Thursday, 13 October 2011

Samhain Games.

Hello there my dears, I hope you are all well. This next post is on Celtic Samhain games, I hope that you all enjoy it.

Samhain was the night during which the veil between this world and the Otherworld was at its thinnest- spirits roamed the streets and magic was at its most potent. (I actually did a post on Samhain a while ago, available here). It was fairly standard to stay at home, avoiding malevolent spirits and danger. As a result, games were a popular way to spend one's time. Of course what with it being Samhain, divination games were a favourite activity. I thought it would be fun to share some of them with you!

Divining the weather was quite popular. If you stepped outside your house at midnight and the moon was covered in clouds, it meant that there would be a lot of rain in the coming months. In fairness, I doubt they needed to look at the moon to figure that one out, it's ALWAYS raining here! ;)
A cloud covered moon meant rainy times were ahead
Click for source, Labelled for reuse under Creative Commons.

There was also a fondness for predicting health, marriages and luck. One practice was to throw nuts into a fire. If they burned brightly then you would definitely be alive in twelve months. If they flared brightly then you would find yourself married in twelve months!

Rocks were marked with one's initials and thrown into a fire. If they could not be retrieved or were damaged then this spelled (hehe pun) bad luck for the thrower. 

The tradition of bobbing for apples originated from Celtic times apparently. Apples would be set floating in water and young unmarried folk would attempt to ensnare an apple with their teeth. The first to take a bite would be the next person to marry. It also brought good luck! 

It was also commonplace to melt lead into a cup and to interpret the resulting shapes as signs and/or omens of things to come.

On a Halloween related note, check out my make-up bag. I'v had this since I was ten but have only started using it as a make-up bag today. I don't know why I never thought of it before! :)



Some house-keeping stuff. After dwelling on it for a while I changed my URL from gothicireland to gothicphantomcat.blogspot.com. It hasn't caused me any problems and my content and followers remain unaffected, does anyone know of any issues which may arise further down the line? Is there something I'm missing? I know I have broken links but I can live with that. I'm going to change the title from The Phantom Cat's Guide to Gothic Ireland to 'The Phantom Cat's Otherworld'. I decided that it was a bad idea to limit myself with the original title, I just wanted to say it here so that people still know it's me.

:)

15 comments:

Kamyria Magdalena Mourn said...

Very interesting post! I read your other Samhain post as well, enjoyed both very much. Love your make-up bag too! :) As to url.. this post didn't show up in my feed. I will try un-following and following again from this url and see if anything changes

Kamyria Magdalena Mourn said...

One more comment from me to say that I fixed the problem. Un-following and following again from the new url does the trick. :) I can now see this post in my feed.

The Irish Phantom Cat said...

Oh thank you you so much, both for your kind comment on my post and for letting me know about the URL thang. Now to spread the word! You're a lifesaver! :) x

Nemo said...

Fascinating post - its great when somebody is obviously passionate about something and that comes through in their writing. I find anyone who can talk well about culture and tradition very interesting to talk to.

Miss Eva Morgan Reeve said...

Following again. :)

The Irish Phantom Cat said...

@Miss Eva Morgan Reeve, thank you SO much for doing that! Sorry again for the confusion!

@Nemo, thank you so much for your lovely comment! I'm so glad you liked this post, it was fun to write! I have a few more posts on cool dark history in my blog archive you may be interested in! I have one on an Irish vampire story, Zombie beliefs in Medieval Ireland, the jack O lantern and then Celtic Samhain. Thanks again! :) x

Miss Eva Morgan Reeve said...

No problem. ^^

Pale Lady said...

Hallowe'en (and/or Samhain) is my favourite season. Love the makeup bag!

The Irish Phantom Cat said...

Thank you! Oh I love Halloween too, I love Autumn- the weather, the leaves, everything!

One quick thing, did this appear in your dashboard. Just trying to determine who I need to redirect to my new URL. Argh.

linnea-maria said...

Nice to read about the samhain celebration. The game with an apple in a water bucket is played in Sweden as well.

Miss Chaos said...

I'm following again, thank you for letting us know. Also thank you for your kind comment.

Chris Hewson said...

Have you seen many films or things of the like which depict Samhain innacurately? I've seen stuff where Samhain is either a demon or some world ending bloodbath, which I guess are both inaccurate but I'm not too sure since I'm not very knowledgable on the subject.

And I've un/re-followed you now.

Koalalovespikmin said...

very interesting :D

Snowhyte said...

Very informative! :D

The Irish Phantom Cat said...

Thanks to everyone for reading and taking the time to comment! :) x