13 Days of Candy, Costumes, and the Horror? Yes Please.
My two favourite times of year in this part of the world (either the Anishnaabeg territory on Kitchissippi on Turtle Island, or Ottawa, Canada, North America) are late autumn and winter solstice.
I’ve sorted out a running narrative for a 13-day holiday, which works with theAbysmal Calendar, and with northern hemisphere holiday and traditions.
These include harvest festival elements: pumpkins and decorative gourd motherfuckers, bats (as the sun sets earlier and earlier, we encounter the crepuscular earlier and earlier), spiders who weave their eggs to carry until next year; wiccan traditions, the witch, cauldron, black cat, broom; new year’s traditions, the thinning of the veil between the underworld and ours, and so ghouls, zombies, the undead, revenants, etc. are the costumes of choice.
Looking at existing holidays and observations around this time, it seems that there are already a number of commemorations for those who have passed at this time.
Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions is an annual day of remembrance for victims of political repression in the Soviet Union.
All of those millions and millions of souls, killed in the purges, the pogroms, the gulags. If these days are meant to commemorate the dead, let us remember them, greet them as they pass, and wish them well until next year. They’ve been through enough in life, no need to be impolite in death.
Halloween, and with the Neopagans, the beginning of Samhain, the New Year.
All Saints’ Day, aka All Hallows aka Solemnity of All Saints aka Feast of All Saints aka Hallowmas is a ritual in several christian churches (the dates also vary), which acknowledges all saints, both known and unknown. This, too, touches on communication en masse with the other side, beyond the veil.
And getting inappropriately drunk in inappropriate costumes is the modern descendent for some reason.
Although this is technically All Saints’ Day, the observations begin the evening prior. Also, there are other observations at work here.
Dia de los Muertos, day of the Dead in Mexico, and many other countries. Although this is a three-day celebration, it fits together with our feasts of the dead. the celebrations include outings to the cemetery to pray for passed friends and family, decorate the tombstones, and colourful, skeletal decorations.
All Souls’ Day
A Christian day of prayer for the dead, typically ones family and relatives.
Firstly, this is theAbysmal mid-quarter day, and as such, is an international holiday. Just saying.
Secondly, it falls on Guy Fawkes Night in the Uk, NZ & Nfld, where that dear mad fellow whose mask is all over the Internet and streets these days, decided to bomb the British parliament. This has tones of an “underworld” although more criminal than spiritual, and in the case of mental illness, then it is the depths of the human mind.
Let’s celebrate him for the mask that levels the playing field.
Remembrance Sunday (at least in the UK) falls anywhere from here to Nov 14 depending on the year. It commemorates the British who fell in wartime.
Dia de los ñatitas
Day of the Skulls, the Bolivian day of the dead festival.
Remembrance Day (British Commonwealth)
Armistice Day (NZ, FR, BLG, SRB)
Where the war dead of the British Commonwealth are remembered.
This is the final day of the 13, and certainly there are dates without commemorations, and likely many commemorations that I have missed.
This date in particular is important to certain Canadians. When the poppy to commemorate the day go sale, they spread like wildfire, showing up on everyone’s lapel (I always lose mine. I buy 13 of the things every year). My personal beliefs, which I have heard echoed elsewhere, are that WWI was the true birth of the Canada we’ve come to know. It was a birth out of bloodshed, and it truly feels like the ceremonies in Canada are a mournful acknowledgement of the blood on which our country nourished itself.
something like that.
and the Canadian government just decided to go to war, while laughing and patting one another on the back. It seems the solemnity of the occasion is lost on them.
At any rate folks, enjoy the holiday season, and remember, with theAbysmal Calendar [TM], you too could have 13 days of trick or treating, costume themed events, and painting the whole town black and orange. One other thing to consider, is that the way theAbysmal Calendar breaks down into 28 periods of 13-days, this holiday period happens to fall on the first 13-day period of the last House of the year. To whit: