Traditions across Europe-an eTwinning project

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All Saints’ Day in Poland – 1st November November 4, 2008

Filed under: All Saints' Day — ligregni @ 4:09 pm
Tags: , ,

Halloween is getting more and more popular in Poland thanks to the media, especially American films, but in Poland it is All Saints’ Day which is celebrated by most people. It takes place on 1st November and has nothing to do with fun. It’s a quiet sad day when we visit the graves of our families and friends to pray for them and help them with the prayers.

Upon the graves on this day you can find thousands of flowers like chrysanthemum, wreaths, burning candles symbolising our memory and love for those who passed away. It is a great show, especially at night. People get really sad on this day, they meet their family members and talk about their dead relatives.

Our graves are quite interesting as well:

“It is worth to mention that the cemeteries in Poland are different than in any country I saw. Graves and tombs are big and very individualized. There is usually a guard standing at military graves in that day. You don’t see two graves, which looks the same except maybe military graves. They are either individual (for one person) or family vaults. They are made of rocks (granite, marble, sandstone etc.) some are completely covered with stone some have a soil with some planted flowers. They differ in their richness. Some of them are taken care on the daily basis. Many older women, mainly widows, visit cemeteries almost every day. Since Poland is a catholic country almost every grave has a cross standing or carved in stone.”

(taken from http://www.polishsite.us/customs-and-religion/saints-and-patrons/9-all-saints-day-in-poland.htm)

It is only on 30th November ( St. Andrew’s Day) that we have fun, organise parties , even at school and we will soon write about the day here.

Gimnazjum nr 18, Gdansk, Poland.

 

3 Responses to “All Saints’ Day in Poland – 1st November”

  1. Liliana Says:

    My pupils and I like that photo very much.
    All Saints’ Day is a Catholic holiday. Catholic people are a religious minority in Romania; most of us are Orthodox, but we have a lot of things in common. We have a day dedicated to all the saints as well, but it is always on the first Sunday after the Pentecost Day (approximately 57 days after the Orthodox Easter).
    We celebrate St. Andrew’s Day on the 30th of November and that is similar to Halloween because they say that on that very night the spirits of dead people visit their relatives. We’ll write about that at the right time.
    All the best!

    Liliana&the kids

  2. stbrendans Says:

    Hi Aoife here.
    The picture of the graves looked very nice.
    Here in Ireland we celebrate All Souls Day on the 2nd of November. On this day people visit the graves of their relatives. They plant flowers, light candles and pray. In the summer we have a Mass in the grave yard to remember the dead. In some places on All Souls Day the priest says the rosary in the grave yard and blesses the graves. All Souls Day is sad and a happy day.

  3. Gina Says:

    Hi!
    In Italy we also have “All Saint’s Day” on the 1st of November and a “Deads’ Day”( giorno dei morti) on the 2nd of November.
    During these two days each one visits his relatives’ graves taking flowers and candles, praying and crying and, on the “Deads’ Day” afternoon, the preast celebrate a Mass in the Cemetery.
    Once upon a time, in our town, people beleived that the spirits of dead people came back on earth during the night between the 1st and the 2nd November, therfore they put in the church chestnuts, nuts, dry beans and other food for them.
    If you went there, the day after, you could see heaps of food on the floor of the church. It was pittoresque! I always saw that when I was a child but now it’s over!
    Gina


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