Something that I’ve discovered during my Darkest Days journey, and that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about, is the age old tradition in Scandinavia of leaving food out for the dead on Christmas Eve. (I know mince pies aren’t tradition in the Far North but I didn’t have any pepparkakor or lutefisk to hand!)
Once the living had finished feasting, the food that remained was left on the table overnight so the dead could have their fill. They believed the dead were their honoured guests who deserved the best they could offer. Some folk would even sleep on the floor so their dead could have a comfortable place to rest.
I was reading on the blog Nourishing Death about how there are some folk in Finland who still set out a meal for each visiting ancestor.