Samstag, 31. Oktober 2015

All Saints - All Souls - Mischief Night

Last year, we had our Halloween party on November 1st. We prefer having it on a Saturday, so even though the holiday was beautifully timed for the weekend, we held it the next day.
On the 31st, we had houseguests, a friend's wife and daughter. I'd been entertaining them and after dinner retired upstairs for a bath and then - Trick-or-Treaters rang the bell. Trick or Treaters! At our door! In Switzerland! This was unheard of.
Autumn in Switzerland often includes a Rübelicht parade (children and their parents carrying homemade turnip lanterns through the early twilight), which feels like the ancestor of Halloween, and Metzgete, which is a harvest festival of sorts, full of massive amounts of various meats. That one feels like an ancestor of Thanksgiving. Some people think that the growing popularity of Halloween is because of the strong American presence in Swiss pop culture. But I think that it's the cancellation of Schulsilverter. When I first moved here, the last day of school before winter holidays ended with a night of school children running around town, making mischief. The vandalism reached an untenable level and so it was cancelled. It seems that Halloween is mainly celebrated in Zürich as am excuse to egg things, tp things, spray paint things and generally make mischief. I always felt oddly guilty on November first when I saw the havoc that was wrought in the name of an American holiday. But last year, there were trick-or-treaters!!
Tomorrow is All Souls day and we're taking Ivo's great aunt to her sister's  - Ivo's grandmother's - grave. Ivo's grandparents are buried in the graveyard behind our house. We used to visit them more regularly, before we had a dog, who is not allowed in. Ivo's grandmother is one of the sweetest people in the whole world. She's in her 90s but remembers everything in the most considerate way. She prays for my mom's soul, for my health, for our chance to be parents. She remembers my siblings' names and loves every animal. And tomorrow she'll visit her oldest sister's grave in the countryside near the airport and then visit her next oldest sister's grave here in the city and we'll make her lunch. I have a candle that I burn for my mother on significant days and will burn it tomorrow. I like the idea of celebrating all souls and am posting this eulogy for Cymbeline because I love it so much.
The eulogy is spoken by Cymbeline's brothers, who think that she is dead and also think that she is a man, with whom they've become very friendly.
Fear no more the heat o' the sun,
Nor the furious winters rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone and ta'en thy wages;
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

Fear no more the frown o' the great,
Thou are past the tyrants stoke:
Care no more the clothe and eat;
To the the reed is as the oak;
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning-flash,
Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finish'd joy and moan;
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.

No exorciser harm thee!
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
Nothing ill come near thee!
Quiet consummation have;
And renowned be thy grave.
-William Shakespeare from Cymbeline Act IV Scene 2

Keine Kommentare:

Kommentar veröffentlichen