Festival of the Dead

Festival of the Dead or Feast of Ancestors[1] is held by many cultures throughout the world in honor or recognition of deceased members of the community, generally occurring after the harvest in August, September, October, or November. As an example, the Ancient Egyptian Wag Festival took place in early August.[2]

In Japanese Buddhist custom the festival honoring the departed (deceased) spirits of one's ancestors is known as the Bon Festival and is held in July or August.[3] This annual festival begins with participants flocking towards the ocean with gifts, messages and lit lanterns for the deceased. All of these gifts are found in small boats which are then released into the water at midnight. [4]

For the Hindus the ritual done for the dead ancestors is called Pitri Paksha. It is based on the Hindu lunar calendar and the period lasts for 15 days, falling towards the end of September. In Nepal, the popular festival of Gai Jatra honors the deceased, and is observed in the month of Bhadra, the date of which corresponds to the first day of the month of Gunla in the lunar Nepal Era calendar.

The Roman Catholic church celebrates three days of Allhallowtide from 31 October to 1 November, marking All Saints' Eve, All Saints' Day and the second of November as All Souls' Day. The Mexican holiday celebrated at Hallowtide is called Día de muertos or Day of the Dead - prior to the Spanish colonisation and the conversion of local people to Christianity, this festival was celebrated in the summer time.[5]

In many cultures a single event, Festival of the Dead, lasting up to 3 days, was held at the end of October and beginning of November; examples include the Peruvians, the Pacific Islanders, the people of the Tonga Islands, the ancient Persians, ancient Romans, and the northern nations of Europe. [1]

In the Inca religion the entire month of November is 'Ayamarca', which translates to Festival of the Dead. The Chinese and Buddhist festival is called Ghost Festival.

In the 21st century, European traditions mark the celebrations of Halloween.

It has been thought that the three day festival of the dead is a ritualistic remembrance of the deluge in which the first night, Halloween depicts the wickedness of the world before flood. The second night then celebrates the saved who survived the deluge and the last night celebrates those who would repopulate the Earth.[6]

See also

External links

  • Christian, Roy (2005). Traditional Festivals, Vol. 2 [M - Z]: A Multicultural Encyclopedia, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. pp. Original from the University of California. ISBN 978-1-57607-089-5. ISBN 1-57607-089-1.
  • Frazer, James George (1913). The Belief in Immortality and the Worship of the Dead. Macmillan. pp. Original from the University of California.

References

  1. ^ a b Smyth, Charles Piazzi (1867). Life and Work at the Great Pyramid During the Months of January. Edmonston and Douglas. pp. Page 372.
  2. ^ Grajetzki, Wolfram; Quirke, Stephen. "Festivals in the ancient Egyptian calendar". Digital Egypt for Universities. University College London. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  3. ^ Yanagita. ""When" is Obon?". Spiritual dance in Midsummer Night. bonodori.net. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  4. ^ Spann, Minnie (Summer 1906). "The Bon or Festival of the Dead". Christian Observer. 94.
  5. ^ Day, Frances Ann. Latina and Latino Voices in Literature. Greenwood Publishing Group.
  6. ^ Olcott, William Tyler (1911). Star Lore of All Ages. The Knickerbocker Press. p. 413.
All Saints' Day

All Saints' Day, also known as All Hallows' Day, Hallowmas, the Feast of All Saints, or Solemnity of All Saints, is a Christian festival celebrated in honour of all the saints, known and unknown. In Western Christianity, it is celebrated on 1 November by the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Methodist Church, the Church of the Nazarene, the Lutheran Church, the Reformed Church, and other Protestant churches. The Eastern Orthodox Church and associated Eastern Catholic Churches and Byzantine Lutheran Churches celebrate it on the first Sunday after Pentecost. Oriental Orthodox churches of Chaldea and associated Eastern Catholic churches celebrate All Saints' Day on the first Friday after Easter.In the Western Christian practice, the liturgical celebration begins at Vespers on the evening of 31 October, All Hallows' Eve (All Saints' Eve), and ends at the close of 1 November. It is thus the day before All Souls' Day, which commemorates the faithful departed. In many traditions, All Saints' Day is part of the season of Allhallowtide, which includes the three days from 31 October to 2 November inclusive and in some denominations, such as Anglicanism, extends to Remembrance Sunday. On All Saints Day, it is common for families to attend church, as well as visit cemeteries in order to lay flowers and candles on the graves of their deceased loved ones. In Austria and Germany, godparents gift their godchildren Allerheiligenstriezel (All Saint's Braid) on All Saint's Day, while the practice of souling remains popular in Portugal. It is a national holiday in many historically Christian countries.

The Christian celebration of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day stems from a belief that there is a powerful spiritual bond between those in heaven (the "Church triumphant"), and the living (the "Church militant"). In Catholic theology, the day commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in Heaven. In Methodist theology, All Saints Day revolves around "giving God solemn thanks for the lives and deaths of his saints", including those who are "famous or obscure". As such, individuals throughout the Church Universal are honoured, such as Paul the Apostle, Augustine of Hippo and John Wesley, in addition to individuals who have personally led one to faith in Jesus, such as one's grandmother or friend.In the British Isles, it is known that churches were already celebrating All Saints on 1 November at the beginning of the 8th century to coincide with or replace the Celtic festival of Samhain.

James Frazer suggests that 1 November was chosen because it was the date of the Celtic festival of the dead (Samhain). However, Ronald Hutton points out that, according to Óengus of Tallaght (d. ca. 824), the 7th/8th century church in Ireland celebrated All Saints on 20 April. He suggests that 1 November date was a Germanic rather than a Celtic idea.

Anthesteria

Anthesteria (Greek: Ἀνθεστήρια Anthestḗria; also called the Anthesteria) was one of the four Athenian festivals in honor of Dionysus. It was held each year from the 11th to the 13th of the month of Anthesterion, around the time of the January or February full moon. The three days of the feast were called Pithoigia, Choës, and Chytroi.

It celebrated the beginning of spring, particularly the maturing of the wine stored at the previous vintage, whose pithoi were now ceremoniously opened. During the feast, social order was interrupted or inverted, the slaves being allowed to participate, uniting the household in ancient fashion. The Anthesteria also had aspects of a festival of the dead: either the Keres (Κῆρες) or the Carians (Κᾶρες) were entertained, freely roaming the city until they were expelled after the festival. A Greek proverb, employed of those who pestered for continued favors, ran "Out of doors, Keres! It is no longer Anthesteria".

Dead on arrival

Dead on arrival (DOA), also dead in the field and brought in dead (BID), indicates that a patient was found to be already clinically dead upon the arrival of professional medical assistance, often in the form of first responders such as emergency medical technicians, paramedics, or police.

In some jurisdictions, first responders must consult verbally with a physician before officially pronouncing a patient deceased, but once cardiopulmonary resuscitation is initiated, it must be continued until a physician can pronounce the patient dead.

Death messenger

Death messengers, in former times, were those who were dispatched to spread the news that an inhabitant of their city or village had died. They were to wear unadorned black and go door to door with the message, "You are asked to attend the funeral of the departed __________ at (time, date, and place)." This was all they were allowed to say, and were to move on to the next house immediately after uttering the announcement. This tradition persisted in some areas to as late as the mid-19th century.

Death rattle

Terminal respiratory secretions (or simply terminal secretions), known colloquially as a death rattle, are sounds often produced by someone who is near death as a result of fluids such as saliva and bronchial secretions accumulating in the throat and upper chest. Those who are dying may lose their ability to swallow and may have increased production of bronchial secretions, resulting in such an accumulation. Usually, two or three days earlier, the symptoms of approaching death can be observed as saliva accumulates in the throat, making it very difficult to take even a spoonful of water. Related symptoms can include shortness of breath and rapid chest movement. While death rattle is a strong indication that someone is near death, it can also be produced by other problems that cause interference with the swallowing reflex, such as brain injuries.It is sometimes misinterpreted as the sound of the person choking to death, or alternatively, that they are gargling.

Dignified death

Dignified death is a somewhat elusive concept often related to suicide. One factor that has been cited as a core component of dignified death is maintaining a sense of control. Another view is that a truly dignified death is an extension of a dignified life. There is some concern that assisted suicide does not guarantee a dignified death, since some patients may experience complications such as nausea and vomiting. There is some concern that age discrimination denies the elderly a dignified death.

Fan death

Fan death is a well-known superstition in Korean culture, where it is thought that running an electric fan in a closed room with unopened or no windows will prove fatal. Despite no concrete evidence to support the concept, belief in fan death persists to this day in Korea, and also to a lesser extent in Japan.

Funeral director

A funeral director, also known as an undertaker (British English) or mortician (American English), is a professional involved in the business of funeral rites. These tasks often entail the embalming and burial or cremation of the dead, as well as the arrangements for the funeral ceremony (although not the directing and conducting of the funeral itself unless clergy are not present). Funeral directors may at times be asked to perform tasks such as dressing (in garments usually suitable for daily wear), casketing (placing the human body in the coffin), and cossetting (applying any sort of cosmetic or substance to the best viewable areas of the corpse for the purpose of enhancing its appearance). A funeral director may work at a funeral home or be an independent employee.

Guédé

In Haiti, the Guédé (also spelled Gede or

Ghede, pronounced [ɡede] in Haitian Creole) are the family of Loa that embody the powers of death and fertility. Guédé spirits include Ghede Doubye, Ghede Linto, Ghede Loraj, Guédé Nibo and Guédé Ti Malis. All are known for the drum rhythm and dance called the "banda". In possession, they will drink or rub themselves with a mixture of clairin (raw rum) and twenty-one Scotch bonnet or goat peppers. Fête Ghede is celebrated on 2 November, All Souls' Day ("Festival of the Dead"). Boons granted by the Ghede not repaid by this date will be avenged afterwards.

Papa Ghede is the corpse of the first man who ever died. He is recognized as a short, dark man with a high hat on his head, who likes to smoke cheap cigars and eat apples. Papa Ghede is a psychopomp who waits at the crossroads to take souls into the afterlife. He is considered the good counterpart to Baron Samedi. If a child is dying, Papa Ghede is prayed to. It is believed that he will not take a life before its time, and that he will protect the little ones. Papa Ghede has a very crass sense of humor, a divine ability to read others' minds, and the ability to know everything that happens in the worlds of the living and the dead.Brave Ghede is the guardian and watchman of the graveyard. He keeps the dead souls in and the living souls out. He is sometimes considered an aspect of Nibo.Ghede Bábáco is Papa Ghede's less known brother and is also a psychopomp. His role is somewhat similar to that of Papa Ghede, but he doesn't have the special abilities of his brother.Ghede Nibo is a psychopomp, an intermediary between the living and the dead. He was the first person to die by violence, so he is the patron of those who died by unnatural causes (disaster, accident, misadventure, or violence). He is the guardian of the graves of those who died prematurely, particularly those whose final resting place is unknown. His chevals ("horses", possessed devotees) can give voice to the dead spirits whose bodies have not been found or that have not been reclaimed from "below the waters".Baron Kriminel ("Baron of Criminals") is the enforcer of the Guede. He was the first person to kill another (probably Nibo). As the first murderer, he is master of those who murder or use violence to harm others. Families of murder victims and the abused pray to him to get revenge on those who wronged them. His "horses" have an insatiable appetite and will attack people until they are offered food. If it doesn't please them or takes too long, they will bite and chew on anyone nearby (or even themselves) until they are sated. He is syncretised with St. Martin de Porres, perhaps because his feast day is November 3, the day after Fete Ghede. He is sacrificed black roosters that have been bound, doused with strong spirit, and then set alight.Maman Brigitte ("Mother Bridget") is the wife of Baron Samedi. She is syncretized with St. Brigit, perhaps because St. Brigit is the protector of crosses and gravestones.

Halloween Horror Nights

Halloween Horror Nights (formerly known as Fright Nights) is an annual special event that occurs at Universal Studios theme parks in Florida, California, Singapore, and Japan. The parks remain operational during the day and transition to Halloween Horror Nights at night. The Halloween-themed event occurs during the fall season and features haunted houses, scare zones and live entertainment, many of which use Universal Studios' characters. Its intended audience are teenagers and young adults.

Insects in religion

Insects have long been used in religion, both directly (with live insects) and as images or symbols.

Lazarus sign

The Lazarus sign or Lazarus reflex is a reflex movement in brain-dead or brainstem failure patients, which causes them to briefly raise their arms and drop them crossed on their chests (in a position similar to some Egyptian mummies). The phenomenon is named after the Biblical figure Lazarus of Bethany, whom Jesus raised from the dead in the Gospel of John.

Megadeath

Megadeath (or megacorpse) is one million human deaths, usually caused by a nuclear explosion. The term was used by scientists and thinkers who strategized likely outcomes of all-out nuclear warfare.

Michael Crain

Michael Jason Crain (born February 22, 1974) is an American guitarist, singer, producer and songwriter best known as the guitarist of the bands Kill the Capulets, Retox and Dead Cross. He has collaborated with Justin Pearson, Ryan Bergmann, Kevin Avery, Dave Lombardo, Mike Patton among many others.

Nicnevin

Nicneven or Nicnevin or Nicnevan (whose name is from a Scottish Gaelic surname, Neachneohain meaning "daughter(s) of the divine" and/or "daughter(s) of Scathach" NicNaoimhein meaning "daughter of the little saint") is a Queen of the Fairies in Scottish folklore. In Ireland and Scotland, "the Feile na Marbh", (the “festival of the dead”) took place on Samhain (Celtic New Year) The names Satia, NICNEVEN, Bensozie, Zobiana, Abundia, Herodiana, were all used to identify the Scottish Witch Goddess of Samhain. The use of the name for this meaning was first found in Montgomerie’s Flyting (c.1585) and was seemingly taken from a woman in Scotland condemned to death for witchcraft before being burnt at the stake as a witch. In the Borders the name for this archetype was Gyre-Carling whose name had variants such as Gyre-Carlin, Gy-Carling, Gay-Carlin amongst others. Gyre is possibly a cognate of the Norse word geri and thus having the meaning of "greedy" or it may be from the Norse gýgr meaning "ogress"; carling or carline is a Scots and Northern English word meaning "old woman" which is from, or related to, the Norse word kerling (of the same meaning).She was sometimes thought of as the mother witch, Hecate, or Habundia figure of Scottish fairy mythology. This guise is frankly diabolical. Sir Walter Scott calls her:

a gigantic and malignant female, the Hecate of this mythology, who rode on the storm and marshalled the rambling host of wanderers under her grim banner. This hag (in all respects the reverse of the Mab or Titania of the Celtic creed) was called Nicneven in that later system which blended the faith of the Celts and of the Goths on this subject. The great Scottish poet Dunbar has made a spirited description of this Hecate riding at the head of witches and good neighbours (fairies, namely), sorceresses and elves, indifferently, upon the ghostly eve of All-Hallow Mass. In Italy we hear of the hags arraying themselves under the orders of Diana (in her triple character of Hecate, doubtless) and Herodias, who were the joint leaders of their choir, But we return to the more simple fairy belief, as entertained by the Celts before they were conquered by the Saxons.Alexander Montgomerie, in his Flyting, described her as:

Even so, the elder Nicnevin or Gyre-Carling retained the habit of night riding with an "elrich" entourage mounted on unlikely and supernatural steeds. Another, satirical popular depiction made her leave Scotland after a love-quarrel with her neighbour, to become wife of "Mahomyte" and queen of the "Jowis". She was an enemy of Christian people, and "levit vpoun Christiane menis flesche"; still, her absence caused dogs to stop barking and hens to stop laying. But in Fife, the Gyre-Carling was associated with spinning and knitting, like Habetrot; here it was believed to be unlucky to leave a piece of knitting unfinished at the New Year, lest the Gyre-Carling should steal it.

Obituary

An obituary (obit for short) is a news article that reports the recent death of a person, typically along with an account of the person's life and information about the upcoming funeral. In large cities and larger newspapers, obituaries are written only for people considered significant. In local newspapers, an obituary may be published for any local resident upon death. A necrology is a register or list of records of the deaths of people related to a particular organization, group or field, which may only contain the sparsest details, or small obituaries. Historical necrologies can be important sources of information.

Two types of paid advertisements are related to obituaries. One, known as a death notice, omits most biographical details and may be a legally required public notice under some circumstances. The other type, a paid memorial advertisement, is usually written by family members or friends, perhaps with assistance from a funeral home. Both types of paid advertisements are usually run as classified advertisements.

Pallor mortis

Pallor mortis (Latin: pallor "paleness", mortis "of death"), the first stage of death, is an after-death paleness that occurs in those with light/white skin.

Rigor mortis

Rigor mortis (Latin: rigor "stiffness", mortis "of death"), or postmortem rigidity, is the third stage of death. It is one of the recognizable signs of death, characterized by stiffening of the limbs of the corpse caused by chemical changes in the muscles postmortem. In humans, rigor mortis can occur as soon as four hours after death.

The Halloween Tree

The Halloween Tree is a 1972 fantasy novel by American author Ray Bradbury, which traces the history of Samhain and Halloween.

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