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The myth of Samhain: “Celtic god of the dead”

Identifying Samhain as a Celtic Death God is one of the most tenacious errors associated with Halloween. Almost all stories about the origin of Halloween correctly state that Halloween had its origins among the ancient Celts and is based on their “Feast of Samhain.” However, a writer in the 18th century incorrectly stated that Samhain was named after the famous Celtic “God of the Dead.” Many religious conservatives who are opposed to Halloween, Druidism, and/or Wicca picked up this belief without checking its accuracy, and accepted it as valid.

No such God ever existed. By the late 1990’s many secular sources such as newspapers and television programs had picked up the error and propagated it widely. It is now a nearly universal belief, particularly among conservative Protestants. Modern-day Samhain is the day when many Wiccans believe that their God dies, later to be reborn. [Wicca is a Neo-pagan, Earth-centered religion.] Thus, Samhain is not a God of death; it is actually began as a yearly observance of the death of a God.

Read the original article at: Religious Tolerance

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