the new year's festival of the ancient Celts, celebrated by modern pagans on Oct. 31 or Nov. 1
Origin of SamhainIrish from Old Irish samain
- An ancient Celtic feast celebrating the end of harvest and the beginning of winter, marked by bonfires and sacrifices and by the propitiation of gods who were believed to become visible and play tricks on their worshipers.
- The period during which this feast was held, usually the evening of October 31 and the day of November 1.
Origin of SamhainIrish Samhain from Old Irish samain ; see sem-2 in Indo-European roots.