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All Saints’ Day

1 November, 2012
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One of my students asked me why Americans do not celebrate All Saint’s Day.  I’ve known some people who do celebrate, but not on as large of a scale as they do in other countries.

All Saint’s Day, or Wszystkich Świętych, is a national holiday in Poland that is celebrated every November first.  At his time last year, The Husband and I were visiting a cemetery in Warsaw to observe the locals tidying grave sites and spending time with their loved ones who had passed on.  Everyone (except candle and flower vendors, it seemed) had the day off from work, and the already crowded cemeteries were even more congested with families who had come from near and far.

a cemetery in Warsaw on All Saints’ Day

The candles people buy and light on their loved one’s grave give off a particular scent, and the smell of it was noticeable before you even set foot in the cemetery.

candles burning

 

I may not be Catholic, but I do really enjoy this holiday.  I also think it’s fascinating to learn about how people in other cultures deal with the subject of death.

candles and leaves on someone’s grave

 

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