Happy Halloween (Samhain)! 7 Ways To Celebrate This Ancient Festival....

Autumn is a magical time of year and Halloween celebrations seem to go hand-in-hand with the season. Still, if you're not a big fan of scary films or the apparent silliness of fancy dress parties, there are other ways to approach and enjoy this annual festival.

Here are 7 ancient Scottish ways to celebrate Halloween, once known as Samhain, which according to many historians, means 'summer’s end'...

* light up the darkness with a gathering round the bonfire - or light protective candles and lanterns - as we transition into deepest winter…

* it’s the end of harvest time, so bring together your loved ones and celebrate with a great banquet 

* the veil between us and the spirits is thinnest, so reflect on your ancestors, set them a place by the fire and honour them at your feast

* impersonating the souls of the dead - aka dressing up - is traditionally a ritual for protection from mischievous spirits and bringing good fortune

* go guising to collect offerings for the spirits and treats for the feast

* thought by many to be the ‘celtic new year’ - this is the perfect time for casting out the old, bringing in the new and meditating on life. It’s a time for love divination (bobbing for apples, anyone?) and fortune telling.

* ….or, since the festival lasts a full day - from nightfall on 31st October to midnight on 1st November - it’s perfect for partying into the wee small hours!

Happy Halloween! xoxo

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