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The Green Corn Festival is also a religious renewal, with various religious ceremonies.
Common herbs used by the Navajo included Broom Snake Weed, Soap Weed, and Utah Juniper.
Many tribes who had been converted to Catholicism, also celebrated All Souls’ Day, each November 1st, which celebrates the dead.
To ensure a safe journey, they wash their dead with natural yucca suds and dress them in traditional clothes.
Prayer feathers are often tied around the forehead of the deceased, and they are buried with favorite possessions and feathered prayer sticks.
Cleansing and purifying activities often occur, including cleaning out homes, burning waste, and drinking emetics to purify the body.
At the end of each day of the festival, feasts are held to celebrate the good harvest.
Marked with dancing, feasting, fasting and religious observations, the ceremony usually lasts for three days.
Activities varied from tribe to tribe, but the common thread is that the corn was not to be eaten until the Great Spirit has been given his proper thanks.
Traditional foods and special herbs are served and placed at the grave side.
The Navajo perceived that living to an old age was a sign of a life well lived, thus ensuring that the soul would be born again.
During the event, tribal members give thanks for the corn, rain, sun, and a good harvest.