Halloween has been and gone with a mushy pumpkin head to prove it. These quasi religious festivals have changed over time, and Halloween is no exception. The Christian religious calendar has been adapted to some pagan holidays, but the similarity does not invalidate the occasion for rejoicing or marking a special day in the year.
A chance remark by a colleague got me on this train of thought. Some Christians may well have forgotten some of the less celebrated festivals, such as All Saints Day and All Souls Day.
Remembering the dead is an important rite in all cultures, whether those dead were martyrs, soldiers, victims or relatives. It prepares us for our own demise and connects us with the past.
So whether your community takes picnics to cemeteries, encourages children to dress up as ghouls, or lights incense in temples; the acknowledgement of our mortality and the debt we owe our ancestors is no less spiritual.
As a fence-sitting agnostic, I am not good at observing religious festivals, but out of respect for my culture accept Easter eggs and Christmas gifts reluctantly. I choose to honour and remember those who have died in my own way.