National Geographic Traveller (UK)




The number of annual fire festivals celebrated by the Celts. Of these, Samhain (Gaelic

for ‘summer’s end’) was the most important. Begun around 2,000 years ago, it marked the end of the harvest and the start

of the Celtic New Year.


The number of days and nights after 31 October that the veil between the living and the dead lifted, according to the ancient Celts. They believed spirits roamed the earth freely

in this time, which made predicting the future easier.


The century in which Christiani­ty incorporat­ed Samhain into its own calendar,

with the inclusion of All Hallows’ Day (1 November) and All Souls’ Day

(2 November).


The number of Irish people who emigrated to the US in the postFamine era (1850-1929), taking their Christian-Pagan traditions with them and introducin­g Halloween (as Samhain was renamed by the Church) to the

world at large.

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