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Annual Samhain Festival October 18 in Peterborough, NH

For the New Hampshire town of Peterborough, the month of October issues in crisp autumn air, the rustle of fall leaves,

growing evening shadows, and the arrival of the Witches. For the past nine years, this picturesque village nestled in the Monadnock region of southern New Hampshire has played host to a growing annual gathering of Witches and Pagans from throughout New England and beyond: "Celebrate Samhain".

Samhain (pronounced ‘sow-en’) is a harvest-tide festival originating with the pre-Christian Celtic peoples of Europe. The genesis for the uniquely American holiday of Halloween, Samhain marks the close of the ’light half’ of the year and the onset of the ‘dark half’. The veil separating the spirit realm from that of mortals was believed to be at its thinnest at Samhain – making it a particularly auspicious time to pay tribute to ancestors and loved ones who’d passed over. Offerings were set out for the dear departed, places set at tables, and candles lit in windows to guide wandering spirits home.

Modern-day Pagans (often referred to as ‘Neo-Pagans’), keep many of the traditions of Samhain alive – including celebration of the "final harvest" and remembrance of the dead. Event founders Jess Gerrior and Kevin Sartoris (both practicing Pagans and Witches) have strived to remain true to their original intent of creating a festival for local Pagans and the community at large – while accommodating the growing popularity of the event.

"Nine years ago, we never could have imagined just how successful and important Celebrate Samhain would become to not only the Pagan community of New Hampshire, but across New England", says Gerrior. "Each year, the festival draws attendees from across the US and from Canada. We’ve had folks from as far away as California, Florida, Maryland, Ontario, Montreal and points in between show up at the door."
"Everyone is welcome" adds Sartoris.

This year’s festival features presentations by prominent Pagan personalities including featured speaker and award-winning author, Ellen Dugan (aka: "The Garden Witch"); ‘Haunted New England’ author, Roxie Zwicker; "Kitchen Witch" and author Dawn Hunt; and Alexandrian Witch and film maker, Karagan Griffith, who will conduct a director’s screening of selections from his documentary, "With Love from Salem".
Artisans, artists, and vendors of all things magickal will be in
attendance, as will some of the region’s most noted Tarot readers and intuitives. Musical acts include recording artist Holly Brewer of "The Folks Below" and Humanwine". Catering will be furnished by Cucina Aurora.

In keeping with the spirit of the final harvest and dedication to community, a donation of a non-perishable food item will get you $2 off the $10 admission price (good for all events/all day) and will be contributed to the Peterborough Food Pantry.

Celebrate Samhain will be held on Saturday, October 18th at the Peterborough Community Center located at 25 Elm Street (located off Route 101) in Peterborough, NH from 10am-6pm. For more information, visit Facebook at: NHSamhain.

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