All Saints' Day
All Saints' Day Reviews
All Saints' Day Nov 01, 2014
Halloween is not celebrated in Poland like it is in the United States. People expecting Halloween full of costume parties and trick or treat may be unpleasantly surprised, because in Poland this holiday is completely overshadowed by the rather morose All Saint’s Day. All Saints’ Day is an annual national holiday celebrated in Poland on November 1. It is also commonly known as the Day of the Dead. It is followed by All Souls' Day (Nov 2). On All Saint’s Day Poles visit cemeteries and focus on those whom they have lost. Many Poles travel long distances to visit family graves. On a national level, the graves of important Poles and military tombs are honored.
On November 1, day and night, candles and flowers are placed on the graves and tombs. This may sound like a sad scenario, and not the kind of thing that foreigners might want to see during their holidays in Poland. But in fact this is a moment that's not to be missed. There is no doubt that All Saints’ Day has a morose side, but there is also an element of magic in it. Many people in Poland lay flowers and candles on the graves. These candles are special, they can burn for many hours, sometimes days. It is believed that these candles help the departed souls find their way through the darkness. Candles in colorful glass jars that number in the thousands light up cemeteries and at night they can often be seen glowing from far away. On that one night, the sky above cementaries looks like kissed by the aureola borealis. This incredibly evocative atmosphere should not be missed by anyone with a heart that still beats.
All Saints' Day recalls the ancient aspect of Halloween tradition that described how the world of the living and the world of the dead collide. On the night between All Saints’ Day (Nov 1) and All Souls’ Day (Nov 2) past generations summoned spirits and they believed that the deceased would visit the living. This part calls ‘Dziady’ and is not celebrated anymore.
Part of the POLAND travel blog
9 / 9 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!