Paying respect to those no longer with us
October 31st to November 2nd is a very special time in Poland. Together, these days form the trifecta of Christian holidays which include All Hallows’ Eve (known more popularly as Halloween), All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day.
While influence from the West has indeed inspired teens and young adults to dress up as monsters, witches, or ghosts and collect candy from neighbors, for most in Poland this holiday has a more somber purpose.
All around the country, people visit cemeteries in order to pay their respects to family members as well as fallen heroes and other respected members of society.
Visitors can see hundreds of graves lit up by candles and serenaded with flowers. Some of the old and famous graves may have dozens of candles. However, it is very unlikely to see any graves without even one candle, as at least one kind visitor will ensure that no site remains forgotten.
The pictures below were taken on November 1st in Powązki Cemetery in Warsaw, on All Saints’ Day.
Click on a picture to view a large version.