Calan Gaeaf - November 1
Wed, Nov 1, 2023

Calan Gaeaf

Calan Gaeaf is a holiday dedicated to the onset of winter and is celebrated in Wales every year on November 1. It is often referred to as the “Mother of Halloween”, and its festivities include dressing up as spooky characters. It is believed to be a precursor to today’s Halloween.


The Calan Gaeaf holiday has long been associated with superstitions. It is customary to dance around fires and carve one’s name on a stone, which is then thrown into the fire. The next day, people would check the stones to see if their name had been burned off—a sign of good luck. If their stone was not found, it was seen as an omen of bad luck.

On the night of the holiday, it was believed that spirits approached the border between the worlds, but had not yet crossed it, so people would stay away from cemeteries and crossroads. As the nights become longer and the days shorter, it is seen as a time to remember the inhabitants of the other world.

Interesting facts

  • In the film “Scream”, the main role was originally offered to Drew Barrymore, but the actress chose to play a different, more minor role instead.
  • The filming of Friday the 13th took place at a real scout camp, No-Be-Bo-Sko, located in New Jersey.
  • The director of the film “Paranormal Activity” was so frightened by the plot that he stopped watching a copy at night, and only resumed watching it the next day, when it was light.
  • The main house of A Nightmare on Elm Street was filmed in various locations.
  • In the movie “Saw”, the intestines of a pig were used to simulate the intestines of a person.

How to take part

Organize your own Calan Gaeaf gathering and come up with a theme. Think of decorations, treats, and drinks that you can share with your friends. Pick out some of your favorite horror movies and watch them together. For an extra thrill, why not visit a haunted house?

When is Calan Gaeaf celebrated in 2023?

Calan Gaeaf is observed on November 1 each year.


Weekday Month Day Year
Wednesday November 1 2023
Friday November 1 2024
Saturday November 1 2025
Sunday November 1 2026