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  5. "Hallowe'en."


Translation:Oíche Shamhna.

January 2, 2015



Oíche Shamhna and not Oíche Samhna .... ugh ... I struggle with that.
I need to go back to lenition school :)


In this case, it's because oíche is a feminine noun.

(The rules for lenition and eclipsis in the genitive are complex and confusing - this is one of the more straightforward cases).


Why is it "November Night" when Halloween is the 31st of October?


Samhain is the name for November and the Celtic day began as soon as night fell. Deireadh Fómhair ended the second it got dark and it turned to Samhain.


oiche shamhna for halloween? surely if anything thats haloween night? is it really that pedantic?


1PM on October 31st is not oíche Shamhna.


yeah well thats my point, oiche shamhna is 'halloween night' whereas 1pm 31st october is halloween


Do you know what the "een" (or "e'en") part of "halloween" means?


collins dictionary: The eve of a particular event or occasion is the day before it, or the period of time just before it. ...if someone was asked to work xmas eve, they wouldnt automatically assume it's that night or that evening, 99% will take eve as the day before ..and trathnona is evening, oiche is night


Im with you. Christmas Eve is the whole day, so is Hallowe'en.

If its different in Irish, then it would be interesting to learn why.


100 years ago, and maybe even 50 years ago, you might not have made the same assumption.


Agreed. Coincidentally, I am writing this on Halloween night 2020.


I've never seen "Halloween" written with an apostrophe like that. It's just ""Halloween". When I saw the apostrophe I thought the word was Irish and so I translated it as "Halloween" and got the answer wrong.


No, it’s not just “Halloween”. The “e’en” is a contraction for “even” (in its “eve/evening” sense). Even “Hallowe’en” itself is a contraction of “All Hallows’ Even” — or “All Saints’ Eve” in less archaic English.


Right. I'm sure the apostrophe is there for a reason. But does anyone really write it like that anymore?


Anyone? Yes. Everyone? No.


It is a Pagan holiday, it is shortened for "All Hallow's Evening". The way to shorten "Evening" is to drop the "v" and the "ing" and it becomes "E'en". The following day, All Saints Day, or All Hallows Day, is the end of Harvest. The traditions on that day are even deeper than those of our modern-day Halloween. On Halloween, the idea behind disguising yourself, was to hide from Death. I'm not positive on the exact details, but I know that there is a tradition with rock carving, where an individual would carve their name into a rock, toss it into the harvest fire on All Hallows Evening, and the next day (All Hallows Day), if you found the rock with your name on it among the embers, you would live through the next harvest season. If not, you could expect death. Morbid, but extremely fascinating.


Actually, I've not come across hiding from death. The opposite is the case, at least in the very old ways I know of in Connacht.

The disguise is worn if you're out and about to blend in with the Sí (the 'good neighbours' or Tuath Dé who normally live beneath the sí), and encourage the dead to follow you as they do the Sí.

The Sí are leading your dead ancestors to your home so they can check you out, see what you've done with what they left you, pass on omens and messages to you and such. The Sí lead the dead with lights, people dressed as the Sí carrying lights (candles inside carved out turnips to stop the wind blowing them out carried strung up on poles) can help lead your dead ancestors too. The dead ancestors, the helpful Sí (and helpful people dressed as Sí) would be rewarded with something nice, usually something sweet with honey and milk. Failure to reward could bring very bad luck on the house and people in it because you'd have insulted not only the Sí but your own ancestors too (and people trying to be 'helpful'). You'd leave a light in your window to help the Sí but mostly your dead ancestors find you. You might have moved a few times since great, great, great biddy passed on, so the old girl needs a bit of help tracking you down.

The Sí and the dead can leave the under-world at this point in the year because time is suspended temporarily (so the Druí back then could adjust their lunar calendar) and the rules changed, not even the days were named. This festival lasted more than one night back then.


This is awesome. I want it to come back.


Its incredible the similarities our oíche Shamhna has with the dia de los muertos


Haha I was actually just thinking about how much easier the months are when you have wiccan friends!

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