Nocturnal Vigil

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kiddo73

Senior Member
Hi!

I wonder, since the word "vigil" itself means "staying awake during the time you usually sleep in order to pray etc", what "nocturnal Day of the Dead vigils" would mean. What's "nocturnal" for?

I'd be so grateful if anyone could shed some light on this!


Thanks in advance!
 
Last edited:
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Our dictionary gives several definitions for "vigil", one of which is:
    1. the eve of certain major festivals, formerly observed as a night spent in prayer: often marked by fasting and abstinence and a special Mass and divine office.

    Where did you find "a nocturnal Day of the Dead vigil" and who wrote it? Also, please give us the complete sentence.
     

    kiddo73

    Senior Member
    I actually rewrote the phrase. It's "nocturnal Day of the Dead vigils", which is a Mexican tradition, I assume.
    Here's the sentence ( I deleted the unnecessary details):
    "The artist was inspired by Mexican popular traditions; such as lighting the candles around graves for nocturnal Day of the Dead vigils".
    Ana Mendieta, A Search for Identity, Finkelstein
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    You have three ideas in the sentence:
    1. nocturnal = of, or relating, to the night
    2. Day of the Dead -> a Mexican festival that continues through the night
    3. vigil -> in this case, to watch/observe in accordance with traditions of the Christian religion.

    "... such as lighting the candles around graves for nocturnal Day of the Dead vigils". = such as lighting the candles around graves for the purpose of keeping watch or observation in accordance with the traditions of the Christian religion, during the night of the ceremony of the "Day of the Dead" festival.
     
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