Most of us prepare for Halloween by buying sweets and kids rummage through closets for costumes. But for the witch, wiccan, druid and pagan community they observe the sacred time of Samhain. It is celebrated from sunset on October 31 to sunset on November 1st.
Lyz Le Fay, a white witch from Maldon, said: “For a lot of pagans this is the most important time of the year. It’s our new year’s eve. It is the time when the veil between our world and the spirit world is at its thinnest so there is a huge celebration where we invite our ancestors into the circle.
A modernized version of this festival continues today in some of the traditions of the Catholic All Souls Day, the secular Halloween, and in folk practices of Samhain itself in the Celtic Nations
It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, which are also celebrated approximately halfway between the two yearly solstices and equinoxes: Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh.
In Celtic regions a two or three day festival usually marks this historic celebration. The festivals include large bonfires, costumes, music, chanting and food. And while it sounds like a big Halloween party, for the pagan community it is a significant part of their culture and their history.