Happy Halloween to all! Yes, its another Halloween post…joining the ranks of many others.
Typically called Halloween, or All Hallows’ Eve, this day holds multiple meanings world-wide. The mainstream idea of Halloween is usually celebrated by dressing up, trick-or-treating, attending parties and basically joining in the general populace in doing so. However, this typical depiction of the holiday is only celebrated in this way in Ireland (where the holiday is believed to have originated), Canada and the United States.
Although not all countries celebrate the actual Halloween holiday in accordance with the general genre as it is perceived today, there are coinciding holidays on this date celebrated throughout. For example, in the Nordic countries, today is ‘All Saints Day’. A day of remembrance of those who have passed. This is usually celebrated by being with close friends and family, giving thanks for their blessings and burning candles at the burial sites of their loved ones. In the arctic north, these candles will burn for a full 24 hours or more in cemeteries. It is a beautiful site, when a snowy place is lit by hundreds of peacefully flickering candles and the quite or respect and peace. This is also done in varying forms in Belgium, China and Austria. Adding an offering of bread and water as well as candles to honour those no longer in attendance. In Czech, it is said that an additional chair for each person that has passed is added by the families fireplace.
Of course in Europe, cultures have adopted the American tradition of dressing up and having a big party. Although this date in most European countries is a day of reverence for the deceased, the younger generations have begun to incorporate new traditions crossing and combining cultural bounds.
Wherever you are and whatever you may be doing to observe this day, may you have fun, be safe and remember those that can no longer give you candy or light the candles with you. I know I will.
Please let us know how you celebrate today!
Thank you for reading