September 2020

Turning the Wheel of the Year


The turning of the wheel of the year is something which is always with us. At the summer solstice, I stood watching the sunset at the Browland Standing Stones in Garmouth, one of the villages on the Spey Estuary. The standing stones make a four-poster circle which is an unusual stone circle configuration for the [...]

Turning the Wheel of the Year2020-10-15T18:30:41+00:00

December 2019

Hogmanay: The Traditions of Scotland’s New Year’s Eve


Hogmanay is by far the biggest celebration in the Scottish year. Traditionally it surpasses Christmas in the degree to which it is celebrated. But why? From ancient times the Winter Solstice has been celebrated by the early people of Scotland. With the coming of Christianity, Christmas became a major celebration. However, during the Protestant Reformation, [...]

Hogmanay: The Traditions of Scotland’s New Year’s Eve2020-10-16T18:28:53+00:00

October 2019

Halloween Origins: Samhain and the Cailleach


The origins of Halloween date back to an ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced sow-in) which celebrated the harvest and the arrival of the Cailleach. For the Celts who lived some 2,000 years ago, November 1st was their New Year. It was a time when the early farmers met together, bonfires were lit and [...]

Halloween Origins: Samhain and the Cailleach2020-10-16T18:24:31+00:00

October 2018

The Scottish Origins of Halloween


In the Beginning… Halloween began as a Celtic harvest festival. The early Celts marked the end of summer with a festival they called Samhain (pronounced sow-in). As part of these celebrations they built fires and burnt animals as sacrifices. Samhain means "summer's end" in Gaelic, according to the Indo-European Etymological Dictionaries. However, because ancient records [...]

The Scottish Origins of Halloween2020-10-16T19:14:27+00:00
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