My favourite sabbat Samhain is coming up on 31st October! (My other fave is Lammas). It's on a Saturday this year. I started celebrating the sabbats in 2010, and since Hallowe'en is the modern version of Samhain, I celebrate both these days.
Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere Beltane is almost here! Check out my Beltane Celebration posts here:
Beltane Celebrations Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/04/beltane-celebration-ideas.html
Celebrating Beltane/May Day: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/04/celebrating-beltanemay-day.html
For the past few years, I've done celebration idea posts which you can see below:
Hallowe'en/Samhain Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2016/10/halloweensamhain-celebration-ideas.html
More Hallowe'en/Samhain Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/10/more-halloweensamhain-celebration-ideas.html
Celebrating Samhain/Hallowe'en: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/10/celebrating-samhainhalloween.html
And last year I wrote a series of Inspiration posts for the sabbats. Here's Samhain's: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/10/samhainhalloween-inspiration.html
For Samhain/Hallowe'en 2020 I'm sharing more inspiration. As I've written quite a lot on Samhain in the past, I'll just give a brief background and then share some ideas for celebrating. :)
Samhain is the 3rd and final harvest sabbat on the Wheel of the Year and takes place on 31st October. Although some may celebrate from sundown on 31st Oct till sundown on 1st November. It is a cross quarter sabbat, and follows Lammas at the start of August and Madron/Mabon aka the Autumn Equinox in September. This festival is also called the Witches' New Year in some circles. As mentioned before, some people end the old year and start the new year at Samhain (I tend to think of it in this way), whereas others consider Yule/the Winter Solstice to be the start of the new cycle.
Themes for this sabbat include the end of summer and the beginning of the winter season (although winter doesn't "officially" start until Yule/the Winter Solstice in some places), harvest, the thinning of the veil and honouring ancestors, and release, as in releasing what is past and may be holding you back.
The modern-day counterpart of Samhain is Halloween/Hallowe'en (since the name comes from All Hallow's Even, "Hallowe'en" is an alternative way of spelling it). You can read a bit about Hallowe'en in this post: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/10/celebrating-samhainhalloween.html
Here are some links with more info:
*In the Witchy Words post, Marietta mentions that 7th November is the scientific date for Samhain.
And here are some posts with ideas for celebrating:
Cheap ways to celebrate Samhain/Hallowe'en: http://www.pennilesspagan.com/2020/10/samhain-on-shoestring-halloween-on.html
31 Ways to Celebrate Halloween All Year Long: https://witchcraftedlife.com/31-ways-to-celebrate-halloween-all-year-long/
Note: The Witchcrafted Life post above was posted on Beltane Eve (30th April), 6 months before Samhain and provides idea for celebrating Hallowe'en all year long. Great idea if you're a big fan of this festival! :)
7 Ways to Celebrate Samhain: https://thewitchsguide.com/blogs/the-witchs-guide/7-ways-to-celebrate-samhain
A Might-Do List for Samhain: http://www.wortsandcunning.com/blog/a-might-do-list-for-samhain
21 Easy Ways to Celebrate Samhain + Halloween: https://www.thewholesomewitch.com/ways-celebrate-samhain-halloween/
Hallowe'en at home ideas: https://zoella.co.uk/2020/10/23/get-your-ghoul-on-how-to-celebrate-halloween-at-home-this-year/
Idea for celebrating with kids: https://cauldronandbrew.com/celebrate-samhain-with-the-kids/
Samhain/Hallowe'en will be different this year (as with the other sabbats (due to the coronavirus restrictions and lockdowns in varying areas. There will likely be no trick or treating for kids, or at least there will be restrictions. The festival also takes place on a Blue Moon in 2020. Read more about this year's Blue moon at the links below:
Here are a few more ideas:
Make food and drink/bake- My usual celebrations are making some food and drink including my favourite Demon's Blood drink (recipe from The Real Witches' Kitchen by Kate West) and baking gingerbread. Read more about Demon's Blood in this post: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2013/10/halloween-drinks.html
I like to make potato salad as well. I normally make gingerbread skeletons on chocolate ginger bats. This year I'm baking gingerbread skeletons again. Last Samhain I used a different recipe to my usual, but they didn't come out as well. So, this time I'm using my usual one. It's from Closer magazine but it's a Flora recipe. I linked to it to two years ago, but the page is gone. However, I think this is basically the same recipe: https://www.flora.com/en-gb/flora/recipe/gingerbread-biscuits-183529
Update 29/10/20: The recipe above is for gingerbread biscuits, but you can adapt it to make skeletons! :)
And here is the recipe for Hallowe'en gingerbread men I used last year: https://crumbscorkscrews.com/halloween-gingerbread-men/
If you're vegan you may like this post about vegan Hallowe'en treats and snacks (found through the One Ingredient Chef newsletter): https://thegreenloot.com/vegan-halloween-treats-snacks/
Carve a pumpkin and decorate- I also carve a pumpkin and put a tealight in it. I like to put up a few decorations, and this year I've been knitting some new Hallowe'en decorations to go with ones from previous years (pumpkins and orange hearts with a black border). I like to light candles as well, orange if I can get one.
Brianna K has some a good video with some ideas for a fun at-home Hallowe'en: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQ1QWOgBMMA
Go for a walk- Provided that you're allowed to go out (I know lockdowns/quarantines and restrictions vary, so make you're up to date with current rules), you could go for a walk. It's nice to note the changes of season and the autumn colours, and in some places the weather is still quite warm this time of year.
I'n planning to go up to my favourite nature reserve on a hill around Samhain, and take some sunset pics. I like to do that for the warmer sabbats, I don't up much during winter.
Release something- As I said before, this is a good time for letting go of things that no longer serve us, such as habits, thoughts and beliefs.
This post has a fire releasing ritual you can do if you like: https://www.deeprootedwoman.com/blog-1/2018/10/29/celebrating-samhain
I've been looking at my limiting thoughts and beliefs lately, and this is a good time of year to do that. (Although it can done any time).
Hope you enjoyed the post and got plenty of inspiration! :) I will do a post about my celebrations probably next weekend. How do you celebrate? Keep safe. Happy Samhain! (or Beltane!). :)
Photo: Hallowe'en display at Marks & Spencer Holmbush, Shoreham-by-sea. Moonsparkle 2020.