Special days for remembering those who have died

Special days for remembering those who have died

At the end of October and beginning of November, there are special days for remembering those who have died. At this time, people around the world honour their dead and visit their graves or final resting place.

Allhallowtide, a time for remembering those who have died

Also known as Hallowtide, Allsaintstide, and the Hallowmass season. Allhallowtide is a triduum celebrated in the Western Christian church. It extends for three days from October 31st until November 2nd.

All Hallows' Eve, which is often contracted to Haloween, falls on October 31st.  In Christian traditions, it was a night of vigil when believers prepared themselves for the feast of All Hallows with fasting and prayers. Some people believe that on this night, the distance that separates the afterlife and the real world is diminished. Souls of the dead can return briefly to the land of the living. For this reason, people started wearing masks to hide their true identity from a returned soul.

All Saints' Day, Hallowmas, or All Hallows is celebrated on November 31st. It is one of the principal feasts of the church year and celebrates the deaths of all the martyrs and saints. Many Christians visit the graves and last resting places of their departed loved ones on this day.

November 2nd is All Souls' Day when all faithful departed Christians are remembered and honoured.

The Day of the Dead

This is a time when Mexicans are remembering those who have died. It is now celebrated at the same time as the Christian Allhallowtide. Originally, however, it was in the ninth month of the Aztec calendar which is August. In Mexico, November 1st is when departed children and infants are remembered. November 2nd is the day to honour dead adults. On these days families spend time in the graveyards, decorating the tombs, leaving presents, eating traditional dishes, and drinking. They try to encourage the soul of the dead to visit with them on this special family occasion.

Other countries throughout Latin America have similar celebrations remembering those who have died, although not always at this time of year.

The importance of remembering

Remembering our departed loved ones is an important part of being able to continue living. Nowadays, many people choose to create a special place in their home to keep their departed loved ones close by in a beautiful urn. Others, choose to keep their departed loved ones close to them at all times by sealing their ashes within a very special piece of memorial jewellery.

Remembering those who have died can take place on a special family occasion once a year or it can be a personal experience every day.