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Antique Scottish fireplace featuring thistle, Celtic knot and dragon tile insets.
Samhain, the end of the harvest season when the veil that lies between the spirit world and ours is thinnest marks one of the two great doorways of the Celtic year. Known as Halloween by most and Nos Calan Gaeaf in Wales, the eve of the first of winter. It marks the beginning of a new cycle. To the country folk it was the day to lead the livestock down from their summer pastures to the shelter of the stable for the dark half of the year. In early Ireland it was traditional for people to gather at their tribes ritual centers for the main feast of the year, giving thanks to the spirits that drew near for the harvest now safely preserved and stored for winter. Households would extinguish their hearth fires and await the lighting of the central new years fire, around which there was much feasting and ritual. At the end of the festivities, it was from this ceremonial fire that all the home fires of the tribe would be re-kindled and the ashes from it spread on the fields in blessing.