Okay, so I never really cared for that meme. It may, however, have use for me on this particular Thursday, which happens to be a traditional time in many cultures for looking back and honouring those who came before.
Speaking of looking back, here’s the ultimate “throwback” meditation. You wanted to honour your ancestors? Well, here’s your chance to honour yours and mine, all at the same time.
For the more culturally specific Pagan, there’s Samhain/Samhuinn/Samonios for Celts and Celtophiles (which we ex-Wiccans are all too familiar with) and there’s also Winternights and Alfablót for the Heathens and Germanophiles. I’m not really sure if there are any others in other parts of the world during this time. There’s Día de los Muertos for sure, but that falls more under syncretic.
Speaking of syncretism, what I celebrate is actually a very syncretic holiday in itself. It draws mostly from the Catholic All Saints and All Souls (and thus, from Samhain indirectly), but it has very strong elements from Hellenic Anthestêria, Roman Parentalia, and Egyptian Wag, too.
Why not just celebrate honouring the Dead in February being more Graeco-Roman than anything? Well, as someone who lives in a country where All Saints (called Undras in my town) is a bank holiday–so people can flock to cemeteries and party with their deceased–it’s hard not to join in. I don’t celebrate Halloween, but if I had lived in the US, I would probably be making jack-o’-lanterns, too. It’s all about community and what makes ‘sense’ to the land.
Fortunately, this year’s “Nights of Remembrance” (which is what I call this syncretic event) fall conveniently on the 26th, 27th, and 28th of the lunar month (unlike last year’s not-so-convenient date).
During this time, we remember our departed; those dear, those honoured, and those we do not know. We will remember, not only departed humans, but also other animals and plant-life, including those we have consumed. May these days of remembrance also remind us of our own mortality, the importance of a well-lived life, and the eternal connection between beings that cannot be severed by death.