Woah wait, death? A holiday about... death? Yes! If you think about it, our own world has LOTS of holidays celebrating or commemorating deaths! HALLOWEÉN was/is believed to be the day spirits can cross from the next life to bother people in this one! St Patrick's Day and St Valentines's Day both commemorate the deaths of historical figures! Good Friday remembers the crucifixion of Jesus and every New Years most newscasters and reports take a moment to note the lives that ended in the past year and appreciate them. If you don't want to invent a holiday about death, you can try coming up with your own funeral rituals! nearly EVERY culture has events associated with passing away which honour or remember the deceased, and are usually focused on comforting their loved ones. Some people hold big parties (wakes) to celebrate their life and the good things they left behind; burying, burning, cremating, and other ways of disposing of the body give some closure to the departed's loved ones; Eulogies review the deceased's life; erecting monuments such as statues or even mounds of flowers create a testament to remember the departed person's life. Many rituals also have a step for keeping their departed spirit from returning to wreak havoc! a Metis tradition is to cut long hair when someone dies, to prevent the spirit from dragging you with them by your hair; some cultures send things such as flowers, ashes, sand, pictures, or other significant items away on the wind, or down a river or into the sea, to signify the journey the spirit will make; a few also make offerings to deities in order to buy protection for their loved one's spirit as they travel to the next life. HOLIDAY FORM (you can use this, freewrite, or make your own form, however you're comfortable!) Holiday Name: When is it celebrated? Who celebrates? What is done to celebrate? How old is this holiday? Has this holiday changed much from its roots? Where do the festivities take place? Is there anything it is taboo to do on this holiday? Do people dress differently for this holiday? Is any kind of decoration traditional? Are any colours, symbols, or icons associated with this holiday? Are any spirits or deities associated with this holiday? Is it an important/widespread celebration, or a smaller affair? Are there any foods or drinks associated with this holiday? Do any natural events coincide with this holiday (ie: an eclipse)? Does it celebrate a specific person's death, or many? Is any kind of physical memorial built, decorated, or otherwise serviced on this holiday? FUNERAL FORM: (Again, freewrite, use this, whatever you like!) Holiday Name: When is a funeral typically held? How soon after the death is a funeral typically held? Is food and drink usually served? Is it a celebration or a solemn event? Are any safeguards taken to protect against spirits? Are any steps taken to ensure the safety of the departed spirit? Is there anything it is taboo to do at a funeral? Do people dress differently for a funeral? What people/age groups participate? Do any special performances or events mark the occasion? How is the body disposed of? Is it usually just family and close friends, or is it typically open-door? Held usually in a home or a certain place? Are any markers/monuments placed in memory? Other Creating Holidays Exercises: Seasons! Death! Food! Protection! Costumes! Travel! Animals! Time! Parents! Invention! Gifts! Inebriation! Superstition! Religion! Miracles! Birthdays! Manliness! Games! The Future! Purification! Flowers!