The Gaulish calendar appears to have divided the year into two halves: the 'dark' half, beginning with the month ), the beginning of the lunar cycle which fell nearest to the midpoint between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice.The lunations marking the middle of each half-year may also have been marked by specific festivals.The most common uses were to determine the identity of one's future spouse, the location of one's future home, and how many children a person might have.
The word 'bonfire', or 'bonefire' is a direct translation of the Gaelic .
With the bonfire ablaze, the villagers extinguished all other fires.
"end") is a festival on the end of the harvest season in Gaelic and Brythonic cultures, with aspects of a festival of the dead.
Many scholars believe that it was the beginning of the Celtic year.
solstice and equinox, so the mid-summer festival would fall considerably later than summer solstice, around (Lughnasadh).
It appears that the calendar was designed to align the lunations with the agricultural cycle of vegetation, and that the exact astronomical position of the Sun at that time was considered less important.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.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.Samhain is also the name of a festival in various currents of Neopaganism inspired by Gaelic tradition. It appears, therefore, that in Proto-Celtic the first month of the summer season was named 'wintry', and the first month of the winter half-year 'summery', possibly by ellipsis, '[month at the end] of summer/winter', so that would be a restitution of the original meaning.