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Samhain - Prints II
  • Samhain - Prints II
  • Samhain - Prints II
  • Samhain - Prints II
  • Samhain - Prints II

Samhain - Prints II

* Type & Size of Print:


Halloween as we know it today originates from Ireland, the county of Meath laying claim to where it was first celebrated. In ancient times there were four main festivals to mark the passage of each year, Imbolc (February 1st), marking the beginning of Spring, Bealtaine (May 1st), the start of summer, Lughnasa (August 1st), the first harvest and Samhain (October 31st -November 1st). 

Samhain was the end of summer, the beginning of the winter and was a very significant festival in the ancient Irish calendar. It was a time to prepare for the dark days ahead and on that night it was thought that the veil between this world and the next became blurred. Spirits of the dead were thought to walk amongst the living and the Aos Sidhe (fairy people) could also roam, especially the Púca (a shape shifting mischievous fairy). People often dressed up and wore masks as a means to scare the evil spirits that might wander and bonfires were lit across the countryside. 

Many traditions have built up around this time including the eating of Barm brack, a fruit cake often with a ring and other items hidden inside which supposedly can tell your future and amongst children, playing games such as apple on a string and bobbing for apple became popular. Still children and adults dress up but now for fun rather than for ritual. The festival was brought to the USA by emigrants leaving Ireland where it gained huge popularity and indeed the carving of pumpkins was imported back into Ireland from America to replace the traditional carving of turnips or Jack O’Lanterns. 


Illustration from an original by Margaret McKenna


Dimension (L x W x H) 305 x 60 x 60 Millimetre
Weight 160 Gram