Samhain falls on October 31st.
All Saints' Day is a feast day celebrated on 1st November.
All Souls' Day, 2nd November, is a time to pray for departed souls.
Samhain is the same day as Halloween.
Samhain is observed from sunset on October 31st to sunset on November 1st. It is the celebration that is the origin of Halloween. Samhain was first observed by Celtic Pagans. Samhain marked the Celtic New Year, the end of summer, and the end of the harvest season. It also signaled the beginning of winter, which they associated with death. On this day, the Celts believed the veil between the living and the dead was especially thin. This allowed spirits of the dead to visit the living.
At the Samhain feast, it is not uncommon to set an extra place for your ancestors. Talk about your loved ones that have passed on, honor their memory, and offer them food. This is their night to join in on the festivities with you.
Just as our ancestors can pass into our world, so can other beings. It is smart not to travel alone at night during this time of the year or risk being drawn in by them. Samhain is when the Wild Hunt is at its height. Going out on your own could very well end with an encounter with the souls of the dead.
Samhain is considered the witch’s new year and the renewing of the cycle of the wheel of the year. It is a time to reflect on and let go of everything from the past year and finally rest from the work of the harvest. The winter is soon to begin.
Peanut Pumpkin Soup
4 T unsalted butter (1 cube)
4 C Canned pumpkin (or pureed pumpkin)*
2 C Cooked pureed sweet potato (~2)
1 C smooth peanut butter
6 C chicken stock
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
snipped fresh chives
grated apple or pear
1. If using raw pumpkin and sweet potatoes, make sure to bake first. Pumpkin: cut in half, remove seeds and stringy-nerds and place face up in a 9x13 pan with 1/4-1/2 inch water in the pan.
2. Bake at 400º for 40 minutes. At the same time, bake sweet potato in microwave. Poke holes with a fork and microwave on high for 5 minutes, turning half way through.
3. Carve out flesh from pumpkin and skin sweet potato. Puree in food processor or blender. Add some of the stock in the blender- 1/4 C at a time.
4. Melt butter in a soup pot over medium heat.
5. Stir in the pumpkin, sweet potato and peanut butter.
6. Add the stock, pepper, salt, and stir well until smooth.
7. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
8. Before serving, consider options for garnish. Grated pieces of pear is a favorite.