The Darkest Days – Feeding The Dead

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.

3 thoughts on “The Darkest Days – Feeding The Dead”

  1. It is a moving tradition. I am reminded of the empty chair that’s left for the prophet, should he come, at the Seder. Less seriously, I wonder if leaving empty shoes for Sinter Klaas or even cookies for Santa might somehow be connected. These would be variants, but it seems we’re inclined to leave things out.

    The image is stunning, especially the way black and white and the bright colors each and all have their say.

    1. You’ve inspired me to look deeper into the tradition, thank you! Your feedback about the photo is so wonderfully encouraging, I’m so grateful! I wish you all the best for the New Year! 🙂

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