I love holidays and special occasions. I love almost any reason to build a celebration around. Life is often difficult (believe me, I know that this year more than ever before!); it’s important to find reasons for joy and celebration whenever one can.
I’ve always thought Halloween was fun, and often wished it were longer than just one night.
When I was n my mid 20s, I came across a book in the library by Anne Rice titled The Feast of All Saints. That was the first I’d heard of All Saints’ Day,” which is a religious holiday that Wikipedia tells us …”begins at Vespers on the evening of 31 October and ends at the close of 1 November. It is thus the day before All Souls’ Day.” I was intrigued by this holiday, but I also learned I was not an Anne Rice fan (I could not make it through that book; nor could I make it through Interview with a Vampire years later, so I’ve pretty much given up on her as an author for me).
Later on, I also learned of the Day of the Dead, or Dia de Muertos in Spanish. It, too, is celebrated on 01-November. As Wikiepedia tells us:
Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday observed 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. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico where the day is a bank holiday.
So for several years, I maintained a low-key observance of Day of the Dead, typically with some “spooky” leftovers and attitude from our Halloween festivities.
After all of the frustrations and chaos that this year has brought thus far, I have been especially looking forward to reasons to celebrate and be festive. Already happy that Halloween falls on a Friday this year, I decided to do a bit more research into both Halloween and Day of the Dead, and you cannot imagine how thrilled I was to discover a heretofore unknown holiday to me of Hallowtide, which can also be referred to as Hallowmas!
Yes, that’s right — it’s like the Nightmare Before Christmas!! 🙂
As handy, dandy Wikipedia tells us:
Allhallowtide, Hallowtide, Allsaintstide, or the Hallowmas season, is the triduum encompassing the Western Christian observances of All Hallows’ Eve (Hallowe’en), All Saints’ Day (All Hallows’) and All Souls’ Day, which last from October 31 to November 2 annually. Allhallowtide is a time to remember the dead, including martyrs, saints, and all faithful departed Christians. The present date of Hallowmas (All Saints’ Day) and thus also of its vigil (Hallowe’en) was established for Rome perhaps by Pope Gregory III (731-741) and was made of obligation throughout the Frankish Empire by Louis the Pious in 835. Elsewhere, other dates were observed even later, with the date in Ireland being 20 April. It was only in the early 11th century that the modern date of All Souls’ Day was popularized, after Abbot Odilo established it as a day for the monks of Cluny and associated monasteries to pray for the dead.
So this year, I’m looking forward to three days of spook-tacular celebrations — which will also include some somber contemplation of loved ones who have passed on.
Happy Hallowmas! 🙂 May your spooky treats be yummy and may no mean tricks come your way.
Like “That Smells Yummy!” on FaceBook for more fun!
I’ll share my Hallowmas tricks and treats on my Facebook page as time permits 🙂