Finally - the long and hot summer is well and truly behind us. The days are getting shorter again, the red and gold coloured leaves are slowly falling to the ground from the increasingly bare trees and in the morning mystical-looking fog is wafting over the fields and through the streets... Anyone who sighs in ecstasy at this romantic image is likely to have a dark, melancholy soul!
Enjoy the dark season intensively
The graceful Indian summer and increasingly gloomy autumn in the months of October and November is simply the ideal time of year for sensitive people who like to wrap up warmly and enjoy long autumn walks, relax at home on the sofa with a cup of tea with friends and, because it is part of life, deal intensively with the themes of transience and death that are particularly present in the cold season.
Extraordinary celebrations around death and transience
During the dark time of the year, there are of course some festivities that seem unusual at first glance, with origins beyond the Christian faith, which, if you take a closer look at them away from the commercial exploitation, deal intensively with precisely these things. The Gothic community should naturally have some insight into the background of festivities around All Saints' Day. But not only people with a penchant for the dark side, but also other scenes as well as more and more "normal" people are getting excited about the old and traditional holidays in autumn and would like to learn more about their true origins and meaning of these originally non-Christian holidays.
Trick or treat? Halloween is much more!
First, let's take a look at Halloween. Since the 1990s, the original Celtic festival has been celebrated in Europe, or rather in Germany, on an increasingly large and grandiose scale, following the US model. Children go around the streets dressed up as spooky characters and teasingly demand "trick-or-treat" at the front door, the grown-ups go to parties in weird costumes, and the cheerful festival can be located somewhere between St. Martin's Day and carnival in terms of its charisma. However, there is a lot more to Halloween, which today's term has evolved from All Hallows' Eve, the evening before the Christian All Saints' Day on 1 November!
Originally, it was an old pagan festival that was only given a Christian "mantle" in the 8th century AD - via various detours. Samhain, as it was called in Celtic, was the second largest festival in the cycle of the year and stood for the Celtic beginning of the year. On Samhain, it was believed, the veil between our world and the "underworld" was particularly thin, making it possible for the living to meet the dead. Dark disguises and symbols such as the skull are therefore very popular on this night and were supposed to serve as protection against the spirits.
Day of the Dead - a joyous celebration with Skull & Co.
Another exciting gloomy festival for which more and more people in our latitudes are becoming enthusiastic is the Mexican Dia de Muertos. On this important holiday, which is celebrated between 31 October and 2 November, Mexicans commemorate their deceased with a large and cheerful festival. For these people, death is part of life and is only seen as a threshold to a new form of existence. According to ancient Mexican beliefs, on the Dia de Muertos the dead are allowed to celebrate together with the living with music, dance and delicious food. The streets are decorated with creepy symbols such as skulls and skeletons, altars are set up in homes for deceased relatives, and the Skull is also offered in the form of sweet treats in bakeries.
Until death do us part!
The presentation of the two gloomy annual festivals has aroused your interest and you would like to get more involved with them? Surely there are also high-quality events in your region, not only for fans of Gothic and gloomy romance, which you can attend to celebrate these time-honoured holidays. On the internet and in numerous books you can of course find a lot of background information to occupy yourself with in cosy autumnal hours at home on the couch. Death is naturally part of our existence, indeed of our natural cycle. More and more people, even beyond the Gothic lifestyle, are dealing openly and honestly with the topic of death and their own transience, and we are happy when they also delve into old knowledge and customs. Successful films such as Corpse Bride, Nightmare Before Christmas and Dia De Los Muertos were certainly a little helpful!