Samhain

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Samhain marks the start of Winter, and the beginning of the season of cold, death and darkness. It was the start of the new year in the old Elven calendar and was a festival of the dead.

Even in modern Alusia it is said that the feast is ruled by the farie folk, but that afterwards they leave and do not return until Beltane. It is most dangerous to be out at night on Samhain, and cold iron should be carried to ward against evil magic.

In many places bonfires are lit to encourage the sun to return and people jump over the fires and drive cattle through them to remove evil influences.

Samhain is a time of chaos and a reversal of the normal order, symbolised by such tricks as blocking up chimneys and throwing cabbages at notable people. Hearths are swept clean and fires kept burning for the dead. Animals are slaughtered for winter and in the north the Norden folk hold rowdy processions and dress in animal masks and skins. Samhain is also a time of truce in some parts of Alusia and for upto two weeks afterwards there is no fighting and divorces are not allowed. Accounts are closed, debts collected and new contracts are made.

Samhain falls on a New Moon