Man Fall is my favorite time of year and Halloween is one of the reasons. When I was a kid I loved to be frightened by things. I liked to see how much I could take before I needed a light on to get to sleep. That sounds really crazy when I see it written down but what can I say. When I became an adult (still not sure if I’m there yet) I began to love this time a year for an entirely different reason.
This is a very sacred time for some people. Samhain, All Saint’s Day, Dia De Los Meurtos, these are all holidays and festivals that celebrate the dead and the changing of the seasons. While death can be a touchy subject for some, the idea of spirits and the great beyond is cause for ceremony.
Now I’m not gonna take the time to write about each of those holidays or this blog would be WAY too long but I will give a brief definition of each.
Samhain: Sometimes referred to as “Pagan New Year’s” it is the Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. It is celebrated from sunset on 31 October to sunset on 1 November, which is nearly halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. The souls of the dead were also thought to revisit their homes. Feasts were had, at which the souls of dead kin were beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them. Mumming and guising were part of the festival, and involved people going door-to-door in costume (or in disguise), often reciting verses in exchange for food.
All Saints Day: is a solemnity celebrated on 1 November by parts of Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity, in honor of all the saints, known and unknown. All Saints’ Day is the second day of Hallowmas (All Howllow’s Eve),and begins at sunrise on the 1st of November and finishes at sundown on the 1st of November. It is the day before All Souls’ Day which is typically a Catholic holiday.
Dia De Los Muertos: translates to Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and 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. The celebration takes place on October 31, November 1 and November 2, in connection with the Christian triduum of Hallowmas: All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gift
So there you have it, a brief history on why this time of year is so spooky cool. To finish it all off I’m including some pictures from my neighborhood
Amber Mosby “Forgive me if I don’t get excited…”