Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Samhain

Celtic festival held on the first day of November, and which Hallowe'en is the eve of. It marks the end of summer ("samhain" may mean literally that) and the beginning of winter. It is a festival during which Portals in the hollow hills known as The Sidhe open to a land of Faerie, which the Celtic fairies known as Sidhe rule; the Underworld itself may yawn open, and the dead may become manifest. It has characteristics of the Revel, and is likely to be found in tales that invoke Celtic Fantasy. [DRL/JC]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.