Many Wiccans celebrate Samhain on October 31st and do so in style, spending hours creating beautiful, touching, and meaningful altars. Samhain is one of eight Sabbats, observed as part of the Wheel of the Year. Samhain is a time to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on, and it often involves paying respect to family members, elders within Wicca, friends, and other loved ones who have died.
Heathens celebrate Winter Nights and Ancestors Night around the same time. Winter Nights is a festival from ancient Scandinavian Heathenry which coincided with the slaughter of cattle at the beginning of winter. In the USA it is typically celebrated during late October, usually around Halloween. In modern Heathenry Winter Nights has become closely associated with the ancestors.
Ancestors’ Night celebrates the ancestors and is typically celebrated around a bonfire on November 1st. Candles are lit to honor individual ancestors. Some Heathen groups dedicate this night to the ancient oral traditions of storytelling, song, poetry and riddles.
No matter what you are celebrating – and if we have missed your religion’s holiday let us know – PNC-Minnesota invites you to send us a photo of your altar. Tell us the meaning behind what is on your altar or what it means to you. We will then show these photos on this site on October 31st as a way to honor the festival and those who have passed on.
If you do not wish your name to be used when displaying your altar, just let us know. Send photos to firstname.lastname@example.org