Friday, November 1, 2013


David Castor: Swedish Lutheran Church on All Hallows
The time period around October 31st and November 1st has been a  traditional holiday in western culture celebrated in many incarnations.  Samhain, Calan Gaeaf, Allantide, The Day of the Dead, All Hallows' Eve to name a few are all manifestations of the celebration, many predate Christianity.  All Saints' Day was celebrated in the medieval church on 13 May, closer to the similar Roman festival of Lemuria, it was moved to November 1st by decree of Louis the Pious in 835, although it was already widely celebrated in the Frankish Empire around that date. 

Tomas Castelazo,
Costumes were worn to disguise oneself from the vengeful dead, carved turnips with a candle inside to scare them off, food left on graves as gifts to the departed.  Common to all is remembrance of the dead and the belief that the curtain separating the living from the dead thins, or draws aside. Today, while many dress up in costume and carve jack'o'lanterns from the much larger, and presumably easier to carve pumpkins, outside of Latin culture today, few remember the dead.

Jakub Schikaneder - All Souls' Day


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