When is Remembrance Day 1

Remembrance day

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Remembrance day

What is a memorial day?

A day of remembrance, also known as an anniversary, marks a specific calendar date that has a meaning for different people. There are different backgrounds for such a day. This can take place to commemorate a historical event or a specific person. Memorial days generally serve as a reflection and a reminder of the past.

Types of memorial days

What are the different memorial days?

There are different types of memorial days. For example, they can be committed nationally and internationally. For example, there is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day to commemorate the victims of National Socialism. The Day of German Unity, on the other hand, was introduced nationally to commemorate German reunification. Remembrance days can recur regularly each year. Such days are also referred to with the term anniversaries.

There are also anniversaries that recur, for example, every 50 or 100 years. A distinction is also made between founding days, birthdays, days of death and special days. World days are intended to remind people of current world problems and international issues, such as World Environment Day. Especially the days to commemorate the deceased, the Sunday of the Dead and All Souls Day, are very important in the Christian tradition.

The following table shows you a small selection of commemorative days in 2016.

Remembrance daydate
Good FridayMarch 25, 2016
Europe dayMay 09, 2016
Day of German unityOctober 03, 2016
All Saints' DayNovember 01, 2016
All SoulsNovember 02, 2016
Dead Sunday20th November 2016

Dead Sunday

What kind of memorial day is that?

The Sunday of the Dead is an evangelical day of remembrance and is also known as the Sunday of Eternity. It is the day on which the deceased are traditionally remembered. The Sunday of the Dead takes place every year in November and is celebrated on the last Sunday before the first Advent.

The dead have been commemorated since the Middle Ages, there were numerous regional days of remembrance. It was not until the 19th century that a uniform day was introduced with the Sunday of the Dead. Today this day is often used to visit the cemetery. The graves of the deceased are particularly beautifully decorated by placing wreaths and funeral bouquets on them.

All Souls

What is the meaning of this day?

All Souls Day is a day of remembrance that comes from the ceremonial of the Catholic Church. This day is dedicated to the memory of deceased parishioners, as is the Protestant Sunday of the Dead. It takes place every year on November 2nd. The sufferings of souls who religiously believed to have come to purgatory are relieved through prayers, alms and intercessions. In addition, the day should strengthen the memory of the deceased. The holiday is linked to the remembrance day of All Saints' Day, on which canonized people are remembered. All Saints' Day is celebrated in the Western Catholic Church on November 1st, in the Orthodox Church on the Sunday after Pentecost.

Story of All Souls' Day

Where does the day of remembrance come from?

All Souls Day is due to the abbot Odilo, who came from the French monastery of Cluny. Already in 998 Cluny and all subordinate monasteries began to commemorate the deceased believers. The devotion should lead the deceased to find fellowship with God. The time in November is based on an old popular belief. The period from November 1st to November 8th was therefore seen as the time when the poor souls rose from purgatory. In this “soul week” the souls ascended to earth to recover from the agony of purgatory.

Common commemoration

How are the Sunday of the Dead and All Souls spent?

Memorial services are held for the common commemoration. Usually candles are lit for the deceased during these services. The blessing of the graves usually also takes place on All Souls' Day, but this can also be carried out one day in advance as part of the All Saints Day Remembrance Day. These grave blessings are an established custom and were carried out as early as the 16th century. The blessing takes place after the service. The relatives praying at the grave are blessed by the priest or a deacon.

Grave decorations

How are the graves decorated?

Traditionally, the graves of the deceased are specially prepared on All Souls' Day and Sunday of the Dead. It is customary to place arrangements and wreaths made of sturdy material on the grave. The grave decorations must be able to withstand the weather in November. Grave lights or grave lanterns are particularly often placed on the graves. According to the Catholic faith, these lights symbolize the soul of the deceased and are supposed to lead them through the realm of the dead. Grave lights are available in a wide variety of designs. Some of these are even permanently illuminated by solar cells.

Author: Annika Wenzel - Image source: © C. Sollmann / Bestattungen.de, image bouquet of flowers © Simon Hattinga Verschure / Unsplash.com

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