Despite the inclement weather earlier this week, Vincentians journeyed to cemeteries and grave yards to observe All Saints Day and All Souls Day, commonly known as grave light up.
On November 1 and 2, cemeteries all around the island were dotted with the flames of burning candles as families paid tribute to deceased relatives, with both young and old observing the religious tradition which dates back to the third century after the death of Jesus Christ.
Reverend Otis Nicholas, Dean of the St. George’s Cathedral in Kingstown told SEARCHLIGHT it is encouraging to see the tradition still being observed, adding the presence of the younger generation proves the tradition will remain a central part of Vincentian culture in the future.
“They (the younger ones) might not understand the deep Christian theological foundation of it but as a practice, in terms of just remembering their loved ones, it is still very much there.”
Reverend Nichols even suggests that the history of the “Day of the Dead” be included in the Religion Education curriculum in local schools.
Commenting on the recently adopted practice of having music and dancing included in the tradition, he says while he would not discourage it, he believes it is important for the true meaning of All Saints Day and All Souls Day to be remembered.
“Over the last 10 years that [party aspect] has crept in… and there was a distinct attempt to reduce that aspect of it. I don’t know how successful that has been. It’s not an either or, yes the tradition has kept up but it has evolved somewhat. The key thing is for people to be reminded about the actual meaning of it. Yes you can have some innovation but we must never be allowed to forget what is at the heart of it.”