On our common calendar, we call the last day of October Halloween or All Hallow’s Eve, and November 1 is called All Saint’s Day.
But this observance is very old, even older than the Celtic Samhain, which is still celebrated today. Samhain begins on sunset of October 31 and is a 3-day celebration of the end of summer. November 1 was celebrated as the beginning of the new year.
Like Dia de los Muertos, this is a celebration of the cycle of life and death. It is a connection with ancestors and loved ones. It is remembering and renewal, endings and beginnings, an awareness of the impermanence of things.
If you are interested in celebrations of Samhain, this site will give you some ideas.
November is considered the 3rd month of meteorological fall, and has a definite wintry feel. The peak of fall colors has passed, and there may be traces of snow. Dark comes early now.
It can be a very spiritual time, when it’s said the veil between this world and the next is thinnest. You don’t have to believe that to feel a thrill in the cold air, whispers in the dry leaves. And on a day after a storm, when the air is brisk and clear, you can see through the thinning veil of leaves into an almost transparent blue.