Thursday, October 29, 2015

Allhallowtide (Friday My Town)

I have blogged about Swedish Halloween several times before. (You could probably click on October or November any year in my sidebar archive and find related posts.) When looking for a new angle, I came across the English word Allhallowtide, which is closer to the Swedish word (Allhelgona), and also to our tradions.

I learn that Allhallowtide was first used in 1471, and is derived from two words: the Old English word halig, meaning saint, and the word tide, meaning time or season. (These OE words are also closely related to Swedish words with the same meaning.) It  stands for the Western Christian observance of All Hallows' Eve (Hallowe'en), All Saints' Day (All Hallows'), and All Souls' Day, Oct 31 – Nov 2: “A time to remember the dead, including martyrs, saints, and all faithful departed Christians."

This year more than ever, honouring the dead seems a far better idea than dressing up in scary costumes to go trick-or-treat-ing… (Cf. my post from last week.)

We are still having beautiful autumn weather, and I took the opportunity today of going for a walk to my town’s largest (and newest) cemetery and visit my maternal grand-parents’ grave there, and also one other grave on mum’s side of the family.

This cemetery is like a huge natural park with a hilly landscape, lots of huge old trees, a stream with wooden bridges over it, a little lake, and a waterfall adding the sound of running water.

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(Odd sculpture that I always find slightly disturbing…)

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This magnificent bush I found on my way back home, so not really on “holy ground”… Nonetheless it reminded me of Moses and the burning bush! (Exodus chapter 3)

Friday My Town: Halloween

6 comments:

  1. The cemetery is quite lovely and serene looking except for the sculpture you find disturbing. I wonder why it was chosen for this particular area.

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  2. I do have a thing for cemeteries... the older, the better, but some of the newer ones are so park-like that they are also beautiful places to visit. It is the mixture of looking at all those markers of past lives (some of the very recent past) and continuing and new life in the shape of trees, flowers, birds and so on that attracts me, I guess.
    The waterfall picture and the large tree with the car parked underneath are my favourite pictures of this lot.

    Your Swedish words are again so similar to the German ones - Allerheiligen, Allerseelen...

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  3. The cemetery looks so peaceful....and the landscape is lovely...not like a cemetery at all.
    I would enjoy visiting anytime.

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  4. I agree about the disturbing quality of the statue but the rest of the park is spectacular. until just a few years ago, maybe 20 or so, Halloween was nothing but a carved pumpking and a chance to get free candy. now it has gone crazy in USA and i just don't get it.

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  5. Such beautiful colours. I have always found the English version of Hallowe'en confusing. Why we celebrate the spooky aspect of the dead instead of the positive aspects of their lives has never made much sense to me.

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