Yesterday, my family and I along with my friend Rachael went out and experienced one of the neatest holidays here in Poland, All Saint’s Day.
What is All Saints Day? It is a Catholic holiday that people all over Poland visit the graves of loved ones and to place candles and flowers on graves. The special candles, which can burn for many hours, are placed there so that departed souls can find their way through the darkness. In Poland yellow and white chrysanthemums are traditionally used to decorate graves as are asters. Since the Polish wreaths and flowers of All Saints Day are nearly exclusively made of chrysanthemums, these flowers aren’t used to celebrate more festive occasions. Outside of the cemetery’s you will find vendors selling candles and flowers year round but during this holidays we at least at least 3 times as much.
We headed down to a city about 45 minutes south of us, Torun to bring back 2 kids who spent the night before at our house for the Halloween party. On the way there we stopped by a little country cemetery and took some pictures. I was surprised how many people were there as it was way in the country. We then continued on to Torun and we then hug-out with our friends Arthur and Cornelia. Then when it was finally dark out (which is about 16.30 now) we headed out to 2 more cemetery’s to look at them. Seeing them at night just left me in awe! Seeing in pictures is one thing but seeing it in person is another.
I am going to apologize now for all the pictures but I could not narrow them down to 10 or so, this was just to amazing not to share with you!
After looking at the Polish cemeteries and seeing how much they take care of them kind of puts the American ones to shame. They take care of them year round just not to this scale but maybe 50% of what is on now.
Moments like this I wish airplane tickets were cheaper or I had a Dr. Who telephone box so I could go to my grandparents graves and light a candle or two for them as well as put a few flowers down for them. This is one of the major draw backs of living here in Poland, not living close to family!
Do you do some thing special to honor your past relatives?