Prayer, lights, food, and remembrances
Cultural Celebrations Around the world for
Life, Death and
What happens after life, seems to be something that we are
mystified with. Answers are found in many different ways
This presentation prompted by the Mexican Celebration of the Day
of the Dead presented us with the opportunity to find great
similarities among what seem very different cultures .
Celebrated by people of Mexican heritage .
The holiday focuses on gatherings of family
and friends to pray for and remember friends
and relatives who have died.
The celebration occurs on the 1st and 2nd of
November, in connection with the Catholic
holy days of All Saints Day and All Souls Day.
Traditions include building private altars
honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls,
marigolds, and the favorite foods and
beverages of the departed, and visiting graves
with these as gifts.
Scholars trace the origins of the modern
holiday to indigenous observances dating back
thousands of years, and to an Aztec festival
dedicated to a goddess called Mitecacihuatl
(known in English as "The Lady of the Dead").
Day of the Dead
November 1st and 2nd
All Saints' Day
All Saints' Day (officially the Solemnity of All
Saints and also called All Hallows or Hallowmas[),
often shortened to All Saints, is a solemnity
celebrated on 1 November in Western Christianity,
and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern
Christianity in honor of all the saints, known and
In terms of Western Christian theology, the day
commemorates all those who have attained the
beatific vision in Heave. Specifically, in the Catholic
Church, the next day, All Soul’s Day commemorates
the departed faithful who have not yet been purified
and reached heaven.
All Saints Day in New Orleans,
Decorating the Tumbes
A tradition with stronger Catholic roots
brought by the French colonizers.
All Saints Day
All Souls' Day, in France
Notre Dame Procession, France
On the 24th of October the “Novena de
Animas*” was started. ….. and as it was and
has been a tradition within my family I also
set up an altar full of food. Soon we will
have ixpas, cigars and the well deserved
guaranpazo (rum and beer) so my family
and friends souls, along with any other souls
who might pass by, can enjoy them and
partake in the world that we are still
Novenas are celebrated in the Catholic
Church as a devotion consisting of prayers
said (most typically) on nine successive
days, asking to obtain special graces.
Ixpasa' is a traditional drink in this feast.
Some Haitian practice Vodou which is
based upon a merging of the beliefs and
practices of West African peoples, along
with Roman Catholic Christianity. These
two different practices were brought to
Haiti in the 16th century by Eruropean
colonizers and African slaves. Haitian
Vodou is a combination of these two
cultures as a consequence of slaves being
forced to convert to the religion of their
owners, none the less slaves found a way
to preserve and followe their traditional
Day of the Dead
November 1st and 2nd
Despite the presence of Islam and Christianity,
traditional religions in Ghana have retained their
influence because of their intimate relation to
family loyalties and local mores.
For all Ghanaian ethnic groups, the spirit world is
considered to be as real as the world of the living.
Veneration of departed ancestors is a major
characteristic of all traditional religions. The
ancestors are believed to be the most immediate
link with the spiritual world, and they are thought
to be constantly near, observing every thought and
action of the living. Some ancestors may even be
reincarnated to replenish the lineage. Barrenness is,
therefore, considered a great misfortune because it
prevents ancestors from returning to life
Obon “Festival of the Dead”
15th day of the seventh month of
the lunar calendar
Obon (お盆?) or just Bon (盆?) is a Japanese Buddhist
custom to honor the departed (deceased) spirits of one's
ancestors. This Buddhist custom has evolved into a family
reunion holiday during which people return to ancestral
family places and visit and clean their ancestors' graves,
and when the spirits of ancestors are supposed to revisit
the household altars. It has been celebrated in Japan for
more than 500 years and traditionally includes a dance,
known as Bon-Odori.
Pchum Ben Festival also know as “Festival of the
September 15 through the 25th
The fifteenth day, of the tenth month, of the Khmer
calendar marks the Pchum Ben festival. This is a time
when the spirits of the dead ancestors walk the Earth.
And the living can ease their suffering by offering
them food to eat. At four in the morning, nearly all of
the residents of Phnom Penh gather at the temple
with offerings of rice, which they toss on the ground,
feeding the dead ancestors.
"Some of the ghosts have small mouths," "So we have
to use special rice."
Many of the people throw sticky rice, which,
apparently is easier for the spirits to consume.
people return to the temple, with offerings for the
monks by giving food, money and other things as
well. As a monk they looked forward to this period all
year long, because they could get new clothing and
On the first week after Easter commences the festival of the Krasnaya Gorka (Red Hill) takes
place . It is chiefly devoted to the memory of the dead. Women take food and drink to the
cemeteries, and there mourn over the graves of their dead friends and relatives. Later they sit
down and proceed to eat, drink, and be merry, deeming that the dead can “rejoice “with them.
After their meal, the fragments which remain over are thrown to the evil spirits, in order to
prevent them from troubling the repose of the dead, and with similar intent their drinking cups
are emptied over the graves.
Diwaliis a spectacular religious
festival. It is held in late autumn, and on the
evenings during this time, the windows of
houses are illuminated by lamps and candles.
From a distance and in the darkness, these
hundreds of glowing lights are a wonderful
sight.The word Diwali is a shortened version
of Deepavali, which means "cluster of
lights".The festival of lights is a universal
Hindu festival. In India Diwali is seen as a
renewal of life. On this day old lamps are
thrown out and a new lamp are bought. New
lamps are thought to help the souls of the
dead find their way to heaven.
The festival also commemorates the
coronation of God Rama. When Rama arrives
at the end of 14 years of banishment, Hindus
rejoice because Rama has conquered Ravana.
He has conquered evil and good has
triumphed. People show their happiness and
joy by lighting lamps in praise of Rama.
Halloween, or Hallowe’en, is a holiday
celebrated on the night of October 31.
Irish immigrants carried versions of the
tradition to North America in the
Other western countries embraced the
holiday in the late twenty first century.
Halloween is celebrated in several
countries of the Western world.
Halloween activities include trick-or-
treating, ghost tours, bonfires, costume
parties, visiting "haunted houses", carving
Jack-o'-lanterns, reading scary stories and
watching horror movies.