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The word, "Samhain," is derived from a compound of two ancient Gaelic words, "sam," which was an old word for "Samrad," or "Summer," and "fuin," an ancient word for "end," referring to the "end" of Summer.

The Irish divided the year into two parts—Summer from the 1st of May until the 1st of November, and Winter from 1st November to the 1st of May. Samhain marked the beginning of Winter, and was celebrated by one of the most important of all the Irish festivals, the "Feis-Temrach," or "convention of Tara."

Besides being the time of Tara's important festival, Samhain Eve, the night before the 1st of November, (today's "Halloween"), was special since the Celts believed that all entrances into the Otherworld opened.

This meant the fairy folk and other "immortals" might roam the earth as they pleased on this special night. Only the very brave ventured out of their homes on Samhain Eve for fear of meeting one of these supernatural beings.

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“If I asked for a cup of coffee, someone would search for the double meaning” – Mae West




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