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How does Halloween honor the dead?

I read this in a post, but I don't get it. Can you tell me specifically what activity honors the dead on Halloween?

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Asked by glenndoir at 1:10 AM on Sep. 9, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 12 (893 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • The popular holiday now known as Halloween has a very long complicated history. The celebration of Samhain, is thought to predate Christianity by up to a few thousand years (or more). It is the Celtic New Year and is celebrated as the time when the veil between the spirit realm and our physical realm is at it's thinnest. This means it's a time not only for reflection of the past year and preparation for the new year, but also the perfect time to honor and connect with ancestors and passed loved ones. For many current day Pagans this is still the purpose of the day. However, there are a great many other cultural influences which go in to what we currently see as Halloween besides Samhain. One is the Mexican Day of the Dead, which has similar meanings and is again a day to honor and remember those who passed...


    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 1:18 AM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • Ok, I know the history. I happen to come from a country where we don't have Halloween but every year on November 1st everyone goes to the cemetery and spends hours there with the loved ones that past away.
    I just don't see this in America, nor I see Halloween as a honor for the dead. Personally, comparing Halloween to our November 1st is embarrassing to me.

    Comment by glenndoir (original poster) at 1:21 AM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • The holiday that we see today as Halloween has been completely Americanized and carries little of the spirituality and meaning that it's origins do and did. So in a way, Halloween as it is celebrated today doesn't honor the dead, it's little more than a time to dress up and eat junk food. But it's when we look at the reasons and meanings BEHIND today's traditions that we see honor given to the dead and a great many other very spiritual and wonderful things... To those who know those reasons and meanings, it's easy to see a present day connection, however I feel this is one of a vast many things which people tend to be rather undereducated on now a days...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 1:21 AM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • Where are you from?

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 1:22 AM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • Russia

    Comment by glenndoir (original poster) at 1:26 AM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • So I really want to do something for Halloween, for my kids sake that were born here, I just need to understand the meaning of it and present it to them as such, I don't want them to think it's all about the sweets and the scary stuff. I don't even like scary stuff and I don't even want them to eat sweets.

    Comment by glenndoir (original poster) at 1:28 AM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • Honestly, the American Halloween has no real meaning... It's become simply a time for fun and candy... Little more! People today celebrate it because it's tradition, because it's fun, but there is NO real connection for the vast majority of them. For those like me, it's a very wonderful, very spiritual day... However, we are the minority! Really, unfortunately, for non-Pagans, it is just about sweets and scary stuff...

    I would love to find out more about your Nov 1st celebration, and frankly, if I were you, I would include that as a part of your families celebrations. Just because your kids are American's doesn't mean they shouldn't have a strong connection to their heritage - or those celebrations which come with it.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 1:38 AM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • I don't know too much of it myself, I just remember going with my parents to my grandma's grave every year. I never met her, she died when my dad was 15. The whole cemetery was decorated with flowers and candles. The candles are made specially for this night, they are long and are encased in a glass capsule so that they can burn safely for a long period of time in order to guide spirits through the night. The whole country does this, schools close early so that people can go to the cemetery because on Nov 1st it gets dark outside at about 6 PM.

    Comment by glenndoir (original poster) at 1:48 AM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • My family and I celebrate Samhain and Halloween... My family sees Halloween as a American tradition for kids to go out and have fun. MY family begins our celebration the night of Oct.31 after Halloween fun.. We start a bonfire and keep it burning all night and all day on Nov1st.. We hold a large dinner on the first, we eat outside on the ground, ( eating on a blanket) around the fire. We talk to our family members who have past.we cook their favorite meals. We honor our dead, there is so much more that we do..

    Answer by MzGeorgiaPeach at 2:25 AM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • Ok, since I am a researcher by nature, I decided to look it up. The only thing I could find was Rememberance Day (Dmitrievskaya parental Saturday), but the site I found said it was on November 2nd. What you describe sounds alot like the Day of the Dead celebrations. Here is the link were I found Remembrance day, but it doesn't say much.

    Hope this helps.



    Answer by spiritguide_23 at 5:01 PM on Sep. 9, 2010

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