Samhain Celebrations

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Samhain (pronounced sow-ein) is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the ‘dark half’ of the year on 31st October. The nights are drawing in and it’s time to get cosy. I have spent a long time battling against fatigue in these dark months, but have learned to embrace slowing down, taking my cues from the changing seasons. Other celebrations around the world at this time of year acknowledge our ancestors, death, the soul and transition. Halloween, Dia de los Muertos and All Soul’s Day. It doesn’t have to be a gloomy time of year though, endings mean new beginnings. Think of decomposition in nature, rot is needed to feed the earth to begin the cycle of life once more. That is what the wheel of the year is all about.

 As children, my sister and I always hoped for a pumpkin to carve at Hallowe’en, but more often than not we had to whittle swedes or turnips, which were much harder! They gave off a very distinct smell when the candles we put in them burnt the turnip flesh too!

It is traditional at this time of year to remember our departed loved ones, and to scatter seeds in their honour. The colours of Samhain are black for death and endings, orange for the vitality of life within death, purple for wisdom, insight and inspiration. I have used these colours in this collection of on-off screenprints, available from my website.

P.s I am very excited to be taking part in the Sheffield Print Fair on Saturday 13th of November. It will be my first in-person show in 2 years! Hope to see you there.

Nell x

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