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For instance, the contemporary calendars produced by the Celtic League begin and end at Samhain.It is important to remember that all of the written documents in places like Ireland and Wales date to a time after the arrival of Christianity in the 5th century.Sometimes the cattle and other livestock would be driven between the fires, as well.

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are still today the names of the months of May, August and November in the Irish language.

Similarly, an Lùnasdal and an t-Samhain are the modern Scottish Gaelic names for August and November.

Bonfires played a large part in the festivities celebrated down through the last several centuries, and up through the present day in some rural areas of the Celtic nations and the diaspora.

Villagers were said to have cast the bones of the slaughtered cattle upon the flames.

The Samhain celebrations have survived in several guises as a festival dedicated to the harvest and the dead.

In Ireland and Scotland, the Féile na Marbh, the 'festival of the dead' took place on Samhain.

Traditionally, Samhain was time to take stock of the herds and grain supplies, and decide which animals would need to be slaughtered in order for the people and livestock to survive the winter.

This custom is still observed by many who farm and raise livestock because it is when meat will keep since the freeze has come and also since summer grass is gone and free foraging is no longer possible.

The most common uses were to determine the identity of one's future spouse, the location of one's future home, and how many children a person might have.

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