Seems It’s Just as Important to Honor Your Ancestors as it is to Honor Your Elders
“Dia de Los Muertos – Day of The Dead”
Before all the candy and treats, Halloween originally was meant as a time to remember the dead. Not sure when sugar craving and trickeries entered the picture. Maybe people just wanted some easy fun.
Día de Los Muertos – Day of the Dead – a Mexican celebration which derives from rituals that began over 3000 years ago with the Olmecs, marks a remembrance of dead loved ones. Altars are made and festooned with photos and mementos of the honoree. Food and beverages are also offered to the dead.
In Japan they have Obon, The Festival of the Dead. The streets are lined with flowers and lanterns and small fires outside of homes to guide the spirits. Like many other cultures, Obon is meant to honor departed ancestors. Celebrations include having special meals and tidying family graves. On the last day, spirits are sent off with big fires and lantern to guide them.
Haiti celebrates the dead with a Voodoo festival called Fet Gede. Attempts are made to raise the dead. For the month preceding the observance people lay out gifts (for example flowers, beeswax candles) in front of their residences to make the spirits feel welcome.
The Hungry Ghost Festival is China’s way of honoring their dead. They burn incense and fake money to placate their ancestors. They believe their ghosts come to this world to wander the earth. They also leave out some cooked meals for the ghosts to eat.
The Cambodian people have a festival called Pchum Ben. It is an ancient custom whereby the living offer food to their dead as a way of giving back.
What do you do to celebrate your ancestors? Leave a comment below!
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