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Monday, November 23, 2015


Traditionally, November is the month when we remember family and loved ones who have passed away. Technically it begins on Halloween, or Samhain (pronounce SOW-een) which is an ancient feast honor those who have died. During November, people visit graves and decorate them with flowers; attend prayer rituals of grief, loss and remembering; and set extra plates at the table, providing a meal for the ancestors. These, however, are just a few of the ways our loved ones are remembered.

The band warming up.

Each year, in late October, the Twin Cities is treated to Bare Bones, a performance that celebrates our connectedness to the ancestors, as well as to the earth, and all creation. It is held on the weekends in late October, ending around Halloween, and friends and I have attended it for several years now. This year we went on Halloween evening, which was the last performance of the show.

The Bare Bones production combines live performers and giant puppets, along with aerial artists, and fire performers, to present a show that dazzles, and moves folks of every age. One of the highlights of performance each year, is when the entire cast comes forward singing the familiar "We Remember" chant as audience members yell out names of loved ones. The result is quite moving. The remembering continues around the Memory Tree, which serves as a giant altar where people are able to light candle honoring their loved one. This is, by far, one of the most powerful rituals of the evening.

The altar at the Memory Tree.

Bare Bones is an amazing celebration of life, death, and rebirth, and is definitely one of my favorite fall events.

***How do you honor and remember your loved ones.

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