Although dressing up as ghosts and devils and playing games is not that far away from the traditional celebrations of Samhain, these practices don't tell the whole story.
Samhain is one of the eight solar festivals of the year.
These festivals are timed according to the journey of the Sun through the constellations in the night sky.
They recognise the changing of the seasons and also the equinoxes and solstices.
Samhain is exactly noted when the Sun is at the centre point of the constellation we call Scorpio and heralds the beginning of winter, the darkest time of the year.
This year it will fall on the 6th of November. There is a shift of energy as the year passes.
At this time of year we notice the autumn leaves falling, the cooler air and the shorter days.
According to our ancient Celtic traditions, Samhain was the last day of the year.
The focus therefore is 'ending' and as the old year ends it is a natural time to reflect on death and loss and to remember and honour our ancestors.
Samhain is the Celtic "Day of the Dead'.
On Samhain eve the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead become thin, a perfect time for connecting with our lost loved ones.
Traditionally, people would celebrate death as something to be revered in nature as an important part of the cycle of life, death and rebirth.
The death of the old acts as a process of cleansing in preparation for new things to come.
These ancient festivals act as reminders that we too are part of the great mystery.
As the trees release their leaves, making way for the new growth in the spring, we too can clear the cobwebs of the past.
We can let go of any unhelpfull or unnecessary elements of our lives, clearing the way for new and fresh transforming growth.
If you would like to experience a Samhain celebration and ritual for yourself please join the Lilith Rising Coven at the Friends Meeting house on Thursday the 6th of November from 7:15pm to 9pm, £7/£9. Feel free to dress expressively and creatively!
For more information see website: www.lilithrising.co.uk
Lynx Wildwood, who runs Lilith Rising, is a mystic, Qabalist, celebrant and sacred psychotherapist. She holds open rituals in Brighton drawing on traditional Western spiritual practice for the full moons and all 8 of the solar festivals.
Everyone is welcome at these rituals; the aim is to celebrate each other and this beautiful Earth we are sharing.