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The night of Samhain, in Irish, , is one of the principal festivals of the Celtic calendar, and falls on the 31st of October. In modern Ireland and Scotland, the name by which Halloween is known in the Gaelic language is still .It is still the custom in some areas to set a place for the dead at the Samhain feast, and to tell tales of the ancestors on that night.For instance, the contemporary calendars produced by the Celtic League begin and end at Samhain.

Many scholars believe that it was the beginning of the Celtic year.

The custom has survived to some extent, and recent years have seen a resurgence in participation in the festival.

Samhain was identified in Celtic literature as the beginning of the Celtic year and its description as "Celtic New Year" was popularised in 18th century literature From this usage in the Romanticist Celtic Revival, Samhain is still popularly regarded as the "Celtic New Year" in the contemporary Celtic cultures, both in the Six Celtic Nations and the diaspora.

Bonfires played a large part in the festivities celebrated down through the last several centuries, and up through the present day in some rural areas of the Celtic nations and the diaspora.

Villagers were said to have cast the bones of the slaughtered cattle upon the flames.

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