An interesting post today from RELEVANT Magazine about why November 1 is more than just the day after Halloween. I must confess that as a protestant growing up in America, the notion of “All Saints Day” was lost on me and I never really understood the significance or concept behind the day. I don’t think I even knew about it or any connection to Halloween until I was in college.
The true spiritual significance of remembering “all of the saints” is one that really stands in contrast to the American tradition of what we tend to think about with Halloween.
For much of modern human history (since at least the 16th century) All Hallows’ Eve—in other words, Halloween—has been notable for what it anticipates. The “eve” in the name isn’t just for show, just as the “eve” in Christmas Eve suggests something else is just over the horizon. That something, in the case of Nov. 1, is All Hallows or All Saints’ Day (fun fact: it’s also known as Hallowmas, which sounds like the greatest Christmas-Halloween mash-up ever, where kids wear costumes, gorge themselves on candy and get gifts. Like that wouldn’t take off immediately). Christians all over the world will celebrate today, remembering the saints.
Interesting how over time the cultural tradition has shifted from one of honoring the saints to one that honors the dead and focuses more on the macabre. Have you ever been enlightened to something that gives new meaning or understanding to something that is familiar?