how to celebrate samhain

What is Samhain?


To learn how to celebrate Samhain, we must first understand the celebrations’ origins. Samhain (pronounced sah-win) is the pagan celebration from October 31st to November 1st and is the Celtic pagan tradition from which modern day Halloween stems from. The two holidays are not the same though. Both are celebrated differently and by different people. The Samhain festival celebrates the end of the harvest season. It is also known as the festival of the dead, honouring those that have passed. Often, Samhain rituals involve fire, as it is the fourth of the four fire festivals within the Celtic Pagan year. The other fire festivals being Imbolc, Beltane and Lammas. With Samhain, comes darker evenings, more time for introspection and cosy times ahead. It is a time to retreat inwards, reap the harvest from the year prior and plan for the cold months ahead. Samhain is also known as the Witches’ New Year, so it is a great time for planning a fresh start and cleansing the past year.


How to Celebrate Samhain?


There are many ways to celebrate Samhain. Individually, people choose different methods of celebrating, so it is important to celebrate in a way that feels genuine to you.


  • Offerings for The Dead


Some choose to celebrate with a ‘Dumb Supper’, also known as a silent supper. A meal in which no words are spoken, and a place is laid in offering to the dead. Some of each drink that is consumed on the table is poured into a cup in a spare table space. This is repeated with some of each of the foods that are served. Once the supper is complete, the food is then placed outside for the night. It is left as a spiritual gift to those that have passed. Since the time of Samhain is when it is believed the boundary between the living and dead is weakest, it is thought that communication with the dead is stronger during the Samhain festival.


  • Practice Fire Rituals and Mindful Lighting


Similar to the traditions on Bonfire Night, Samhain can be celebrated with fire. Lighting a fire, candle or a spell cauldron or incense is a good way to honour the dead and celebrate the passing of the summer season. If you don’t have the space for any of those things, making sure you have ambient lighting or conscious lighting choices in your home is a way to be present and grounded in the festival. If you’re looking for a new candle, our Welsh Witch Candles are an excellent witchy addition to any altar.


how to celebrate samhain - fire rituals

Light a bonfire or candle to help celebrate the fire rituals associated with Samhain


  • Embrace the Changing of Seasons


Take a walk in nature during the Samhain festival and be mindful of the changing colours, the dying vegetation and appreciate the cyclical nature of Samhain and the end of the summer season.

Forest bathing is a great way to connect with nature and be present in the death of one season and the change into another: take off your shoes (if you want to connect directly with the Earth) and wander around a natural area and ground yourself to the earth. If it is allowed and without disrupting the nature of the location, gather a few items to create a nature mandala in the forest. Arrange items however you like in a circular mandala pattern and appreciate the process of life and rebirth in both nature and spirituality. This helps you to connect deeply with the surrounding environment and again reinforces the cyclical processes in the Circle of Life.


how to celebrate samhain

Take a walk in nature, admire the nature surrounding you or make a natural mandala out of fallen leaves and flowers

  • Journal or Meditate on the Past Year


Since it is the start of the Witches’ New Year, it’s a good time to reflect on the year passed. Spend time writing about your journey over the past months. If you feel like it, practice a meditation where you invite in your past and future selves in. Invite them to discuss the goals you wish to pursue and what you’ve learned this year. If it helps, using a divinity tool such as a tarot deck or oracle cards is a good way to discover further steps you can take to reset.


  • Host a Community Circle


Connecting with others is a good option on how to celebrate Samhain. Creating your own community circle or finding one in your local area is a perfect way to meet new people and celebrate together. Write intentions together and burn them as a group. Similarly, discuss your highlights of the year or share tips on how you each celebrate Samhain. Getting together is a great way to celebrate any Celtic Pagan festival. Grab your nearest and dearest, or meet new people by hosting a circle online!

Cook some earthy, nutrient rich food, and serve drinks or premium botanical spirits to connect with the natural elements. Our award-winning Welsh Witch Spiced Rum is a perfect addition to any festive celebration, with notes of cinnamon and orange paying homage to the fire rituals and the inspiration stemming from the traditional Welsh bara brith tea loaf.


How to Celebrate Samhain: However You Decide Best!

However you choose to celebrate Samhain, remember to be mindful of the religious and spiritual significance of the yearly event for many. It is important to be respectful of tradition and remember that everybody may choose to celebrate slightly differently. If you choose to drink, do so responsibly and respectfully. If you wish to view our collection of premium award-winning botanical spirits, you can do so here.