The benefits of Boo-day
As a child we visited Hershey for holiday events to see relatives and usually part of the ritual was to visit the gravesite of my grandmother. The Hershey Cemetery is an expansive property placed pleasantly on a hill with luscious trees and boundless nature.
At one point as a child while we were up there visiting the gravesite I asked my mother why couldn’t we have a picnic here? She looked at me as if she’d seen a ghost and said. “Why would we, there are dead people here!”
Fast forward years later and the idea of a picnic with the deceased is recognized in different cultures.
Hence the festival Dia De Los Muertos or The Day of the Dead. This Mexican Holiday is celebrated usually November 1st and 2nd. Family and friends gather to their loved ones gravesites and have a picnic. They celebrate with the deceased and bring the persons favorite food and drink and tell funny stories of the past. They clean the gravesites and bring marigolds and sugar skulls as offerings.
This holiday follows All Hollow’s Eve or what everyone knows as Halloween. Halloween is different things to different people. Some believe that it is a devil holiday, a pagan ritual, or an entrance into winter that is part of the last harvest. It is marketed mainly here in the United States as a celebration where everyone gets dressed up in costume and goes trick or treating in the neighborhood.
My take on the the holiday is I get to see my neighbors and give candy to those who I would otherwise never meet. It is the closest thing to a community event where people come together with their children to walk the town in the evening. With the simple saying of “trick or treat” you then get a candy of your choice.
This is my favorite holiday because you are not pushed into a stuffy stinky house with a bunch of unlikeable people that you are related to but never see and have to spend the hours until your carriage comes and hopefully you leave before it turns into a pumpkin... Wait that’s an entirely different story.
In our neighborhood the doors and porches are welcoming to pleasant people that usually have a smile and a sweetness and a genuine gratitude. Once again the day that follows Halloween, The Day of the Dead, you can enjoy the ritual of going to a gravesite and having a picnic with your favorite relative or friend and enjoy nature and behold the day where the spirits are happy and you are happy.
You are giving them offerings and unlike the other holidays where you are pushed into seeing those pesky relatives that you don’t want to see and talk to ….the dead do not talk back.
And that is not scary.
Gratitude and love for those good souls that have passed.
All Hail to Hallows Eve.