Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day of the Dead and All Saints Day

Ghost Busters in South Minneapolis
 Today is recognized as "All Saints Day" within the Christian church. This is a day that church members are encouraged to remember saints who have passed away, especially those within the past year.

In the Mexican community, and among some other Latino cultures, today is also celebrated as the "Day of the Dead". This is a day when the favorite foods of deceased family members are brought out, flowers and candles are placed in cemeteries, while decorations of skeletons and skulls adorn homes.  

Halloween store display
Seems to be a sad commentary on our society that within the US far more attention is given to Halloween, 'All Hallows Eve', and the gathering of candy and dressing up in silly costumes than to remembrance of the deceased.  It is almost as if the reality of death and dying is kept at bay so that we can live unencumbered by the realization that we will all die.  

Halloween has by far eclipsed All Saints Day and the Day of the Dead, and is second biggest commercial holiday in the US, coming in only behind Christmas. Again, another indictment of the way the US has cultivated consumerism at the expense of other traditionally held values.

Here's hoping that we might all take a moment today to remember those who have gone before.

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