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Halloween and All Saints' Day

Tom Grey, an American living in Slovakia and married to a Slovak, writes: "I wonder if All Saints' Day, the day after "all Hallow's Eve", is a holiday in Russia. [Cameron Sawyer can tell us. RH.] It is in Slovakia and much of Europe. We have the beautiful and spiritual custom of going to the cemetery , where the whole family lights candles for our departed family members, and to the crosses , which might be wondrously ablaze with colored lights and sparkling, shimmering candles. These are often in colored glass containers, to protect them from the (usual and again this year) wind and rain. The cemeteries stay open late two weeks before, and a week or so after All Saints· Day- Most families visit a cemetery. It may be the most "family" oriented holiday--you don't usually spend much time with just "friends" in crowded cemeteries.

On the other hand, McDonalds and other commercial/ Western groups sponsor Halloween parties, exporting that American- materialist-consumer based society most in the world now know, even if they don't love it. It really helps to live close to where family members are buried. This is not much the case in California, nor in many American cities".

Ronald Hilton - 11/6/02