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are still today the names of the months of May, August and November in the Irish language.
Similarly, an Lùnasdal and an t-Samhain are the modern Scottish Gaelic names for August and November.
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.
The term derives from the name of a month in the ancient Celtic calendar, in particular the first three nights of this month, with the festival marking the end of the summer season and the end of the harvest.
The Gaelic festival became associated with the Catholic All Souls' Day, and appears to have influenced the secular customs now connected with Halloween.
Traditionally, Samhain was time to take stock of the herds and grain supplies, and decide which animals would need to be slaughtered in order for the people and livestock to survive the winter.
This custom is still observed by many who farm and raise livestock because it is when meat will keep since the freeze has come and also since summer grass is gone and free foraging is no longer possible.
Villagers were said to have cast the bones of the slaughtered cattle upon the flames.
Sometimes the cattle and other livestock would be driven between the fires, as well.
Divination is a common folkloric practice that has also survived in rural areas.
The word 'bonfire', or 'bonefire' is a direct translation of the Gaelic .
With the bonfire ablaze, the villagers extinguished all other fires.
solstice and equinox, so the mid-summer festival would fall considerably later than summer solstice, around (Lughnasadh).