Also known as Samhein, Sauin, La Samhna, Samhuiin, Oiche Shamhna, Samain, Hallowmas, Shadowfest, All Hallow’s Eve, Samhuinn, Samhain, Witch’s New Year, Summer’s End, the Third Harvest, Samana, Vigil of Saman, and others.
The name “Samhain”, and its other spellings and similar names, comes from the Old Irish “sam” for summer and “fuin” for end, thus making this holiday the mark of the end of summer.
The celebration of Halloween goes back six thousand years where the Celtic people celebrated the end of the harvest and the coming of winter. This day is traditionally October 31st, though some celebrated it in the early days of November. Its most precise date is when the sun is at 15 degrees Scorpio. In the year of 2013, it will occur on November 7th. The celebration usually began the day before, at sunset.
This day was used to honor the dead and those who had passed away that year, as it was said the veil between the living and the dead was thinnest at this time of year. Rather than mourning the dead, Halloween was a celebration for the death of all things old and the beginning of all things new.
An owl that circles a house three times is said to be a sign that someone within the house will die soon.
It is said robins gained their red feathers because they attempted to remove the thorn crown from Jesus’s head, but his blood fell on the bird instead.
It is unlucky to kill a robin.
The eye on a peacock feather is said to be the “evil eye” and therefore bad luck to bring inside a home.
There are countless superstitions about birds near homes and windows that signify oncoming death.
Tip your hat at a magpie to avoid back luck.
It’s unlucky to kill sparrows because they carry the souls of the dead.
A crow at the window represents the soul of a dead person.
A nearby robin carries the soul of a deceased family member.
If a bird call comes from the north, misfortune will follow.
If a bird call comes from the west, good luck will follow.
If a bird call comes from the south, a good harvest will follow.
If a bird call comes from the east, love will follow.
Unbaptized children become birds until they are accepted into Heaven.
Pet birds must be informed of important family events or they will die.
It is unlucky to find a dead bird outside the home.
A raven near a sick person means death is coming.
In Wales, a blind person can regain sight by showing kindness to a raven.
Throughout the Eastside of Salinas, and many other Mexican communities in the United States, the tradition of planting corn continues. Whether it’s a small milpa in the backyard or a couple of plants in the front or side of the house (or even apartment building), many Mexican households find the way to at least plant a couple of stalks of corn this time of year. Seems fitting considering corn was created in Mexico’s Tehuacán Valley, and that Mexicans are known as the “People of Corn.”
If you planted corn at home this year and would like to share photos, feel free to send them to us!
Salinas goes hard!
My tio has a bunch of corn in his backyard my dad never let us tho lol