November 1, a cross-quarter day

November 1,  a  cross-quarter day
wheel of the year

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.

 On the wheel of the year, November 1  is called  a cross-quarter day, falling halfway between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice. It marks the descent into the dark time of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

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.

Filed under: seasons, weather

Tags: cross-quarter days, Samhain


Leave a comment
  • Apparently All Saints Day and dia de los Muertos are the same thing, except that apparently (like most things in Mexico) it got combined with an indigenous "holiday."

    At least the sun is out today, but standard time doesn't agree with me.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks, Jack. Yes, our internal clocks do not adjust automatically....

  • Thanks to both of you. I think my internal clock must be 23 hours ahead instead of an hour back.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    I don't think my internal clock ever adjusts. I usually end up getting up at about 5 a.m., whether I want to or not. At least I'm happy they cut out a month of standard time.

Leave a comment