Thanks for not including our Samhain ritual in the “Spooks on a Schedule” feature in the Oct. 24 issue of Xpress. We’re making progress!
All those schools and churches that dis Hallowe’en because it’s a “Pagan” holiday are missing the point that Hallowe’en is a good old American secular holiday with Irish roots. When they switch to a “harvest festival,” then we’re talking Pagan.
Modern Samhain festivities are based on an ancient Celtic fire festival, and it is a triple-header holiday: beginning of winter, Celtic New Year and commemoration of the dead and the Ancestors. Our Samhain ritual celebrates the new year by honoring the old Queen of Winter, called The Cailleach in Ireland and Scotland. It’s Crone time, and I’m thrilled that Asheville (and Xpress) can tell the difference. You can check out our listing in the Calendar section or call CERES (230-5069) for more info.
Happy Hallowe’en, y’all. And blessed Samhain.
— Byron Ballard