Do You Celebrate the Witches' New Year?

Many people don't realize that witches have a completely different new year, separate from the Gregorian calendar. Well, in a way they do recognize it-they just call it Halloween. But for people who practice paganism or follow Wiccan belief, October 31st is also known as Samhain, and it is the marking of the New Year for the Druid calendar.

Many of the traditions that are observed on Halloween are derived from this tradition in paganism. This is also why some Christian traditions reject Halloween observance as being satanical. The lore around All Hallow's Eve as it is also known can appear to include some of the darker aspects of witchcraft--but that is only if you believe there is a dark side to magical practice.


For many witches who vow to only practice in the light, the new year is simply the time of year when the veils between this world and the underworld are thin, allowing us to be more open and available to communicate with the spirit world. This makes it possible for all kinds of magic and transformation to occur, and an excellent time to connect with your ancestors.

It is perhaps not by coincidence then that many in Latin America observe El Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, on Nov. 2nd, a tradition that has also spread to some in the United States. This tradition takes the day to honor all of those that have passed throughout the generations of one's family.

You can add depth and understanding to your observance of Halloween if you can understand it as a historically recognized moment in the calendar, an opportunity to connect deeply to all that you experience around you, understanding that the veils are thin as an old year comes to a close and a new year begins.