There’s a new Festival of Remembrance happening in Scotland this year: To Absent Friends. The phrase ‘To Absent Friends’ usually conjures a moment’s reflection and a chinking of glasses at a wedding, Christmas meal or other gathering of family and friends.
This November in Scotland, To Absent Friends takes on a whole new meaning.
To encourage expressions of sadness, loss, celebration of a life, the Scottish organisation Good Life Good Death Good Grief has established To Absent Friends as a Festival of Remembrance. Activities will happen all over Scotland – from quiet toasts by the fireside to parties, public proclamations and for Final Fling, a Death Cafe of Remembrance.
We’ll be inviting artists who took part in our Day of the Dead Festival last year to come and join others over a cuppa and slice of cake to reflect on how we remember our dead and share ideas on how we can use creativity, art, expression, silence, making and communing to celebrate and mark a life.
Find out more and join us in discussions around the theme To Absent Friends at our Death Cafe of Remembrance. Book your seat now – the event is free but you MUST book; there are limited places.)
November is traditionally a month of remembrance in many cultures. In Mexico, 2 November marks Mexican Day of the Dead, when families and friends visit the graves of their loved and lost and say hello to absent friends. They make decorations, sweets and treats to take and party by the graveside. It’s related to our Hallowe’en of course, the night before All Saints Day, when we scare the ghouls away. In the UK, Remembrance Sunday in November is an altogether more sombre occasion when we remember our War Dead at 11am with a minute’s silence and wear poppies to remember the bloodshed.