptional interest and value,'' it said.

The service noted the lynx had lived in the Alps from earliest recorded history until it was exterminated by hunters and sheep farmers in the early 20th century.

The presence of the lynx in the Val di Non mountains has been detected thanks to a signalling collar slipped onto the animal in Switzerland last month.

Lynxes became extinct in that country at about the same time as they did in Italy but were successfully re-introduced in the 1970s.

The feline was sporadically spotted there until the mid-1990s but after that it disappeared again.

A predator at the top of the mountain food chain, the lynx poses no danger to humans.

The Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) is a medium-sized cat native to European and Siberian forests, where it is one of the predators. The Eurasian lynx is the biggest of the four species of lynx. All have short tails, characteristic tufts of black hair on the tip of the ears and a ruff under the neck which has black bars, resembling a bow tie. The Eurasian lynx has grey to reddish fur with black spots. It is mainly nocturnal and lives solitarily as an adult. Lynxes prey on hares, rabbits, rodents, foxes, roe deer and reindeer. As with other cats, going for larger prey presents a risk to the animal. There are three other species of lynx: the Iberian (Spanish) lynx, the Canadian lynx and the bobcat.


From Flickr user nerudagirl:

During the centuries this has been a fiercly hunted down Cat, only to from time to time having become close to extinction here, in Sweden ..Even our vikings (Brutes as they were) made a great trade with the furs. A beautiful magnificent Cat......

In the 15'th century the Royal Court appointed special Hunters focusing on Lynx alone more or less to supply the Royal family & the Court with Lynx fur to use for bedding...


*9-19-10 Addition: It's interesting to note that in the same way that the lynx has returned to the Italian Alps via Switzerland, bears have returned to Switzerland via the Italian Alps. Actually bears are making a comeback in all of central Europe from resettlement projects in Italy, Austria, and France. Wolves also are making a comeback. It would be so nice if there were a little bit more room for bears, wolves, and lynxes in Europe, rather than trying so hard to squeeze in as many of the world's eight or so billion people as possible. What about the right of the animals to inhabit their rightful territory?

The Great Bear Comeback (Spiegel)

Bears may be back in Swiss Alps (BBC)

Wolves, Bears Make Comeback in Europe (Deutsche Welle)

Wolves Make a Comeback (ABC News)

[Music: 'All I Live For' by Stigma]

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gallia Cisalpina IV: Gaulish Harvest Festival of Samonios

Gallia Cisalpina IV: Gaulish Harvest Festival of Samonios


The Gaulish calendar appears to have divided the year into two halves: the "dark" half, beginning with the month Samonios (the October/November lunation), and the "light" half, beginning with the month Giamonios (the April/May lunation). The entire year may have been considered as beginning with the "dark" half, so that the beginning of Samonios may be considered the Celtic New Year's day. The celebration of New Year itself may have taken place during the "three nights of Samonios" (Gaulish trinux[tion] samo[nii]), the beginning of the lunar cycle which fell nearest to the midpoint between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice.

The lunations marking the middle of each half-year may also have been marked by specific festivals. The Coligny calendar marks the mid-summer moon (see Lughnasadh), but omits the mid-winter one (see Imbolc). The seasons are not oriented at the solar year, viz. solstice and equinox, so the mid-summer festival would fall considerably later than summer solstice, around 1 August (Lughnasadh). It appears that the calendar was designed to align the lunations with the agricultural cycle of vegetation, and that the exact astrological position of the Sun at that time was considered less important.

[Music: 'Loreley' by Blackmore's Night]

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fortezza Longobarda New Merchandise Out Now

From our friend from YouTube LongobardWarrior:


Available with postepay all Fortezza Longobarda the jobs and new t-shirt !!!
Disponibili con postepay tutti i lavori e nuove t-shirt di Fortezza Longobarda

Info Email :

Fortezza Longobarda Channel (YouTube)

Fortezza Longobarda MySpace Page

Pagan Earth Blog

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

About this blog

This blog has taken a number of different directions since it's founding, and they need to be defined a little bit for clarification. It started as the main mode of communication from the PAL to the community at large, which it remains. It's a way to take many different related subjects, past and present, and tackle them at random. Also, rather than try to constantly maintain a lot of related links, we can just post links at will. It serves as something of a "think tank" for study and future plans.

The Bresciani nel Mondo blog, which changed over to the Lombardian-American blog at some point, was later just merged together with this one. Therefore, there was a focus on those related issues and subjects. Those plans discussed are now on hold.

We see pagan traditions as "a history" first, and have focused a lot of attention to those related subjects. However, we recognize the need to focus on Christian/Catholic related subjects and history. Also, there is a tremendous area of study of Etruscan/Tuscan and Umbrian history. If you wish to write about any related subject, just contact us. If it's a longer work, or continuous study, it might be a good idea to break it down into parts. Also, we would like to encourage others to make videos about aspects of our history.

In conclusion, this blog has taken a number of different directions, not always following a consistent pattern. There are many subjects that would be great to keep focusing on, but we haven't yet gotten back to them. In a few instances, there have been contradictory directions. However, that gets back to the "think tank concept." Weighing and jockeying around facts, ideas, and information in order to decide on a pragmatic approach.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Controversy of Columbus

The two following links, two of many, came to our attention over the recent period of "Columbus Day."

Christopher Columbus Day History Sparks Spar in Calif.

Columbus Day: A Working Holiday?

Though we're not ready yet to really respond to this controversial issue, we can take a quick look at it. When the USA was 90% "European-American" a few decades ago, celebrating the explorers and pioneers of our history was as natural as breathing. However, today, the social climate has changed. Now Columbus is considered by some as a "mass murderer."

It's extremely odd that the revisionists and activists in this area are, overwhelmingly, of Hispanic, Anglo-Saxon, and Jewish descent; the modern progenitors of horrific long-term racial policies in the New World, not the least of which was the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. People talk of the Nazis as being the culmination of so much evil, yet National Socialist Germany lasted a mere twelve years. These policies lasted for many centuries. In other words, the academic policy of historically demonizing Germany, and allowing Spain, Portugal, and England to slide away from any real direct ethnic criticism, is intellectual cowardice.

The imperial policies of those three extremely powerful nations is sloppily attributed to "evil white people," rather than to Spaniards, Portuguese, and Englishmen of that day; and this is all assuming that any individual is even responsible for "what their ancestors did." So ALL white people are to blame according to the gerrymandering of the facts and evidence. Hungarians, Greeks, and Poles should also have "white guilt" according to these intellectual cowards, whose very own direct ancestors' hands were dripping red with blood.

To be entirely clear, we're just referring to those individual anti-Columbus activists. Also, nobody is responsible for "what their ancestors did." If anyone thinks that is issue is an exaggeration, just go to YouTube and find footage of the anti-Columbus protests, which is held in Colorado each year, and then think again. Again, it's pretty strange to see tens of thousands of people, whose direct ancestors administered all of the racial policies during the development of the New World, having so much to say! Rather than protesting, perhaps they should be paying reparations?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"La Bella Principessa" - Milanese Princess - by Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo fingerprint reveals $150 million artwork

The Associated Press - Toronto - October 14, 2009

Mona Lisa has something new to smile about.

A portrait of a young woman thought to be created by a 19th century German artist and sold two years ago for about $19,000 is now being attributed by art experts to Leonardo da Vinci and valued at more than $150 million.

The unsigned chalk, ink and pencil drawing, known as "La Bella Principessa," was matched to Leonardo via a technique more suited to a crime lab than an art studio — a fingerprint and palm print found on the 13 1/2-inch-by-10-inch work.

Peter Paul Biro, a Montreal-based forensic art expert, said the print of an index or middle finger matched a fingerprint found on Leonardo's "St. Jerome" in the Vatican.

Technical, stylistic and material composition evidence — including carbon dating — had art experts believing as early as last year that they had found another work by the creator of the "Mona Lisa."

The discovery of the fingerprint has them convinced the work was by Leonardo, whose myth and mystery already put him at the center of such best-sellers as "The Da Vinci Code" and "The Lost Symbol."

Biro examined multispectral images of the drawing taken by the Lumiere Technology laboratory in Paris, which used a special digital scanner to show successive layers of the work.

"Leonardo used his hands liberally and frequently as part of his painting technique. His fingerprints are found on many of his works," Biro said. "I was able to make use of multispectral images to make a little smudge a very readable fingerprint."

Alessandro Vezzosi, director of a museum dedicated to Leonardo in the artist's hometown of Vinci, Italy, said Wednesday he was "very happy" to hear about the fingerprint analysis, saying it confirmed his own conclusion that the portrait can be attributed to Leonardo with "reasonable certainty."

"For me, it's extraordinary there is confirmation" through the fingerprint, although "it's not like I had any doubt," he said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

Even before the fingerprint discovery, Vezzosi said several experts agreed with his conclusion, which was based on "historical, artistic, stylistic (and) aesthetic" considerations.

Based on its style, the portrait has been dated to 1485-1490, placing it at a time when Leonardo (1452-1519) was living in Milan.

Canadian-born art collector Peter Silverman bought "La Bella Principessa" — or "The Beautiful Princess" — at the gallery in New York on behalf of an anonymous Swiss collector in 2007 for about $19,000. New York art dealer Kate Ganz had owned it for about nine years after buying it at auction for a similar price.

One London art dealer now says it could be worth more than $150 million.

If experts are correct, it will be the first major work by Leonardo to be identified in 100 years.

Ganz still doesn't believe it is a Leonardo.

"Nothing that I have seen or read in the past two years has changed my mind. I do not believe that this drawing is by Leonardo da Vinci," Ganz told the AP on Wednesday. She declined to comment further.

Silverman said he didn't expect Ganz to acknowledge it's a Leonardo because that would damage her credibility, adding that if she wants to "go against science and say the Earth is not round," then that's her prerogative.

"Thank God, we have the fingerprint because there will still be those doubting Thomases out there saying it couldn't possibly be and giving all sorts of reasons for it. We not only have a fingerprint, but a palm print."

He said the palm print was found in the neck of the portrait's subject, who is believed to be the daughter of a 15th century Milanese duke.

Biro said the two main ideas to emerge from the news are the discovery of "an important lost work by Leonardo," and how "science, technology, scholars and art historians are learning to work together to solve these incredibly complex puzzles."

Silverman said the Swiss collector first raised suspicions about the drawing, saying it didn't look like 19th century artwork. When Silverman saw it at the Ganz gallery in 2007, he thought it might be a Leonardo, although the idea seemed far-fetched. He hurriedly bought it for his Swiss friend and then started researching it.

"Of course, you say, 'Come on, that's ridiculous. There's no such thing as a da Vinci floating around,'" Silverman said. "I started looking in the areas around da Vinci and all the people who could have possibly done it and through elimination I came back to da Vinci."

Last year, Silverman asked Nicholas Turner, a former curator of drawings at the J. Paul Getty Museum and the British Museum. Turner said it was a Leonardo.

Silverman described the Swiss collector as a very rich man who has promised to buy him "lunch and dinner and caviar for the rest of my life if it ever does get sold."

Vezzosi said the portrait seemed to be of a prospective bride and compared its purpose to today's photos of clients of Internet matchmaking agencies.

As for the possibility of finding other Leonardo works, "there are thousands of lost works of Leonardo, mainly pages from codexes or drawings," Vezzosi said, but discovering a lost or undocumented painting would be "much more difficult."

[Associated Press writer Frances D'Emilio in Rome contributed to this report.]


NPR link (with images)

[Music for video: 'Minuet from Quintet No. 13' by Luigi Boccherini]

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

How did the Cisalpine Romanized Gauls receive the Langobards?

In 568, when the Langobards crushed the Byzantine army and became the rulers of the cisalpine region, how did the populace accept the Langobards? According to false perception, they were barbarians who oppressed the "Roman" citizenry of the region. First of all, the populace was not any more ethnically "Roman" than any of the other former Roman provinces in Europe. Like in France, they were basically Romanized Gauls, at least in most of this new conquered territory.

In the forward to the book 'The Lombard Laws' (Katherine Fisher; 1973), on pages XV to XVI, Edward Peters states the following:

"In military and political terms, at least, the Lombards encountered little of that resistance that the Romans had used so successfully against the Visigoths and Ostrogoths. Nor did the Lombards encounter that deeper-rooted social resistance that and organized provincial population, no matter how remote from imperial support, might have offered.

"The devastations of the Gothic wars and the heavy hand of the imperial restoration debilitated even the social fabric of Italy, leaving little in the way of a senatorial or curial class that might have led a resistance movement. With the reduction in imperial taxes that accompanied the Lombard occupation, moreover, even such resistance as might have been generated lost at least the cause of fiscal oppression, and many wealthy Romans fled toward, not away from, the new rulers of northern Italy. Life under the Lombards may well have been preferable to life under the imperial bureaucracy; it was certainly less expensive. Not only were the Lombards fortunate in having little serious military and social resistance, but they encountered little institutional or cultural resistance as well."

It continues on, but that gave the gist of it. Again, by "Romans," Peters is referring to the general population of Romanized Gauls. While other conquered Roman territories were given the respect of having the usage of their ethnic or national label after the Roman era was over, the mere existence of the modern state of Italy was enough to compel historians us use "Roman" here. The main point, however, is that they were not "oppressed" under the Langobards. In fact, it appears that they were actually happy with the change! Germanic and Celtic people were not strangers, historically speaking.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Samhain to Halloween: Part 2


Halloween is an annual holiday celebrated on October 31. It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holy day of All Saints, but is today largely a secular celebration.

Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, wearing costumes and attending costume parties, carving jack-o'-lanterns, ghost tours, bonfires, visiting haunted attractions, pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.


Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, [it is] more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain or Samuin (pronounced sow-an or sow-in)." The name is derived from Old Irish and means roughly "summer's end". A similar festival was held by the ancient Britons and is known as Calan Gaeaf (pronounced kalan-geyf). Snap-Apple Night by Daniel Maclise showing a Halloween party in Blarney, Ireland, in 1832. The young children on the right bob for apples. A couple in the center play a variant, which involves retrieving an apple hanging from a string. The couples at left play divination games.

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 celebration has some elements of a festival of the dead. 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 whilst 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. In Scotland the spirits were impersonated by young men dressed in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces. Samhain was also a time to take stock of food supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. All other fires were doused and each home lit their hearth from the bonfire. The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames. Sometimes two bonfires would be built side-by-side, and people and their livestock would walk between them as a cleansing ritual.

Another common practise was divination, which often involved the use of food and drink.

The name 'Halloween' and many of its present-day traditions derive from the Old English era.


The word Halloween is first attested in the 16th century and represents a Scots variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even, that is, the night before All Hallows Day. Although the phrase All Hallows is found in Old English ("the feast of all saints"), All-Hallows-Even is itself not attested until 1556. Thus there is no evidence of an English term for this day before the Reformation.


Development of artifacts and symbols associated with Halloween formed over time encompassing customs of medieval holy days as well as contemporary cultures. The souling practice of commemorating the souls in purgatory with candle lanterns carved from turnips, became adapted into the making of jack-o'-lanterns. In traditional Celtic Halloween festivals, large turnips were hollowed out, carved with faces and placed in windows to ward off evil spirits. The carving of pumpkins is associated with Halloween in North America where pumpkins are both readily available and much larger – making them easier to carve than turnips. Many families that celebrate Halloween carve a pumpkin into a frightening or comical face and place it on their doorstep after dark. The American tradition of carving pumpkins preceded the Great Famine period of Irish immigration and was originally associated with harvest time in general, not becoming specifically associated with Halloween until the mid-to-late 1800s.

The imagery surrounding Halloween is largely a mix of the Halloween season itself, works of Gothic and horror literature, in particular the novels Frankenstein and Dracula, and nearly a century of work from American filmmakers and graphic artists, and British Hammer Horror productions, also a rather commercialized take on the dark and mysterious. Halloween imagery tends to involve death, evil, the occult, magic, or mythical monsters. Traditional characters include the Devil, the Grim Reaper, ghosts, ghouls, demons, witches, goblins, vampires, werewolves, zombies, skeletons, black cats, spiders, bats, and crows.

Particularly in America, symbolism is inspired by classic horror films (which contain fictional figures like Frankenstein's monster and The Mummy). Elements of the autumn season, such as pumpkins, corn husks, and scarecrows, are also prevalent. Homes are often decorated with these types of symbols around Halloween.

The colours black and orange are associated with the celebrations, perhaps because of the darkness of night and the colour of fire, autumn leaves, or pumpkins.

[Much more on the Wikipedia page]

Monday, November 2, 2009

Samhain to Halloween: Part 1

We briefly touched on this last week, but we should know the significance of Samhain. It's pretty easy to see how our Gallic ancestors viewed this time of the year with so much reverence. There's an ominous feeling to "Indian Summer," which we're at the tail end of in the Bay Area with a late Indian Summer, as we know that winter is just around the corner. It's in our genetic memory. Samhain is part of the ancient seasonal "Wheel of the Year." It should be mentioned that the Irish immigrants were the ones who made "Halloween" what it is today, which goes clear back into the ancient world.


Samhain — roughly translated as "summer's end" — is a festival held on October 31–November 1 in Gaelic cultures. A harvest festival with ancient roots in Celtic paganism, it was linked to festivals held around the same time in other Celtic cultures, and continued to be celebrated in late medieval times.

Samhain marked the end of the harvest, the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half".It was traditionally celebrated over the course of several days. Many scholars believe that it was the beginning of the Celtic year. It has some elements of a festival of the dead. Its relations to a festival of the dead is in the ancient belief that nature was dying during this time. The Gaels believed that the border between this world and the otherworld became thin on Samhain; because nature and plants were dying, it thus allowed the dead to reach back through the veil that seperated them from the living. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. People and their livestock would often walk between two bonfires as a cleansing ritual, and the bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames.

The Gaelic custom of wearing costumes and masks, was an attempt to copy the spirits or placate them. In Scotland the dead were impersonated by young men with masked, veiled or blackened faces, dressed in white. Samhnag — turnips which were hollowed-out and carved with faces to make lanterns — were also used to ward off harmful spirits.

The Gaelic festival became associated with the Christian All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, and has hugely influenced the secular customs now connected with Halloween. It continues to be celebrated as a religious festival by some Neopagans.

Samhain and an t-Samhuinn are also the Irish and Scottish Gaelic names of November, respectively.


The Modern Irish word Samhain is derived from the Old Irish samain, samuin, or samfuin, all referring to 1 November (latha na samna: 'samhain day'), and the festival and royal assembly held on that date in medieval Ireland (oenaig na samna: 'samhain assembly'). Its meaning is glossed as 'summer's end', and the frequent spelling with f suggests analysis by popular etymology as sam ('summer') and fuin ('sunset', 'end'). The Old Irish sam ('summer') is from Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) *semo-; cognates are Welsh haf, Breton hañv, English summer and Old Norse language sumar, all meaning 'summer', and the Sanskrit sáma ("season").

In 1907, Whitley Stokes suggested an etymology from Proto-Celtic *samani ('assembly'), cognate to Sanskrit sámana, and the Gothic samana. J. Vendryes concludes that these words containing *semo- ('summer') are unrelated to samain, remarking that furthermore the Celtic 'end of summer' was in July, not November, as evidenced by Welsh gorffennaf ('July'). We would therefore be dealing with an Insular Celtic word for 'assembly', *samani or *samoni, and a word for 'summer', saminos (derived from *samo-: 'summer') alongside samrad, *samo-roto-. The Irish samain would be etymologically unrelated to 'summer', and derive from 'assembly'. But note that the name of the month is of Proto-Celtic age, cf. Gaulish SAMON[IOS] from the Coligny calendar, and the association with 'summer' by popular etymology may therefore in principle date to even pre-Insular Celtic times.

Confusingly, Gaulish Samonios (October/November lunation) corresponds to GIAMONIOS, the seventh month (the April/May lunation) and the beginning of the summer season. Giamonios, the beginning of the summer season, is clearly related to the word for winter, Proto-Indo-European *g'hei-men- (Latin hiems, Slavic zima, Greek kheimon, Hittite gimmanza), cf. Old Irish gem-adaig ('winter's night'). It appears, therefore, that in Proto-Celtic the first month of the summer season was named 'wintry', and the first month of the winter half-year 'summery', possibly by ellipsis, '[month at the end] of summer/winter', so that samfuin would be a restitution of the original meaning. This interpretation would either invalidate the 'assembly' explanation given above, or push back the time of the re-interpretation by popular etymology to very early times indeed.

Samhain was also called the Féile Moingfhinne (meaning "festival of Mongfhionn"). According to Cormac's Glossary, Mongfhionn was a goddess the pagan Irish worshipped on Samain.

Bealtaine, Lúnasa and Samhain are still today the names of the months of May, August and November in the Irish language. Similarly, an Lùnasdal and an t-Samhuinn are the modern Scottish Gaelic names for August and November.


The Gaulish calendar appears to have divided the year into two halves: the 'dark' half, beginning with the month Samonios (the October/November lunation), and the 'light' half, beginning with the month Giamonios (the April/May lunation). The entire year may have been considered as beginning with the 'dark' half, so that the beginning of Samonios may be considered the Celtic New Year's day. The celebration of New Year itself may have taken place during the 'three nights of Samonios' (Gaulish trinux[tion] samo[nii]), the beginning of the lunar cycle which fell nearest to the midpoint between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice. The lunations marking the middle of each half-year may also have been marked by specific festivals. The Coligny calendar marks the mid-summer moon (see Lughnasadh), but omits the mid-winter one (see Imbolc). The seasons are not oriented at the solar year, viz. solstice and equinox, so the mid-summer festival would fall considerably later than summer solstice, around 1 August (Lughnasadh). It appears that the calendar was designed to align the lunations with the agricultural cycle of vegetation, and that the exact astrological position of the Sun at that time was considered less important.

In medieval Ireland, Samhain became the principal festival, celebrated with a great assembly at the royal court in Tara, lasting for three days. After being ritually started on the Hill of Tlachtga, a bonfire was set alight on the Hill of Tara, which served as a beacon, signaling to people gathered atop hills all across Ireland to light their ritual bonfires. The custom has survived to some extent, and recent years have seen a resurgence in participation in the festival.

Samhain was identified in Celtic literature as the beginning of the Celtic year and its description as "Celtic New Year" was popularised in 18th century literature. From this usage in the Romanticist Celtic Revival, Samhain is still popularly regarded as the "Celtic New Year" in the contemporary Celtic cultures, both in the Six Celtic Nations and the diaspora. For instance, the contemporary calendars produced by the Celtic League begin and end at Samhain.


Samhain is observed by various Neopagans in various ways. As forms of Neopaganism can differ widely in both their origins and practices, these representations can vary considerably despite the shared name. Some Neopagans have elaborate rituals to honor the dead, and the deities who are associated with the dead in their particular culture or tradition. Some celebrate in a manner as close as possible to how the Ancient Celts and Living Celtic cultures have maintained the traditions, while others observe the holiday with rituals culled from numerous other unrelated sources, Celtic culture being only one of the sources used.


Celtic Reconstructionist Pagans tend to celebrate Samhain on the date of first frost, or when the last of the harvest is in and the ground is dry enough to have a bonfire. Like other Reconstructionist traditions, Celtic Reconstructionists place emphasis on historical accuracy, and base their celebrations and rituals on traditional lore from the living Celtic cultures, as well as research into the older beliefs of the polytheistic Celts. At bonfire rituals, some observe the old tradition of building two bonfires, which celebrants and livestock then walk or dance between as a ritual of purification.

According to Celtic lore, Samhain is a time when the boundaries between the world of the living and the world of the dead become thinner, allowing spirits and other supernatural entities to pass between the worlds to socialize with humans. It is the time of the year when ancestors and other departed souls are especially honored. Though Celtic Reconstructionists make offerings to the spirits at all times of the year, Samhain in particular is a time when more elaborate offerings are made to specific ancestors. Often a meal will be prepared of favorite foods of the family's and community's beloved dead, a place set for them at the table, and traditional songs, poetry and dances performed to entertain them. A door or window may be opened to the west and the beloved dead specifically invited to attend. Many leave a candle or other light burning in a western window to guide the dead home. Divination for the coming year is often done, whether in all solemnity or as games for the children. The more mystically inclined may also see this as a time for deeply communing with the deities, especially those whom the lore mentions as being particularly connected with this festival.


Samhain is one of the eight annual festivals, often referred to as 'Sabbats', observed as part of the Wiccan Wheel of the Year. It is considered by most Wiccans to be the most important of the four 'greater Sabbats'. It is generally observed on October 31st in the Northern Hemisphere, starting at sundown. Samhain is considered by some Wiccans as a time to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on, and it often involves paying respect to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets and other loved ones who have died. In some rituals the spirits of the departed are invited to attend the festivities. It is seen as a festival of darkness, which is balanced at the opposite point of the wheel by the spring festival of Beltane, which Wiccans celebrate as a festival of light and fertility.