Sunday, October 30th. The western world is going crazy looking for scary costumes, reserving tickets in clubs for theme parties and to be honest looking mostly quite ridiculous. Tomorrow is Halloween. Or actually, “All Hallows Day”, or like we call it in Europe, “All Saints´Day” (in Hungary and Germany – as well as some other Countries in Europe – this is celebrated on November 1st).
But what does that really represent? Most people link the festivity to trick or treating, costume parties, skulls and pumpkins. In reality Halloween represents the beginning of a three day observance of the death. It is a time on which people in most of the Catholic countries take time to remember the lost ones. Even though I believe our lost, loved ones should be (and are) constantly in our hearts, this period of the year is a good one to bring families together.
Unfortunately I think the real meaning of this celebration has been lost, and it turned more pagan then spiritual. Sure it is fun and I think it is a very nice evening / night for the kids. If I will have kids I might bring them all over the place as well, funnily dressed looking for sweets in the neighbourhood. But let´s go one step back and see what All Saint´s Day is.
All Saints, in Catholic communities, is celebrated on November 1st and commemorates all the Saints “living in heaven”. On November 2nd however, the commemoration extends to the death.
I have seen many celebrations, but my favourite cult (in the sense that I find it interesting, not that I would do it myself) of the death is the Mexican one. In 2014 I visited a Mexican cemetery in Merida, and I have to say I was impressed by the colours and the flair it had. Some of the graves are painted in the deaths´favourite colour, and the bones are visible for all to see. The family waits for the decomposition process of the body to be over,extracts and cleans the remaining bones from the grave, and places them in a box right next to it. I don´t know the spiritual meaning of this, but if you do know pls comment below or send me an Email through the contact form. I would love to have more insights on this practise.
Among others, here you can see the picture of a sculpture in which a woman checks the pulse of her dead husband (picture taken in Merida, Mexico). This symbolises hope. The corpse is left at home for about 24 hours for the family to mourn, after that the heart rate is checked again to make sure the person did really pass away. I am not sure this is a tradition all over Mexico, but I really found interesting when I saw it in Merida.
On All Saints day, the cemetery fills up with people and donations to the death are made, sometimes their favourite meals are cooked or favourite objects are brought over. I find this very interesting, even though I would like to gain more insights as per the meaning of this ritual. Family and friends gather together on the Dia de Muertos, remembering all the lost ones. Personally I find the meaning of such gatherings more powerful than those of Halloween, which, as I said, has been turned into more of a pagan than a religious celebration.
Anyway, I am personally not at against Halloween at all, I find it interesting to see what kind of costumes people come up with and I did attend enough parties of the sort in my life. I did go trick or treating as well, but having spent most of my childhood in Italy I have rather celebrated Carnival (usually in February). There I always had a costume, my favourite one was a Sailor Moon costume self made by my mother, too bad I don´t have a picture to show (or maybe it is better this way hehe).
If I had to put on a costume again, I would probably copy (oh wow copy cat) one from Adriana Lima (click on the link below to see the look!) – Love it !
What are you wearing this year? Share it with us and comment in the below fields, or send me an E-mail 🙂
To all the kids (and parents) out there, happy trick or treating tomorrow !
Lots of love