We celebrate the holy day commonly called Samhain not on one day, but on several. In other words, there is no one contemporary Pagan liturgical calendar.
As I write this, the actual moment in the solar cycle is about an hour away, according to Scott Monahan’s useful archaeastronomy site. (Scott is also the videographer of the epigraphers arguing for ancient Celtic visits to America: Here is his latest YouTube video.)
So take your choice: the Pagan festival occurs on (1) the night of October 31st, (2) November 1st, (3) the full Moon nearest to November 1st, (4) a weekend night nearest to November 1st, (5) the day or night when the Sun is at 15 degrees of Scorpio in the tropical zodiac, halfway between the fall equinox and the winter solstice (Northern Hemisphere). Number 5 is happening right now.
I wonder if the push for official work-and-school-recognized Pagan holidays will force us to pick one of five choices and live with it.
Recently, an old friend complained in someone’s blog comments that our holy day was being “commercialized.” I beg to disagree. Let a thousand Spirit World stores open selling plastic tombstones and sexy witch costumes. The popular holiday of Halloween provides a sea in which we swim.