Samhain is one of my favorite holidays of the year. We celebrate this and follow it up with Dia De Los Muertos (Day Of The Dead) for several days of fun and treats mared only by my late mother’s death day on the 1st which doesn’t put a damper on things as much as you would think.
There are so many great ways to have fun for this holiday. We avoid the Halloween trick-or-treating but still have plenty of candy and fun along with some time to honor the spirits.
Ways to celebrate Samhain
Samhain is a significant holiday in many pagan and Wiccan traditions, marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the darker half of the year. Here are 25 ways you can celebrate Samhain:
Light a Bonfire: Traditionally, bonfires were lit on Samhain night to honor and protect against wandering spirits. If you have a safe space for it, consider lighting a bonfire or a small fire pit. Like Mabon, Samhain is the perfect time for a backyard fire.
Ancestor Altar: Create an altar to honor your ancestors. Place photographs, mementos, and offerings like food or drink. This is similar to the Mexican Ofrenda we build here for our lost loved ones and to show pride in the Latino side that me and the kids come from.
Divination: Samhain is a potent time for divination. Use tarot cards, scrying mirrors, runes, or any other divination tools to seek guidance or insight. This is such a wonderful time for your favorite form of divination.
Dumb Supper: Set a place at your table for departed loved ones and have a meal in their honor. Eat in silence, listening for any messages from the spirit world.
Attend a Ritual or Gathering: If possible, join a local pagan or Wiccan group for a Samhain ritual or celebration. If you do not have a local event going on you can always plan one with friends, family, and local Pagans in your area.
Spirit Communication: Practice safe and respectful methods of communicating with spirits, such as through meditation, scrying, or automatic writing. With the veil at its thinnest this time of year it is easier to connect with the dead.
Pumpkin Carving: Carve a pumpkin with a design or symbol that is meaningful to you. Use it as a protective talisman throughout the season. These are great for lighting up with a battery-operated candle to help guide spirits in the night.
Make Soul Cakes: Soul cakes are small, round cakes traditionally baked as offerings for the spirits. Share them with family and friends or leave them as offerings.
Nature Walk or Cemetery Visit: Take a walk in nature to appreciate the changing season or visit a cemetery to pay respects to the departed.
Storytelling: Share stories or folklore related to Samhain and its significance with friends or family.
Honor the God and Goddess: Perform a ritual to honor the God and Goddess in their respective aspects as they transition from the harvest season to the darker, introspective half of the year.
Autumn Crafts: Engage in seasonal crafts, like making wreaths, decorating candles, or creating herbal sachets.
Release Ceremony: Write down any fears, regrets, or negative energies you want to release. Burn or bury the paper as a symbolic act of letting go.
Costume Parade: Dress up in costumes to represent spirits, ancestors, or mythical beings. Have a costume parade or a themed gathering with friends.
Meditation and Reflection: Spend time in quiet reflection, meditating on the past year, its lessons, and what you hope to manifest in the year ahead.
Bake and Share Treats: Bake seasonal goodies like apple pie, pumpkin bread, or spiced cookies to share with loved ones. Try some soul cakes for a fun treat fit for the souls that wander.
Feast of the Dead: Have a special meal in honor of departed loved ones. Set a place at the table and share stories or memories.
Light Candles in the Windows: Traditionally done to guide spirits, lighting candles in the windows can symbolize protection and welcoming positive energies. We like to light a white candle for the spirits. Often people will put these into jack-o-lanterns on the porch to help light the way for wandering spirits.
Warding Ritual: Perform a ritual to protect your home and hearth, asking for blessings and security throughout the darker months.
Offering to Nature Spirits: Leave offerings like birdseed, fruit, or nuts for the local wildlife to honor and show gratitude to nature spirits.
Plant Bulbs or Seeds: Symbolize new beginnings and growth by planting bulbs or seeds that will bloom in the spring.
Drum Circle or Chanting: Use rhythm and sound to create a sense of unity and connection with the energies of Samhain.
Dance and Celebration: Dance under the moon or in a sacred circle to celebrate the turning of the Wheel of the Year.
Remember to customize your Samhain celebration to fit your personal beliefs, traditions, and the resources available to you. Always approach spiritual practices with respect, intention, and mindfulness.