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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Day of the Dead or All Hallows' Eve

Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, and acknowledged around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey.

Prior to Spanish colonization in the 16th century, the celebration took place at the beginning of summer. It was moved to October 31, November 1 and November 2 to coincide with the Roman Catholic festival All Saints’ Eve or All Saints’ Day. Traditions include honoring the deceased with sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. Visitors also leave possessions of the deceased at the graves.

The holiday has spread throughout the world, being absorbed within other deep traditions for honoring the dead.

Here, both in the US and Canada we celebrate All Saint’s Eve, or Halloween on October 31st.

Halloween is actually a contraction of All Hallows’ Evening. According to many scholars, All Hallows' Eve is a Christianized feast influenced by Celtic harvest festival, with possible pagan roots. Other scholars maintain that it has solely Christian roots.

Typical contemporary festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins. Visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories and watching horror films. Locally we have a zombie dance and we also celebrate Day of the Dead with a party. Do you celebrate October 31st? How?

                                     Happy Halloween everyone!

 

9 comments:

  1. I love the idea of celebrating our loved ones who have passed and putting out food and gifts for them!

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    1. I agree. I hadn't realized that was what they did.

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  2. At my church, names are called for the saints who have passed that year. It is a wonderful way to remember them.

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    1. I like that, too. That must be like All Saints' Day.

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  3. I have year-round day of the dead decorations at my house :)

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    1. That's very cool. What type of decorations do you have?

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  4. Enjoyed the post. I usually go to a family party in the early evening and later bake cookies in remembrance of deceased loved ones. Happy Halloween, Beverly!

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  5. That is so nice. You're the first person I know that actually does something specific for the deceased.

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  6. Thanks, Beverley! It's been a family tradition for years for us.

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