Not only is Samhain the end of Summer and the beginning of winter it is also the end of the light half of the year and the beginning of the dark half. As such Samhain is on a threshold – a liminal place; our ancestors knew that liminal places were special – a place on a boundary which is in neither side or both at the same time creates a gateway between the two.
These liminal times also create a gateway between our world and the ‘Otherworld’ – a time when the spirits or Fae can easily cross and enter our world. Our ancestors believed that places that constituted a threshold were strong contenders for locations at which these gateways presented themselves; churchyards, stiles and crosssroads were just some of these and they would go out of their way to avoid them at liminal times.
With the strong emphasis on liminality at this time Samhain is a feast/festival of the dead – not a morbid event but a celebration remembering, honouring and showing respect.