Mundus Patet – Ancient Roman Halloween

Already in ancient Rome a kind of Halloween – Mundus Patet – was celebrated. Three times a year, end of August, beginning of October and beginning of November, the festival of the dead took place. The name Mundus Patet can be translated as “the earth is open”, meaning that the the boundaries between the world of the living and the netherworld are permeable during these days.

When the realm of the dead opened up, people felt especially close to the deceased. Therefore these days were also high holidays during which all business rested, no battles were fought, no marriages were celebrated, and the temples stayed closed.

 

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