Friday, October 26, 2007

Holy Day observances October 31 and November 1

Whatever you think of Halloween (which is a contraction of Eve of All Saints) there are a surprising number of diverse celebrations of different spiritual traditions on the dates of October 31 and November 1. Here are a few of them.

Holidays and observances October 31

Holidays and observances October 31

Halloween or All Hallows Eve (Eve of All Saints)

1. R.C. Saints - October 31 is the feast day of the following Roman Catholic Saints:

2. Orthodox Church

3. Protestant Church, Slovenia - Reformation Day: Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the Wittenberg church on this day in 1517

Reformation Day is a religious holiday celebrated on October 31 in remembrance of the Reformation, particularly by Lutheran and some Reformed church communities. It is a civic holiday in Slovenia (since the Reformation contributed to its cultural development profoundly, although Slovenians are mainly Roman Catholics) and in the German states of Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia.

On this day in 1517, Martin Luther posted a proposal at the doors of a church in Wittenberg, Germany to debate the doctrine and practice of indulgences. This proposal is popularly known as the 95 Theses, which he nailed to the Castle Church doors. This was not an act of defiance or provocation as is sometimes thought. Since the Castle Church faced Wittenberg's main thoroughfare, the church door functioned as a public bulletin board and was therefore the logical place for posting important notices. Also, the theses were written in Latin, the language of the church, and not in the vernacular. Nonetheless, the event created a controversy between Luther and those allied with the Pope over a variety of doctrines and practices. When Luther and his supporters were excommunicated in 1520, the Lutheran tradition was born.

4. Cornwall - Allantide Allantide (Cornish Calan Gwaf or Nos Calan Gwaf) is a Cornish festival that was traditionally celebrated on 31 October elsewhere known as Hallowe'en. The festival itself seems to have pre-Christian origins similar to most celebrations on this date, however in Cornwall it was popularly linked to St Allen or Arlan a little known Cornish Saint. Because of the this Allantide is also known as Allan day. The origins of the name Allantide are actually likely to stem from the same old English sources as Hollantide (Wales and the Isle of Man) and Hallowe'en itself.

The following is a description of the festival as it was celebrated in Penzance at the turn of the 19th century:

"The shops in Penzance would display Allan apples, which were highly polished large apples. On the day itself, these apples were given as gifts to each member of the family as a token of good luck. Older girls would place these apples under their pillows and hope to dream of the person whom they would one day marry. A local game is also recorded where two pieces of wood were nailed together in the shape of a cross. It was then suspended with 4 candles on each outcrop of the cross shape. Allan apples would then be suspended under the cross. The goal of the game was to catch the apples in your mouth, with hot wax being the penalty for slowness or inaccuracy."

Holidays and observances November 1

All Saints Day

5. Mexico- Day of the Dead celebrations begin. Though the subject matter may be considered morbid from the perspective of some other cultures, celebrants typically approach the Day of the Dead joyfully, and though it occurs roughly at the same time as Halloween, All Saints' Day and All Souls Day, the traditional mood is much brighter with emphasis on celebrating and honoring the lives of the deceased, and celebrating the continuation of life; the belief is not that death is the end, but rather the beginning of a new stage in life. In Mexico and Mexican immigrant communities in the United States and Europe, the Day of the Dead is of particular cultural importance.

6. Roman festivals - last day of the Ludi Victoriae Sullanae. November 1 - Pomonia in honor of the orchard goddess Pomona, the goddess of fruit trees, gardens and orchards.

7. Catholicism - Holy Day of Obligation, All Saints Day.

8. Also see November 1 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)

9. Ireland - Samhain the traditional first day of Winter


豪杰 said...

Is everything okay? I have not seen you post for a while. BTW here is a blog that I think you will like a lot;

Michelle said...

Hi! Thanks for asking! I've just been real busy lately, and posts for "Spirits" take a lot of research. However, I may borrow a post from one of my sister blogs about Gods and the Sun, so there may be something new here in a day or two.

Thanks for the link to your's great. :-)