Sunday, November 5, 2017

Shadow Shot Sunday: Halloween

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In Sweden we celebrate All Saints’ Day on the first Saturday of November (and All Souls’ Day on the Sunday); with focus on remembering the departed by visiting graves and lighting candles etc. A tradition which does not go back all that far here, but seems to be growing rather than being on the decline.

For those who prefer the American/British Halloween traditions (with pumpkins, scary costumes, parties and candy-begging etc), there is some confusion about which day is the most appropriate for such adventures. Judging from advice I’ve heard/seen given this year, 31st October (whatever day of the week it happens be) seems to be encouraged for that kind of thing now – to avoid mixing it up with the more solemn traditions.

Around here it’s been rather quiet, and I have not noticed any ghosts sneaking around.

For my own part, I preferred to go and visit some family graves earlier in the week, in sunny weather. Which means that over the weekend, I’ve felt at leisure to mostly stay in and put my feet up and ignore the mist and rain outside.

Reading: a novel by Catherine Czerkawska, The Jewel, about Robert Burns (the Scottish poet) (and his wife Jean) in “Scottish English” (i.e. with lots of Scottish dialect in it) + (just started) Het Achterhuis, Anne Frank’s Diary in Dutch (!).

Watching: the Netflix series ‘Velvet’ in Spanish (with Swedish subtexts); and last night the Disney musical movie Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson (‘Hermione’ in the Harry Potter movies), and a number of other great actors as well. Can’t say I’m a huge fan of musical movies in general, but I found myself really enjoying this one. Classic fairytale and modern fantasy in a good mix with musical / action/ romance / comedy.

Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Shadow Shot Sunday

14 comments:

  1. your photos are beautiful, all of them. the 1st and 2nd photos are tied for 1st place

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    1. Thanks. The first one is from the cemetery very close to where I live and an old family grave there. The second is from the larger cemetery which is also "sometimes" within walking distance for me (depending to on how I'm feeling!), and my m. grandparents' grave there.

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  2. I think it a much better idea to visit and remember the graves of loved ones, than to beg for candy and decorate with scary things. The raised grave (which is so lovely, if you can say that about a grave), and the lovely birch tree picture.

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    1. The raised grave is from the old cemetery (19th century) where that kinds of graves are/were common. There are none of that kind in the new cemetery (founded in the 1940s).

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  3. That is interesting information! I didn't know that about the differences in the celebration. Your photos (as always) are beautiful.

    Robert Burns was one of my father's favorite poets. He also loved Robert Service. Hope you have a great week, Dawn.

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    1. Never heard of Robert Service, I'm afraid (just looked him up in Wiki now). As for Robert Burns I have a tiny little book with some of his poems bought in Edinburgh in 1971 (on a family holiday). I doubt if at age 16 I understood a word of it (with all the Scottish dialect).

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  4. Somehow this post feels a bit sad and yet beautiful and calm. Hard to describe

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    1. That just about sums up this time of year (late autumn) in Sweden!

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  5. Beautiful Autumn photos. A sweet tradition to visit and remember Loved Ones. You have a wonderful blog.

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  6. I've seen trailers of the new "Beauty and the Beast", and it looks like something I'd enjoy watching on a cold, dark evening, with some comfort food and my blanket on the settee :-)
    Here in Germany, the 31st of October is Reformation Day, this year it was the 500th anniversary and therefore (for the first time) a proper public holiday. It is also the day when Halloween is "done" by those who "do" Halloween - not a German tradition at all, but of course introduced to this region by the many American military people and their families during the decades the lived here.
    On the 1st of Novemer is All Saints. For Catholics, it is traditional to light candles and put bouqets on their loved ones' graves. I was at O.K.'s and witnessed the village band playing chorals etc. at the cemetery, with the village priest blessing the graves and everyone joining in the praying and singing. It was my first time.

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    1. Meike, the 500th anniversary of the reformation has been getting some attention here in Sweden too - although not with any special day set aside as public holiday. In the past, Sweden used to celebrate All Saints on 1st November too; but as holiday it was moved to always fall on a Saturday, back in 1953. So during my lifetime it has always been celebrated on the weekend.

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  7. Hallowe'en is a contraction of all Hallows Eve .. i.e. the eve before All Hallows (Saints). There should therefore be no debate - it is and always has been 31st October.

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    1. Well... It can still be debated in Sweden, because here the All Saints (Hallows) holiday (Alla helgons dag) is always on a Saturday; and hence the "Eve" should really be Friday. Confusingly, though, we still have both alternatives printed in our calandars: 1st November is still called Allhelgonadagen (but not a holiday), while the first Saturday in November is called Alla helgons dag (and a holiday). (The names mean the same thing.)

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