All Saints’ Day in Poland
This is the third part to our series on Myths and Legends. Here we present All Saints’ Day in Poland and what’s behind this Polish national holiday.
In Poland, just as many other countries like Mexico or Peru, All Saints’ Day (Wszystkich Świętych) or the Day of the Dead, is a national holiday. Yes, that means a day off for most people, which is cool in itself. On this date the Polish people traditionally remember their dead loved ones. Like in other countries, the celebration of this holiday starts with special church services. But here is where the difference starts.
While in Mexico there are parades and costumes, and in Peru there is food and music, in Poland the people embellish the graves with flowers and light many candles. But the candles are not just there to make the cemeteries look pretty, which they do. The belief behind the candles is that the souls of the dead would be guided by them and would make easier for them to find their way.
As with other myths and legends, regardless of whether you believe they are true or not, on thing is certain: the cemeteries in November look really pretty, specially that one night of All Saints’ Day. This is something not to miss when you participate on a service program in Poland. Additionally, it’s an opportunity for family members to bond and to remember those whom they have lost.
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