Samhain. One of the four major Celtic festivities. During Christianisation transformed into a harvest celebration. It’s the evening before “All Saints Day”, or more elderly “All Hallows” – therefore Hallowe’en. In saecular times just October 31 – three days after my birthday. According to Gaelic myth, great things happen at Samhain. Great Things. Not necessarily Good Things. Eerily enough 21st century politics in my country followed the foreboding of ancient times.
It’s this time of year when my Celtic Soul awakes. I don’t know if it is possible to use a DNA analysis the determine what people or race you belong too. I don’t know if there is a finer granularity rather than “Caucasian”. Probably I would be disappointed anyways, because chances are good that I have Franconian blood, or even Roman blood (or much more likely a mixture of both) given the place of my birth. But the roots of my soul are resting firmly in Celtic clansland. My heart longs for the shores of the Gaelic sea, my mood can only be smoothed with Gaelic or Celtic music and “uisque beatha” – the water of life. I’m homesick for the hills and glens of Scotland (though I’ve never been there). I never felt this much “at home” as during my few and short business travels to Ireland. It’s the time of year when I usually re-read my Tolkien books. When I browse the net for the latest in King Arthur research (who is widely believed by scholars nowadays to be of Scottish origin, and not English or Welsh).
Frontiers. Borderline. That’s what it is all about at Samhain. The pastoral year ends. Winter is imminent. Given the coincidence of my birthday a few days before, it’s yet another frontier for myself too. Getting another year older. Crossing another frontier. Venturing forward into the undiscovered country. Sláinte!
Well, I might be a true Celt by origin after all. I did a little research and was surprised that the Celts once covered almost all of western Europe. By 54 B.C. Julius Caesar founded the town where I was born some 2000 years later, and he met
the distinct culture of the Celtic “Treverer” who inhabited one of their cultural centers on the widespread, strongly fortified Ferschweiler plateau.
Sometimes a time machine would come in handy…