Yesterday I overheard someone saying that tomorrow is All Saint’s Day. I dimly knew that this is the name given to the day after Halloween, but it wasn’t something that would have occurred to me unprompted.
And I had to face an uncomfortable truth: I don’t know what the Day is all about.
As I write this (in the middle of the day), no one has mentioned it on the radio, nor in my office.
How shamefaced should I be about my lack of knowledge? Should I be disappointed that nobody seems to mark it anymore (if they ever did)?
Well, the answer to that will come from some live research. So bear with me a moment while dive into the details…
I’m back now, brandishing a new fact. It’s the day we remember the saints, famous or forgotten.
Perhaps I can be forgiven my earlier ignorance, as I was baptised in the C of E in a predominantly Protestant country. But England has a Catholic past: despite the watershed moment of Henry VIII’s reign, the saints and all their doings are part of my culture. So awareness of their collective special day is a useful start.
I do recall that many saints came to ends stickier than toffee apples: St Catherine comes to mind, topically given that there’s an even more memorable day (that often features Catherine wheels) almost upon us: 5th November, or Bonfire Night.
In the meantime, I’ve found out that 2nd November is a noteworthy day too: All Souls Day.