All Saints Day

November 01, 2006 By: erik Category: Musings, Religion, Spain 894 views

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Today is a national holiday in Spain. It’s All Saints Day.

I can’t really figure out what you’re supposed to do on All Saint’s Day. I was expecting the local church to be holding mass, but it’s closed. All the other days, in the Catholic calendar, are given individual saints to honor on that particular day. But “honor all of them” is kind of hard to do. It’s like rather than celebrating a birthday of a friend, you decided to have a “Let’s celebrate the fact that we’re all alive” party. It just doesn’t work.

In Spain, what they do is cheat. They use the national holiday on November 1 to celebrate the more celebratable holiday of Defuncts’ Day, or All Souls Day, which really falls on November 2. It’s basically a “everybody go to the cemetery and grieve for your dead loved ones” day. Knowing the Spanish, I bet it’s even more profitable for the florists than February 14th. Every year, Marga’s grandfather takes a 10-hour bus ride to his town in the south of Spain, Higuera de la Serena (where we go in August), to visit the grave of his wife. As far as I can tell, there are no beliefs of ghosts or actual communication with the dead. It’s just a national day of grieving.

Anyway, all the shops are closed and Marga’s got the day off work. That’s how it affects me.

Oh, and it just happens to fall on a Cross Quarter Day, the day perfectly between a solstice and an equinox. Fancy that.

No, the Spanish don’t celebrate Halloween, you filthy capitalist pagans!

 
  • Uncle Neil

    All Souls Day sounds like what people used to have before the Christians added evil connotations to everything.
    The souls were friendly and the living shared some of the harvest excess setting food out for them on this day. Origins of “trick or treating”.

  • jacob

    I can’t get over all the ads I’m seeing around here. Have you sold out Ras?

  • jacob

    Also, I like how your picture now shows up in my address bar.

  • http://www.erik-rasmussen.com/ erik

    Thank you for noticing my two recent changes to the blog. The ads are because I’m starting to get some traffic from sources that are not just family and friends, mainly for my WordPress plugin posts.

    Traffic + ads = $$$$

    Also, I’m going to try to only put ads for stuff that I actually like, like Firefox over on the left, and iTunes albums that I own. I figure that my regular readers might have similar tastes and actually buy something via my ads. Plus, anyone that uses a decent browser with ad blocking software won’t see the ads anyway!

    Glad you like my picture. Not a lot you can do with only 256 pixels (16×16). I look better in HiDef. :-)

  • http://www.erik-rasmussen.com/ erik

    Yes, my statements sound contradictory. But I, for instance, still see the iTunes ads even when I have Adblock enabled. The click.linksynergy.com folks were clever and had the images come from images.apple.com.

    So I expect you all to see the iTunes ads, and the people using IE or unblocked FF to see the Adsense crap on the left below “Earn me money”.

    Feel free to disable Adblock and refresh the page to see my blog in all its sell-out glory.

  • Uncle Steve

    Hmmm, you wrote: “…I figure that my regular readers might have similar tastes and actually buy something via my ads. Plus, anyone that uses a decent browser with ad blocking software won’t see the ads anyway!…”

    I was going to ask: “what ads?”, but instead I’ll ask: “Which of your regular readers [OK, besides Jacob…] do you think will experience your ads?”

    The only instigator more accomplished than I is your Dad, so ask him… it requires constant honing…. So, Sorry! ;-)

  • Uncle Steve

    Hmmm, those previous two comments might be a bit too much sell-out……