Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Day for the Dead (Halottak Napja)

Growing up in Hungarian customs and traditions, I have never quite known what to make of Halloween--mostly not sure how to integrate the macabre aspects of this particular holiday.

In Hungary, this day is a special holiday reserved for the dead. It is a holiday of great reverence. Graves of loved ones are tended. Flowers are planted (usually chrysanthemums that are in flower this time of year) and candles placed on the graves. The cemeteries seemingly awaken with beauty and light.

In the home, candles are lit (especially if one cannot make it out to the grave of the loved ones) and prayers are said for those who have passed before us but are still in our hearts. Our loved ones are remembered and most especially in our thoughts on this day.

I have to shamefully admit that these past few years my faith has somewhat faltered. I struggle to find the answers to the questions I seek. Yet, I will celebrate this day to the fullest, light my candles, and say my prayers.

I hope that my prayers will reach their destination...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our cemetary was on a hill, overlooking the town. After we have lit the candles, placed the white chrysanthemums on the graves and said good-night to all our friends we met that night, we watched the beauty of the flickering candles from our living room window. The air was permeated with the resinous scent of the beautiful white flowers. As we remembered the dead, we also remembered this night for a long time.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 7:03:00 AM  

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