On this day, ancient Rome had a festival called Feralia that was somewhat like the Day of the Dead. This marked the end of the nine-day festival Parentalia. It was a traditional time to honor one’s ancestors and pay homage to them. Ferre means “to carry” or “to ferry,” as in ferrying the dead across the river to the underworld. According to Ovid, people would visit tombs with offerings to appease the ghosts. Gifts included flowers, wine-soaked pieces of bread, salt, or grain.
Today, if possible, visit the grave of someone you have lost and bring a small token. If this isn’t possible, create a place of honor for them on your altar instead. Decorate it with images of your ancestors and items that you associate with them. Take time today to remember those you’ve lost.