witchcraft altar
Image by dragonoak
Represented by the bonfire.

Halloween ! A festival whose roots are often said to be in the gaelic feast of Samhain (pronounce sow-in, or be mocked!), be it by horror movies or a lot of people on the internet — which as we know are the most trustworthy sources of knowledge! But is it true ? Isn’t Halloween simply the eve of All Saints Day ?
In this video (our first in english!), Camille, Antoine and Lays (well, Antoine’s voice) are trying to figure out if what we can gather from medieval litterature and modern folklore can help us discern the christian from the pagan and scholarly myth from history.

If you want to hear another one of our videos with even worse english, here on Crash Course Mythology

00:00 0. Introduction
02:33 1. Halloween & Samhain in fiction
11:11 2. Review of specialized dictionaries on the subject
12:23 3. Human Sacrifices among the Celts, texts and reality.
16:30 4. Historical traces of Samhain
17:47 5. The Reconstruction of a Celtic Holiday
22:00 6. All Saints Day & All Souls Day
25:10 7. Samhain as an ominous date in medieval litterature and modern folklore
30:21 8. The Modern Halloween
31:00 a) Soul Cakes & Trick-or-Treating
35:00 b) Disguises & Mischief
36:50 c) History of the Jack’O’Lantern
38:08 9. From an irish feast in the US to an american feast in Europe
39:35 10. Conclusion

Addendum to the video :

The script of this episode, with our bibliography and links to the sources and works cited when they are available online :
πŸŽƒ [Google Docs]
πŸŽƒ [Web version]

πŸŽƒ The Wicker Man (1973)
πŸŽƒ Halloween (1978 – ) franchise
πŸŽƒ The Real Ghostbusters, “When Halloween Was Forever” (1986)
πŸŽƒ The Halloween Tree (1993)
πŸŽƒ Supernatural (30 oct 2008) β€œIt’s The Great Pumpkin Sam Winchester” (4×7)

πŸŽƒ Ain’t it scary reviews (2 oct 2013) The Halloween Tree (3’24)
πŸŽƒ Familiar Faces: Top 13 Weirdest Halloween Specials Part 2, 25 oct 2013
πŸŽƒ Cartoon Palooza Review-The Halloween Tree, (c. 4’36) 24 oct 2015.
πŸŽƒ Doug Walker “Nostalgia Critic” (Top 11 Halloween Guilty Pleasures, 28 oct 2015, 13’37-15′)

πŸŽƒ Sting, “Soul Cake”, 2009.
πŸŽƒ Kristen Lawrence, “Souling Song (Samhain Version)”, 2009.
πŸŽƒ Walk Off The Earth, Jingle Bell Rock
πŸŽƒ Reed Blue, “sounds piano”

The Cast and Crew of C’est Pas SourcΓ© on Twitter (keep in mind that we’re frenchies) :
πŸŽƒ Antoine :
πŸŽƒ Camille :
πŸŽƒ Lays :

On Facebook :
Video Rating: / 5

16 thoughts on “Samhain”

  1. On the Halloween tree.
    1.Ancient Egypt. They should a feast and festival that was honoured in ancient Egypt at the the same time of year Samhain is honoured in the Celtic lands (and now throughout the world). Its displaying how completely separated cultures has similar ideals.
    2. Celtic "whitches" they arent just witches. As the movies explained "which from wit" druids, people of the educated class. Once druidry was disbanded women with "knowledge" especially knowledge of medicine and spirit were labeled "witches".
    3. Day of the dead is a tually the same as Samhain. They have the same origin. Spain and France used to be Gaul, part of the Celtic nations. The day of the dead is the christianised version of the origin pagan Celtic Samhain.

  2. I loved your video
    Please do more in English
    Merci beaucoupπŸ™‹πŸ»πŸ’πŸŒΉπŸ’–

  3. That was wonderful. Thanks for interesting dive into Celtic folklore and history.

    Incidentally, when I grew up, "Bonfire Night" was always in Spring, and was very distinct from Hallowe'en.

  4. Human sacrifices were voluntary to help the nation, it apparently worked as people are still here reviving the religion 2000 k yrs later. Documentary was talking too fast, seemed like the beginning of going in to Hollywood about Halloween seems irrelevant.

  5. Who cares it's all satanic garbage an excuse to be a slutty disgusting devil worshipper an excuse to not have morals an excuse to be atheist a fucking excuse to NOT DO THE WORD OF GOD

  6. I've always been curious when people are deciding how to transliterate (when transliteration is involved, not sure if it is here) words like Samhain why they don't just settle on its phonetic pronunciation to figure out the spelling, when using the word in English, of course. Even if Samhain is the original gaelic spelling, it does us English speakers no good to be "taught" how to pronounce it improperly due to the spelling. That's what we have letters for, after all! It should help us understand how to say things without needing someone to instruct us on proper pronunciation. English by itself has so many of these issues, especially with bizarre concepts like "silent letters." I wonder, do other languages have similar issues? I feel as though if anyone not from England takes a look at a map of English towns, for example, they'll pronounce maybe 20% correctly just by reading it. It isn't a huge deal or anything, but I find it needlessly irksome as time goes on. It's basically a never-ending set of special cases. Like, who decided what sounds like t'sao t'sao (or t'sow, either way would work) should be spelled Cao Cao? It basically throws the benefits of having an alphabet out the window for… some reason?

    I'm sure there's a good reason, right?

    Sorry for the year-late bizarre rant, but this actually came up because I looked up Samhain for a conversation I was having, to try and remember how it was pronounced, as all I could remember is "not Sam-hane."

  7. 7:40 Could the movie writers or producers or someone NOT look up the correct pronunciation of the word? How did that make it into a theatre-released film?

  8. @ 08:50 you flash "God is real btw" on the screen. Are you talking about in the show (Supernatural), or are you shoe-horning your personal beliefs into a video about Halloween?
    Because I know THEE DEVIL personally, and he assures me there is no "God" character IRL.

  9. This IS the most informative presentation I have ever experienced! I loved it. Excellent Work.

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