An old Celtic ritual marking the end of harvest and beginning of winter brought Winnipeg's wicans to Vimy Ridge Park on Sunday.

The Samhain ritual marks the division between the light half of the year and the dark half, according to organizer Susanne McCrea.

"It's also the time when it is thought that we can be the closest to our ancestors and the spirits that can travel between worlds," she said.

Susanne McCrea

Susanne McCrea says the ritual marks the division between the light half of the year and the dark half. (CBC)

Although the people taking part in the ritual have different titles, McCrea said she calls herself a witch.

"Witch is the word that was used to exercise power over European women from Scotland, Sweden, Germany and Spain all through the witch inquisitions," she said.

"I am quite sure they never would have called themselves witches, but none the less, I use it in a way of reclaiming the word so it takes the power out of how it was used to torture and kill women."

The participants ate cookies, drank hot chocolate and made brooms, which are used to clear energy and space, before the ceremony took place.

While most people think of Halloween or Hocus Pocus, McCrea said witches have a rich and important history.

"It's really important for people to understand the image of a witch … comes from a history," she said.