January 3: Memento Mori Day

Memento Mori Day is a real thriller of a holiday for our culture. 🙂 Actually, memento mori is part of a Latin phrase meaning “remember death” or “remember you will die.” It is said that in ancient Rome, when a victorious general would return to the city for his triumph (victory parade), a slave would walk behind him, whispering in his ear: “Remember you are just a man. Remember you will die.”

Memento Mori - Pendant with a Monk and Death from Walters Art MuseumToday that sounds absolutely horrible, but, in a way, I kind of like it. It helps keep things in perspective to know that I won’t always be here. There’s also an old legend of three rotting skeletons appearing to three young, healthy, and (or course) rich men, and informing them: “As you are, we were. As we are, you will be.”

Nothing like a little though of death to keep you grounded, right?

On the other hand, if Memento Mori Day isn’t really your style, you can celebrate the Festival of Sleep Day instead. It sounds like a nice kind of holiday to me!

And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

“This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”

Luke 12:16-21


3 responses to “January 3: Memento Mori Day

  1. So your sister says she’d prefer day of sleep to day of death for her birthday!

  2. Hannah-Wan-Kennabah

    So, two things, Meg, first, I thought it was going to be my birthday. 😦 And second Mama and I would like to petition for a new background. It’s too hard to read on the red. Anyway, I actually kind of like Memento Mori day, but Sleep day is a lot more up my alley. 😉 I think I’ll celebrate it by sleeping another 13 hours. I love vacation!

    • I am definitely celebrating your birthday today, but a lot of people are really sensitive about having their birthdays posted online, both from birthday sensitivity and from worries over identity theft and stuff, so I decided not to post about anyone’s birthday. Anyway, the Festival of Sleep is way better than Memento Mori Day.

      Either way, happy birthday!!!

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