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  5. "Oíche Shamhna."

"Oíche Shamhna."


January 2, 2015



Why is Hallowe'en spelled with that apostrophe


In Scots, the word "eve" is even, and this is contracted to e'en or een. Over time, All Hallows' Even evolved into Halloween. [Wikipedia]


Yes, but is there a region where the e'en spelling is favoured, because as far as I know neither the English nor the Americans would spell it with the additional punctuation.


Up until fairly recently, Hallowe'en was the accepted spelling of the word.


is there a region where the e'en spelling is favoured? < Yes. Ireland!


course it is i mean unless u r typing on a mobile device and have to press down on keys for like ages to get a fada or any kind of punctuation at all


That I don't know. It must be used somewhere if the course creators felt the need to include it. But you're right, it fell out of favour in most places in the early to mid-1900s.


It's fairly common with the apostrophe in Ireland


Well the Hallowe'en spelling has never fallen out of favour with me ...mind you, I wasn't around in 1905 or so!


I've always spelt it Hallowe'en. It always looks wrong to me without the apostrophe, but then I was born in the early '50s so perhaps my spelling is a bit old fashioned: e'en = even(ing), and you need the apostrophe to mark the contraction (or, at least, I do).


Is the (pagan/celtic) Samhain festival the precursor of Halloween?


Yes. According to celtic/pagan tradition, it is one of the two nights a year where the barriers between the spirit world and our own broke down allowing passage between the two. The other is Bealtain.


Not just one night, sometimes three. It was actually considered a period of 'no time'. The days weren't named during 'no time' and the rules were different, hence why the ancestors could temporarily rejoin the living.

The precise duration depended on how long the Druí felt they needed to adjust the calendar. Or so some think who've considered this from the perspective of an agrarian culture using astronomy to track time and having to make periodic adjustments to their calendar.

The single night of All Hallows Eve, (which I've always spelt as Hallowe'en and that's what we were taught in school), is a later Christian overstamp (like Christmas which just missed). The lights in the window, dressing as the sí and leading them to honey and 'treats' are relics of the older traditions though. I guess the Christian monks didn't feel they needed the extra days because they were using a different calendar system and just the one night of the walking dead was pagan enough for them.


Yet, even in England it was a three-day observance -- known as Allhallowtide -- in pre-reformation times. The three days were: All Hallows' Eve (Hallowe'en), All Hallows (Hallowmas, All Saints' Day), and All Souls' Day.


Was it specifically an Irish holiday, or a Celtic (or pagan idk the exact terminology) holiday celebrated by other Celtic countries/settlements in the region ?


In Galicia we used to celebrate it too. In some places is still celebrated (Véspera de Santos, festa das cabazas, festa dos calacús...).


Galicia, Spain interesting :)


Also, Samhain was an important festival, being the climax of the harvest, and therefore, of the agricultural year. It was, like many festival appropriated by the church who, because of the association with the departed, made it all souls day. When the Spanish colonised America they changed the date of the 'Day of the Dead' to match - so it's a weird bit of second hand Celtic imperialism - but I guess they got us back with the potato.


I wonder if the Irish have a problem with all these people calling themselves "Wiccans" or "witches" celebrating their holiday.


The mainstream Catholic and Protestant and Atheist Irish couldn't care less. There are some more hard line Christians in Ireland like elsewhere who take a dim view, but they tend to think of anything except what they believe in as Satanism in one form or another.

Neopagans in Ireland have mixed views. If there's 'appropriation' going on, and people are 'Lady Gregory-ing' the hell out of whacky interpretations of what might have been celebrated once at these festivals, then yes there's offence taken to that. But otherwise, no. People are free to re-interpret these festivals as it seems fit to them, because until the equivalent of The Dead Sea Scrolls for pre-Christian Ireland turns up, it's all a matter of interpretation and debate as to what went on. Very serious academic work is however untaken in Ireland to this end. Check out Cork University's digital archive.


The Irish basically are very laid back about people copying them. Tap dancing is copied from Irish dancing. Rhyming as we know it today was basically invented in Ireland, the ancient greeks, ancient latin none of them rhymed till the Irish monks brought it across Europe. You have a surname? thats Irish culture, Irish invented the hereditary surname as we know it. The O' means "son of", What was the Surname of Jesus? He didnt have one, but the Irish at his time of Birth did. The Norse directly copied this system "Ericsson", they just added the "son" at the end, Erics son (O'Eric). Before they got to Ireland they were called things like "Eirc the tall", "Eric the blonde". In UK it would "Paul the Tailor", "Carl the smith". If Carl the smith had a child, the child wasnt called "frank the smith", it was reserved for black smiths, not until they copied Irish naming culture did it get passed down. As for Hallowe'en, well Irish people dont care, in fact some copy the Pumpkin carving cause its cool, originally that was turnip carving but the Pumpkin ones are cool.


On the show Supernatural, Sam Hain is a demon that came out on Halloween. Guess I know where they got the name from now XD


It's weird that Americans found out about the word "Samhain" but apparently only ever saw it written down. The recent Sabrina show uses the "Sam Hane" pronunciation as well...


Why lenition after oiche?? Is it translated as night of Halloween??


The literal translation would be "night of Samhain". The Gaelic festival of Samhain ran for 24 hours from sunset on 31 October until sunset on 1 November. So Oíche Shamhna was the night-time part, and was followed by Lá Samhna the following morning.


Yes but lenition after oiche is because of Genitiv?


Yes, it is because of the genitive, but also because it follows a feminine word. Oíche is feminine, so a genitive based on oíche will be lenited where possible. Compare Lá Samhna - is masculine, so it does not cause lenition in the genitive that follows it.


Is there a way you could add indicators of gender and case in the course? In the French course they usually say what gender a noun is when you click on it, and I find that very helpful.


Duolingo uses a different framework for language courses that are developed in-house - incubator courses developed by volunteer contributors don't have all of the same functionality as in-house courses.

Only Duolingo engineers can modify the way Duolingo functions, and Duolingo engineers will never see a comment like this buried in one of the hundreds of thousands of Sentence Discussions.


Is "Sh" pronounced like in English or is it an aspirated s?


Like a regular h, gh being slightly aspirated, and ch more heavily so. . . if I'm not mistaken ?


Like h in house or aha


All souls day in Irish tradition.


i think theres an old irish legend that on Oiche Shamhna the borders between the faerie world and the human world break down and faeries roam free so we started dressing up as faeries to stay safe from them.


Many Latin American countries celebrate the days of the dead (November 1st and 2nd) At least in Mexico, Halloween has been added to this, making it a three day celebration instead of a two day celebration. In some places in Mexico, it is as important a holiday as Christmas, with people putting up altars to their dead relatives, decorating graveyards and having a meal on the grave, making sand paintings and having parties in the villages where there are multiple bands playing, people in groups dressed in similar costumes or as katrinas (dressed up skeletons), and food. They believe their relatives can come through at this time also.


I'm delighted to see the apostrophe in it's rightful place.

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