Day of reckoning


Seven Trees Farm

I’m sure most of us know that Hallowe’en was originally an old Celtic holiday called Samhain (pronounced sow’an), but not everyone knows that Samhain was about cattle, crops and kin, back in the day.
Imagine you’ve been working your butt off to harvest everything you can before first frost, before winter really hits. The teenagers and unmarried folks have been up in the hills all summer, pasturing the cattle herds on abundant summer grass in a tradition called transhumance. After living in booley huts for the season, they are bringing the livestock back to the lowlands, and you get to see family members for the first time in months.
But a few other important things happened on Samhain. Rent day, for one.

In early Irish society, land was owned, not by individuals, but by the clan (or tribe) as a whole, and administered by a chief. The chief assigned…

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