Samhain is also the name of a festival in various currents of Neopaganism inspired by Gaelic tradition. It appears, therefore, that in Proto-Celtic the first month of the summer season was named 'wintry', and the first month of the winter half-year 'summery', possibly by ellipsis, '[month at the end] of summer/winter', so that would be a restitution of the original meaning.
This interpretation would either invalidate the 'assembly' explanation given above, or push back the time of the re-interpretation by popular etymology to very early times indeed.
The gods and goddesses, or deities of the Celts are known from a variety of sources, these include written Celtic mythology, ancient places of worship, statues, engravings, cult objects and place or personal names.
The locus classicus for the Celtic gods of Gaul is the passage in Julius Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico (The Gallic War, 52–51 BC) in which he names six of them, together with their functions.
Like many goddess figures, her appearance changes depending on her story and temperament.
She can appear as a beautiful young maid in a flowing white dress, or a wizened and shriveled old crone with wolf fangs and glowing red eyes.
After him the Gauls honoured Apollo, who drove away diseases, Mars, who controlled war, Jupiter, who ruled the heavens, and Minerva, who promoted handicrafts.
He adds that the Gauls regarded Dis Pater as their ancestor.
The gods named by Caesar are well-attested in the later epigraphic record of Gaul and Britain.
She inspired fairy godmothers, wicked stepmothers, Snow White, and even Tinkerbell.
Abonde is the Winter Goddess—one of the most important figures in all of Wicca in Europe.
The Gaulish calendar appears to have divided the year into two halves: the 'dark' half, beginning with the month ), the beginning of the lunar cycle which fell nearest to the midpoint between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice.
The lunations marking the middle of each half-year may also have been marked by specific festivals.