November is peppered with holidays related to death. November 2nd is All Souls Day. But what is actually celebrated on this day? Focus online explains it to you here.

With All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day, the day of national mourning, the Sunday of the dead and the day of repentance and prayer, November is the month in which the deceased are traditionally commemorated in our latitudes. All Saints’ Day kicks off on November 1st. For a number of years now, on “Halloween” in Germany, on the night of November 1st, children have been parading through the streets dressed up as ghosts or witches.

All Souls Day, November 2nd, is a memorial day of the Catholic Church. All those who have died are commemorated on this holiday through prayer and intercession. The Sunday of the Dead on November 20 is a day of remembrance for the Protestant Church. In addition, November 13 is National Day of Mourning and November 16 is Day of Repentance and Prayer.

Both Christians and non-denominational people commemorate their deceased on these holidays and visit their graves in the cemetery. Often, as a sign of remembrance, mourning arrangements or other grave decorations are laid at the grave site and grave lights are lit. That’s why you see a lot of candles burning in the cemetery at this time of year. But of course that is no longer the case.

Hermann Hubing, historian and managing director of the German Institute for Funeral Culture, has been observing a change in the commemoration of the dead and also in burial culture for several years.

“The cultural and social significance of the commemoration has taken a back seat to the event character of pumpkin decorations and celebrations in eerie costumes. Relatives and the bereaved tend to want to worry less about a grave today than they did a few decades ago.” Hubing advises thinking about your own death in good time and making provisions for a dignified burial yourself.

Since there are not inconsiderable costs that not all affected families can pay without restricting themselves elsewhere, serious burial planning is recommended. In Hubing’s view, it is one of the things that you should plan for at the end of your life: “It’s always a comforting feeling when you’ve got your affairs in order.”

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