Pagan events, festivals and resources – Autumn fun for heathens!
Thursday, 10 October 2019 | Kate
Type the word 'pagan' into a Thesaurus and you get a list of insults. Pagans are barbarians, heathens, a load of godless infidels whose ways are both idolatrous and profane. On the other hand Pagan types have an awful lot of fun throughout the year, with events and festivals, moots, meetings and happenings across Britain and beyond. For Pagans, October is a special month. If you're searching for a gorgeous new outfit to celebrate All Hallow's Eve, Samhain or any other out-of-the-ordinary autumn event, click through to our store. If you want to join in with the pagan fun this October, here's some inspiration for you – there's loads going on!
About October – A star in the Pagan calendar
October is bang in the middle of autumn, although it's sometimes hard to believe now that climate change is shortening the season so we barely see it before winter crashes in. But the month remains a feast of pagan and nature-inspired celebrations, delving deep into the harvest and the line between dark and light, remembering our ancestors and starting a new cycle of life.
- For the Romans 11th October was special. Called Meditrinalia, the festival was celebrated in honour of the new season's wine, given as drinks to the gods
- On 13th they celebrated Fontinalia in honour of the god Fontus or Fons
- The 19th October marked Armilustrium, a celebration held to honour the god of war Mars, a day when soldiers ritually purified and stored their weapons for the winter and the army gathered at the Circus Maximus to be covered in flower garlands
- 31st October is Samhain itself, a day widely celebrated throughout the world by many different cultures and the reason it has so many names. You can also call Samhain Samhuin, Samain, Saman, Oidhche Shamhna, Hallowe'en, Halloween, Hallows, Hallowtide, Shadow Fest, Allantide, Third Harvest, Harvest Home, Geimredh, Day of the Dead, Feast of the Dead, Spirit Night, Candle Night, November Eve, Nutcrack Night, Ancestor Night and Apple Fest. Phew!
The ancient Celts celebrated Samhain, an old Gaelic word meaning summer's end, and these days we mostly call it Halloween in the UK. The Druid Samhain is an ancient festival that celebrates the dead and welcomes in a new year. The Druids celebrate with Cailleach rituals to respect the dead passing into the spirit realm, and Wiccan Rituals share similarities with Druids, seeing Samhain as an important milestone and building an altar including images of lost loved ones, pentacles, five-pointed stars inside circles signifying the harvest goddess Kore, and more. Modern Neo-Pagans sometimes celebrate Samhain with ecological and environmental concerns at their heart, perhaps a severe drought or famine.
Pagan Events in the UK
There are loads of cool things to do at this time of year as a heathen. There's plenty of insight on the Pagan UK Facebook page, here, and some cool Pagan events here:
- Ely Pagan and Alternative Fayre
- 11th Oct – Samhain Tarot Celebration – Crystal Spirit, 21 Morley Street, Swindon
- The Pagan Frontiers website promotes and publicises Pagan Open Rituals, Groups, Moots, Socials, Events, Conferences, Esoteric shops & Holistic services plus articles, books and video across London
- 19th October - The Stroud Mind Body Spirit Autumn Show, Lansdown Hall & Gallery, Lansdown, Stroud
- 27th October - Witches, Fairies & Hippies - West Totton Centre, Hazel Farm Rd, Totton, Southampton
- 26th - 27th October - Sacred Samhain - Overnight Spiritual Investigation – Bishop's Castle, Ravenwood, 26 High St, Bishops Castle
- 26th October - Samhain Celebration 2019 - Stanley Halls, 12 South Norwood Hill, London SE25 6AB
- The White Goddess
- Pagan Village
- London Woodland Witches Sunday, 27th October
- 1st Nov - Samhain celebration, Nether Stowey, Bridgewater, Somerset
Something a bit different...
The Puca festival in Ireland is your destination for a Halloween with a difference. This brand new festival celebrates Ireland as the birthplace of Halloween and takes place in the East of Ireland from 31st October to 2nd November. Visitors from around the world will attend to mark the country's ancient traditions, a celebration named for the the Púca, a creature from Celtic folklore who's often associated with Samhain, when it comes to life to change the luck of those who cross its path, immersing them in the spirit of the occasion. Events will be held right around the region.
Want to stay warm while celebrating?
No problem! Explore our glorious collection of jackets and coats and you'll stay snug for Samhain whatever the weather.