Samhain: The Reassertion of

In truth, Samhain changed costumes more than it disappeared. By 1980, as the Pagan movement in North America and the Wiccan and Traditional Witch movement in the United Kingdom grew, more people began practising serious and solemn celebrations on October 31 or on the full moon closest to it. Many in the United Kingdom never really stopped practising the old Samhain traditions, embedded as they were in the folk culture of their communities. Pagans who now observe the holiday often practice modernized versions, complete with horror movies, trick-or-treating, and pumpkin carving. Others prefer a solemn observation. Many specific traditions of Paganism may have their own prescribed practices for the day, as well.

The veil bleeds thin at Samhain, and that very small, soft line between secular and spirit especially shows in the meaning behind medieval and more modern Samhain practices. In the end, many of the traditions of this holiday that appear Pagan are actually embedded in Christian lore, such as trick-or-treating, whereas the seemingly Christian practices, such as honoring the dead, have a deeper connection to the old Pagan lore. Many of these deep-rooted ancient practices also make appearances, sometimes in new forms, in modern Pagan tradition.