dumb supper

A Samhain practice common up to the twentieth century, and still performed in some parts, of setting out a plate of food for the ancestors walking abroad on that night. So called "dumb" because the spirits cannot speak; the idea that the dead are mute is also seen in "Branwen uerch Lyr", where the cauldron-born warriors (i.e. those risen from the dead) are unable to speak.

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Mary Jones 2004