We all know what Halloween is–or think we do; traditionally Oct. 31st, called All Hallows’ Eve, was an especially powerful day to ask for God’s blessing against the forces of Satan. People dressed in costume, not to get candy, but to emulate good and evil spirits and to act out the eternal battle between them.
Everyone’s favorite Puritan Hester Prynne, a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy, will now explain the difference between All Souls and All Saints Days.
All Saints Day falls on November 1st. It’s the day when Catholics offer prayers for souls in Purgatory. Also, people should strive extra-hard to act and think perfectly on this day, to emulate the saints. If you’ve forgotten to that, there’s always next year!
All Souls Day, November 2nd, is a day to remember the departed, perhaps to visit their graves and leave them candles, flowers, and food. You may also want to pour holy water or milk over their tombstones.
Of course, being Puritan, Hester doesn’t celebrate any of these days. She will spend the autumn carding wool, baking beans and reading Hansel and Gretel Inside the House of Candy, free on Amazon until November 5th. (Puritan women were exceptionally well-educated so that they could enjoy the Bible even when not in church; though fiction was forbidden, Hester will make an exception for Annabelle Troy.)