Date: Thu, 3 Nov 1994 15:06:26 EST From: Wayne Glowka Subject: American Culture and All Saints & All Souls Days The last posting about the cultural differences between North American and Mexican celebrations of All Saints Day and All Souls Day jogged my jaded memory and put me in a time when those days were more meaningful--days when I was under the power of Presentation nuns from Ireland. Halloween was, of course, Halloween--trick or treat, bubble gum in locks, water balloons, and all the fun of grease paint and sneaking out a pillow case instead of the dumb grocery bag my mother wanted us to use to hold our candy and bruised mushy apples. But All Saints Day was a holiday from school, a bright sunny southcentral Texas day to eat candy in the yard while numerous bees tried to steal the last bit of sweetness they could before a blue norther came down from the hill country and chased them into winter hiding. Sugar-hyped kids would then attend evening mass with their families in the dark November night. All Souls Day was a special dark day of repentance following the orgy of Halloween and the brightness of the liturgical readings of All Saints Day. It seems to me that we were allowed to stay in the church on that day as long as we wanted in order to pray for the souls in purgatory. The prayers were prefaced with pleas from the nuns about the suffering going on there that could be alleviated through our efforts. Our hands still sticky with candy, we placed them together in the gesture of reverence and tried to help the people from the awful fire. Whew! We didn't have picnics on dead folks' graves, but we had a cultural experience. P.S. Our lab school here at my college cannot celebrate Halloween with the small children because some parents object to demon worship, etc. The children celebrate Harvest, dress up as storybook characters, and visit offices that invite the children to come get candy. Culture changes. Wayne Glowka Professor of English Director of Research and Graduate Student Services Georgia College Milledgeville, GA 31061 912-453-4222 wglowka[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] BITNET Address: Wglowka[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]USCN