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What do we celebrate on All Souls' Day, November 2?

All Souls Day

November is the month of the dead, every year the second day of the month is destined to celebrate the «Day of the Dead or Day of the Faithful Dead» to honor and celebrate the deceased believers of the Catholic and Christian religion.

This day is also known as "All Saints' Day and the Day of the Dead".

Since ancient times people have prayed for the spirits, and these celebrations are intended to pray for the dead and for those who are in a state of purification in purgatory (for Catholics a place of spiritual but transitory suffering).

Today we venerate all the faithful departed with gratitude, faith and love, so that their souls rest.

Why pray to the Dead?

When a person dies, we pray for them to help them rise in the spiritual plane, we offer God our prayers and good deeds on their behalf so that they rest in peace.

In the Catholic Church, not only do they pray for the faithful departed, they also celebrate the Holy Mass for their eternal rest.

The Catholic Liturgy says: "Give them, Lord, eternal rest, and let eternal light shine upon them.".

Is "All Souls' Day" and "All Saints' Day" the same?

Let us understand that they are commemorations with different meanings, for Catholicism there is a difference between the Day of the Dead or the Day of the Dead and All Saints' Day.

  • The day of all the saints It is celebrated on the first of November by the Catholic Church.
  • The day of the Dead It is a traditional Mexican commemoration that was extended to other Latin American countries to honor the dead.

The Day of the Dead in Latin America

This day in Latin American countries represents a great celebration full of colors and joy that allude to death, but from another perspective, from gratitude and love of life.

They enjoy this day getting closer to their dear departed beings and celebrate existence on earth. And not only in Mexico, there are multiple countries that today commemorate this date, but also from different perspectives.

Although in many countries the theme of the dead has another meaning more related to fear, the spirits of our ancestors are not to be feared and this day is very special precisely because of the union of the earthly and spiritual planes.

How is the Day of the Dead celebrated in different countries?

In Mexico:

It is said that November 1 and 2 are different in terms of festivities.

  • The 1 day It is the day that children's souls return.
  • The day 2 are the souls of coming of age.

In their celebrations they prepare elements that represent death like skulls, skull-shaped masks, costumes, and typical dishes of these days, which are generally sweet to invite everyone to the big party.

A sweet bread named: "bread of the dead" that families enjoy a lot.

Other activities they carry out is going to the cemetery at night where they adorn the tombs in honor of their dead, especially with an orange flower typical of their country.

This day, in addition, altars are made to venerate the deceased, in which photos, food and drinks are placed so that the deceased comes at night to remember those tastes that he had in his life on earth.

In Peru:

Peruvians also enjoy this day and faithfully believe that the souls of the deceased visit them to enjoy the altars with candles and flowers that are made in the houses with items that show some facet of the life of the deceased.

In honor of them, they visit the cemetery and make typical meals for these festivities, and share coffee.

In Nicaragua:

They also have a lot of faith in their dead and usually sleep at night next to the tombs of their deceased to honor them, accompaniedañalaugh at them and remember their lives with them.

How is this day celebrated in Cuba?

In Cuba, people generally attend the masses of the Catholic Church to pray for the faithful departed, to ask for health and happiness for the living.

People also go to the cemetery to visit the tombs, clean them, put flowers on them, many people even go to share food or drinks with their deceased.

In the field of spiritism, religious practitioners attend and decorate their altars and pay homage to their deceased with flowers, coffee, a glass of clear water, or whatever they liked in life.

In general, other countries like Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Honduras, Costa Rica, and many more celebrate the Day of the Dead. The truth is that each country prays and celebrates its holidays in a different way, but always honoring and respecting our deceased.

Saint Augustine, regarding what we can offer the deceased, mentioned:

«A tear evaporates, a flower withers, only prayer reaches the throne of God» 

Saint Augustine

May this beautiful and blessed day in commemoration of all the saints and faithful departed, our ancestors, spirits and guides, accompany us along paths of peace and harmony.

Blessings for you.

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