The end of summer.

Today is Samhain the Celtic festival to mark the end of the light half of the year, summer, and the beginning of the dark half, winter. The Celts believed that the border between this world and the otherworld became thin on this night and allowed the wraiths to return to this world. Misappropriated by the Catholic Church it became All Souls and the following day All Saints making this evening All Hallows Eve or Halloween.

Whatever the origin it’s a good evening to think of those esoteric episodes in the history of science that you are going to submit to the special Esoteric edition of The Giants’ Shoulders to be hosted by Heterodoxology on the 16th November. You have just 15 days left for those post on esoteric, weird or arcane ideas that led to real developments in the history of science or those that were accepted as science but later proved to be merely esoteric or those that were presented as science but were always weird and wonderful. As always submissions on normal topics in the history of science are more than welcome. Submissions should be made either direct to the host or to the Giants’ Shoulders Carnival site.

As always The Giants’ Shoulders is seeking blog owners willing and able to host the greatest history of science show in town! If you have the courage then contact either the Renaissance Mathematicus or Dr SkySkull at Skulls in the Stars.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “The end of summer.

  1. Nitpick: Today is only Samhain on the Gregorian calendar which is a recent calendrical innovation.

  2. How dare you question the historical accuracy of my claims?😉

    You are of course completely correct and the modern determinations of Beltane and Samhain to be 30th April/1st May and 31st October/1st November are dubious to say the least.

    My main point was however that Halloween is not the Johnny-come-lately Christian festival of All Souls and All Saints but a much more ancient misappropriated Celtic festival.

  3. Rob F.

    I’d appreciate any references you might have for primary sources that pre-date these Johnny-come-latelies.

    Thanks.

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