Today 1 November, we are approaching the end of the year, only 60 days left and Christmas is only 55 days away. Every first of November in Mexico we use to visit the cemeteries as Mexicans do to honour their dead by making beautiful flower decorations over their graves. Graves became carpets of flowers and small candle lanterns were also placed by the tombstone to shine at night. The display at night was stunning, hundreds of candles flickering in the dark and all those multicoloured carpets of flowers often in a pattern was a sight to behold. The work that went into it was impressive, it required often to clean the grave area and prepare it for the display. Whole families came to work, showing that their dead meant something to them despite being gone to the Spirit world. Of course all these Mexican tradition came with a lot of sweets, sugared skulls, chocolate coffins, on wedding cakes a male and female skeleton replaced the figurines of the bride and groom. It is not Halloween but instead a celebration of Death which will come to all of us.
This tradition also held in Poland but it was more a display of lanterns and a bouquet of fresh flowers. Then on Remembrance Day, the military would invite all the military attaché of the different Embassies in Warsaw to participate in commemoration at the grave of their soldiers. The Polish military would on that day have an honour guard at various military graves. Canada has military graves in Poland, mostly airmen who were shot down by Nazi occupiers. We also have one memorial on a street and in this case a large plaque on a building wall recalls the event. In this case the Ambassador had to climb a ladder since the plaque was about 15 feet up and place a great wreath on a hook below the plaque. I was always afraid His Nibs would fall off in the process. The weather in Warsaw was always bitter cold on that day and sometimes it rained, but nonetheless attendance by Embassy staff was de rigueur, it was all very official.
Now in Charlottetown for Halloween we were invited to Keppoch (pronounced Kepic) for a Costume dinner party last night. This area is across the river from us on the point at the entrance of the Strait, it is a narrow passage taken by all ships in and out of Port Charlottetown. It is a very green rural area with affluent houses and a few lighthouses to guide ships through the water channel.
Everyone had a really great costume and it was loads of fun. A good dinner and good conversation. The film shown after dinner was Rocky Horror Picture Show, made in 1975 that was 45 years ago and looking at it now after many years I suddenly thought how dated it is, almost embarrassingly so. Another world and another time, loads of social and political messages in the camp goings on a reference to that time in history. I had never noticed on the costume of Dr Frank-N-Furter the red triangle, a reference to political prisoners identification badge in Nazi concentration camps.
It was a great evening with good people all around and we had a blue Moon last night.
So today being Sunday 1 November, our clocks went back one hour and suddenly it is dark at 04:45 pm. strange really.