All Souls’ Day, which falls on November 2, is a holy day set aside for honoring the dead and for Roman Catholics and Anglo-Catholic churches to commemorate the faithfully departed. Specifically, this day is often reserved to pray for souls still in Purgatory before entering heaven. Common customs include visiting and decorating tombstones, lighting candles, and the offering of Requiem Mass for the dead.
In some cultures, it was believed that the souls of ancestors would return to their family home on All Souls’ Night and great care was taken to make sure they felt welcome.
The Day of the Dead, or Día de Muertos, is a very old holiday observed on November 2, when all souls of the dead are believed to return to the world of the living. It’s primarily celebrated in Mexico and Mexican-American communities honoring those who have deceased. Originally practiced by Indigenous cultures, Día de Muertos was later adopted by the Catholic faith (after the Spanish arrived in the 16th century) to coincide with All Souls’ Day.
During this special time, many families visit and decorate graves; some hold intimate family gatherings and create special alters (ofrendas) to remember and honor those who passed away with photos of their deceased loved ones and their favorite foods and drinks.
The Day of the Dead has become more popular in today’s culture, thanks to modern movies (such as Coco or James Bond) and Halloween’s popularity as well as larger Mexican-American communities celebrating with colorful parades and processions. Sweet pastries such as Pan de Muerto, or bread of the dead (made in the shape of a skull), are traditions as are sugary chocolate skulls. Bright flowers decorate the stalls and streets; the marigold is the symbolic flower as it’s bright yellow-orange petals (like the brightly-colored costumes) are beacons to welcome the souls of the dead as they return home.
Question of the Day
When and why did the word southpaw originate?
The word was coined in the late 19th century by Finley Peter Dunne, a Chicago sportswriter. At that time, in Chicago a batter faced east, which meant that a left-handed pitcher faced west and released the ball on the south side of his body. The “paw” referred to his hand.
Advice of the Day
If the beech acorn is wet today, expect a wet winter.
Home Hint of the Day
Use petroleum jelly to remove ballpoint ink from leather. Either rub it directly on the spot or put a gob of it on and leave it for several days, then wipe it off.
Word of the Day
Originally, a gondola race in Venice; now, a rowing or sailing race, or a series of such races.
Puzzle of the Day
State nicknames: What state is the Keystone State? Beehive State? Wolverine State? Nutmeg State? Sooner State?
Bob Trow(actor, best known for his portrayal of gibberish-talking Robert Troll and Bob Dog on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood)–
North and South Dakota admitted to the Union as the 39th and 40th states–
Balfour Declaration states the British objective of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine–
Radio station KDKA in Pittsburgh broadcast the first commercial news, featuring the returns of the Harding-Cox presidential election–
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was established–
Howard Hughes’ Hercules (aka Spruce Goose) plane flew one mile. Its wingspan was 320 feet–
Game show contestant Charles Van Doren admitted to a House Sub-Committee that he had been given questions and answers in advance when he appeared on the quiz show Twenty-One–
President George W. Bush won re-election over Democratic challenger Senator John Kerry–
Record-breaking pinata measured 60 feet long and 23 feet 10.5 inches wide–
Nik Wallenda set two world records with two high-wire walks between Chicago skyscrapers without safety equipment. The first walk was 454 feet long, at a 19 degree incline, starting at 588 feet high and ending at 671 feet high. The second walk, done blindfold, was 94 feet long and 543 feet high.–
The Chicago Cubs won the World Series for the first time since 1908–
A storm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, blocked Benjamin Franklin’s view of a lunar eclipse–
Snowstorms commenced in the southern Rockies, bringing 31 inches of heavy, wet snow to Denver and 36 inches to New Mexico’s mountains–