/sah"win/, n.
a festival of the ancient Celts, held around November 1 to celebrate the beginning of winter.
Also, Samain, samh'in /sah"win/.
[1885-90; < Ir; OIr samain]

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▪ Celtic festival
also spelled  Samain  

      (Celtic: “End of Summer”), one of the most important and sinister calendar festivals of the Celtic year. At Samhain, held on November 1, the world of the gods was believed to be made visible to mankind, and the gods played many tricks on their mortal worshipers; it was a time fraught with danger, charged with fear, and full of supernatural episodes. Sacrifices and propitiations of every kind were thought to be vital, for without them the Celts believed they could not prevail over the perils of the season or counteract the activities of the deities. Samhain was an important precursor to Halloween (q.v.).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Samhain — n. Brit. Nov., celebrated by the Celts as a festival marking the beginning of winter. Etymology: Ir. Samhain …   Useful english dictionary

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  • samhain — sa·mhain …   English syllables

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