So today I started my Wikipedia Trail with The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Anderson. I read it this week for class and I thought it was a bit strange for a fairy tale. It’s both really sad because the young girl dies, and really inspiring because she gets to be with her grandmother and gets away from her horrible, hard life. There was a link on the page to the Wiki article about New Year’s Eve, which is when the story is set.
The New Year’s Eve article is actually really comprehensive. It talks about how the holiday is celebrated in just about any country I could think of, and a lot that I couldn’t. There was even a section for how different religions treat the holiday, including the Roman Catholic Church, which counts New Year as a Holy Day of Obligation, but allows for vigil masses to be celebrated on New Year’s Eve.
The Catholic Church Wiki page was also surprisingly comprehensive – I’m Catholic and I’m sure there’s a ton of stuff on there that I don’t know about. There was, of course, a link to the Wikipedia page about Heaven on the Catholic Church page, which I thought was a nice place to end this trail. I think that it circled around nicely to the Little Match Girl story. As sad as it was, I think I like the story because it shows that no situation is truly hopeless – it can always get better. Though maybe not it the way you would prefer.
Image: Public domain illustration by A.J. Bayes (1889) for The Little Match Girl. Source: Wikimedia