31 October 2015

A Calm and Comforting All Saints' Day

Happy Halloween (to all who celebrate it)!

Slowly but surely, Halloween has landed here in Finland as well, of course, but it's nowhere near as big as it is in other parts of the world (namely, North America). There is Halloween candy or sweets, pumpkins and "scary" decorations in stores, but for most Finns, this is a day of quiet remembrance.

Instead of Halloween, Finland celebrates All Saints' Day today. On this day, we remember those who are no longer with us. Not as festive as Halloween, maybe, but there is a certain warmth to it.

On All Saints' Day, the Boyfriend and I walk up to the cemetery to light candles for our loved ones. Tonight, there were around twenty people at the memorial site for those who are buried elsewhere. Suddenly, a couple started singing an old, familar hymn. People all around us joined in, and so did we. There was something deeply moving and comforting about it. The hymn filled me with hope and calmness that I carried home with me.

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