Christmas With The Dead

Loren Rhoads:

I had no idea the dead came home on Christmas Eve, but I love the idea that my brother might have been with us once more.

Originally posted on Nourishing Death:

Image

In Finland the heart of Christmas traditions involve remembering the dead. For hundreds of years Finns held fast to the belief that the dead returned to be with their families at sundown on Christmas Eve. It used to be that the traditional visit to the sauna on Christmas Eve was completed by sundown, making room for the dead to enjoy their own time in the steam rooms.

During this time, families all journey to the cemeteries to visit the graves of their loved ones and light candles. An area is set aside for visitors who do not have family interred locally. Here, they are invited to light a candle for their own loved ones who have passed on. The scene is reverent and magical.

Image

Families then return home for a lavish meal of traditional foods. There are few who still practice the old observance of setting out a meal for…

View original 60 more words

About Loren Rhoads

I am the author of the essay collection Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel, co-author of the novel As Above, So Below, and editor of The Haunted Mansion Project: Year Two. In addition to blogging at CemeteryTravel.com, I blog about my morbid life at lorenrhoads.com.
This entry was posted in Good cemetery news. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Christmas With The Dead

  1. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

    I envy nice family, I never had that.

    • Loren Rhoads says:

      I’m sorry, Jackie. That must make the holidays complicated, too.

      Wishing you the best for 2014,

      Loren

      • Erik says:

        This may be my last year with my father during the Holidays as his cancer is progressing. I am thankful and blessed we are on borrowed time so enjoy it!!! Thanks Loren for all the great posts. I didn’t know about this tradition it is great!!!! And Happy 2014!!!!

  2. coastalcrone says:

    This tradition makes sense to me too!

  3. Jen says:

    This was so interesting to read — thank you for sharing. :)

What would you like to add?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s