Umm..that may have been ever so slightly exaggerated. Bonfire night was really nothing to do with the dead except for the fact that he is dead - although besides fireworks, the way we used to celebrate Guy Fawkes in this country was reminiscent of trick-or-treat Halloween traditions before we finally decide to just accept being Americanized!(Accidentally slipping into controversial zones...)
However, even though we all know 31st October as the day of tricks and spooks,the two days which follow get relatively few attention in comparison - All Saints Day and All Souls Day (1st and 2nd Nov). Despite it being much less celebrated in this country than e.g. Mexico, Phillipines, it's still a busy time for us florists!
In short, these two days have their origins in the pagan traditions which sparked off Halloween in the first place. The idea was, the dead would return to their homes on Halloween, where families would prepare some food,drinks and sometimes wash basin and towel for the visiting ghost(s). Different cultures commemorate the dead in different spirits (no pun intended), ranging from the enchanting magical display they make of it at cemeteries in Poland to some of the more light hearted celebrations in Philippines!
Above all it's a great party time for flowers - some even start a festival outside cemeteries. Marigolds and Chrysanthemums in particular, are the usual favourites for the dead and frequent suspects for overcrowding the graveyards! In France and Germany, you can easily find white chrysanthemums across churchyards. At this time, prices for flowers would of course go through the roof at the Dutch auctions, making it a rather more lively than morose event. It's a good time for remembrance, but also a time for families to get together and celebrate the lives of the dead.
Happy Guy Fawkes Night!
** By the way in case you haven't already noticed, our website has undergone some major transformations recently and it's looking more fab than ever - do let us know if you have any suggestions for improvement or just what you think of it!
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