Eliade on zombie symbolism in end-of-year rituals around the world

An amazing quote from Cosmos and History: The Myth of the Eternal Return by Mircea Eliade:

“The creation of the world, then, is reproduced every year. Allah is he who effects the creation, hence he repeats it. The eternal repetition of the cosmogonic act, by transforming every New Year into the inauguration of an era, permits the return of the dead to life, and maintains the hope of the faithful in the resurrection of the body. We shall soon return to the relations between the New Year ceremonies and the cult of the dead. At this point let us note that the beliefs, held almost everywhere, according to which the dead return to their families (and often return as the ‘living dead’) at the New Year season (during the twelve days between Christmas and Epiphany) signify the hope that the abolition of time is possible at this mythical moment, in which the world is destroyed and recreated. The dead can come back now, for all barriers between the dead and the living are broken (is not primordial chaos reactualized?), and they will come back because at this paradoxical instant time will be suspended, hence they can again be contemporaries of the living. Moreover, since a new Creation is then in preparation, they can hope for a return to life that will be enduring and concrete.

“This is why, where belief in the resurrection of the body is prevalent, it is also believed that it will take place at the beginning of the year, that is, at the opening of a new epoch. Lehmann and Pedersen have shown this for the Semitic peoples, while Wensinck has collected copious evidence for it in the Christian tradition. For example: ‘The Almighty awakens the bodies (at Epiphany) together with the spirits.’”

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