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Zaduszki in Poland

  1. Nov 2, 2008 #1

    Borek

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    That's our local tradition. On November 1st and 2nd we visit graves of our relatives to light candles and put flowers.

    You start with shopping - flowers...
    [​IMG]

    and candles (navigating through the crowd; we both did the same mistake of taking pictures WITHOUT people, that was a substantial effort - now we can't show you how the cemeteries really look alike on these days).*
    [​IMG]

    This is particularly expensive part of the cemetery - marbles and other expensive stones used.*
    [​IMG]

    But much cheaper terrazzo is the most popular material.*
    [​IMG]

    Other cemetery - we have visited three.*
    [​IMG]

    But it gets really nice at the evening, when it is already dark, and you can see all these candles...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As usual, Marzena's pictures with *.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2008 #2
    Wow, that's a lovely custom, Borek, and, as usual, your and Marzena's photography documents the whole of it well. You've captured the day remarkably well. Thanks for telling us about it and showing it to us.
     
  4. Nov 2, 2008 #3
    They also do that in several Catholic cemeteries near me. It may also be the Polish, I'm not sure. There is a really large Polish/ Catholic population here.
    Wonderful photos of the market area, what do they call this event?
     
  5. Nov 2, 2008 #4

    Astronuc

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    I think there are similar customs throughout Eastern Europe. A close frienda took me to some a small church/chapel, and as we entered the door, we had an option to buy candles and place them for those who are special. The person I was with lit a candle for 'her' three children, which were not hers biologically, but she raised them because the mother couldn't or didn't want to. Similarly, at the monestaries I visited, people bought candles to light for ancestors.
     
  6. Nov 2, 2008 #5

    Moonbear

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    That's a Catholic tradition, but is quite different from what Borek is showing of candles at cemetaries. Though, yes, I've seen candles at gravesites in Catholic cemetaries...usually at the sites of Slavic and Italian families. I never realized there were special dates associated with the candles, though. I guess my grandparents didn't maintain that tradition. We didn't usually go to the cemetary after Labor Day (in September...that's when we'd replace the flags on one uncle's grave who was killed in war) until Christmas.
     
  7. Nov 2, 2008 #6

    Astronuc

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  8. Nov 2, 2008 #7
    Thats neat. and Marzena is your wife?
     
  9. Nov 3, 2008 #8

    Borek

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    Zaduszki, pronounced something like zahdooshki. But see next posts.
     
  10. Nov 3, 2008 #9

    Borek

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    Wow, quite a lot of comments - which are slightly wrong...

    I think it is an Orthodox tradition. What I know for sure is that you will not see it in Poland in Catholic churches, but we have Orthodox minority in the eastern Poland and I think that's what they do.

    Candles on the graves are lit on any occasion - be it birthday or name day, or death anniversary. It s nothing wrong with lighting a candle on every other day, quite often people that are just accidentally close to the cemetary will buy a candle and put it on the grave. But on other days you just can, while on Zaduszki you should.

    Page that Astro linked to is not entirely correct. All Saints' Day is on the Novemeber 1st, Zaduszki are on November 2nd. Technically these are two different days and two different holidays, although they got mixed and blended and most people go visit their graves on both days. To some extent that's because November 1st is a public vacation in Poland, while November 2nd is not, making it technically difficult to visit the graves. But most people are not aware of the distinction (including me, I had to check details, I just knew that the situation is not as simple as it looks at the first sight).
     
  11. Nov 3, 2008 #10

    Borek

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  12. Nov 3, 2008 #11

    Moonbear

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    In the US, it's done in Catholic churches. I don't know about Orthodox churches, because I've never been in one.
     
  13. Nov 3, 2008 #12

    Borek

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    Interesting, didn't know about it. On the second thought - not very surprising. "Catholic" is a very broad term. I suppose when I write "Catholic" I mean "Polish Catholic" (whatever that means).
     
  14. Nov 3, 2008 #13
    Impressive Borek,

    All Saints Day is also very important in Southern Germany but almost unknown in the north as well as in the Netherlands, marking the traditional geographic extend of Roman Catholisism in Europe
     
  15. Nov 3, 2008 #14

    lisab

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    The candlelit graves are so beautiful! What a lovely tradition.
     
  16. Nov 3, 2008 #15

    Moonbear

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    Well, my grandparent's parish was led by a Polish priest, and they had candles at their church too.

    Though, I guess it doesn't surprise me that the traditions vary from country to country, even for something like the Catholic church which is so large across many countries. The Slovaks I work with were initially confused by some of the differences when they started going to church here too...traditions they thought were part of the Catholic tradition turned out to be local traditions that aren't practiced here, and then of course some things I thought were Catholic traditions are local traditions practiced here and not elsewhere.
     
  17. Nov 3, 2008 #16
    The traditions you show in your images are wonderful in their embrace of remembrance. It makes me a bit sad for my father's grave... he wanted to be buried in the Catholic cemetery of my mother's tiny, mostly deserted, two-cross-road hometown, which, this time of year, is very cold and windy, and I'm sure quite lonely... But now, in retrospect and miles away, I can just superimpose his soul on the spirit of your photos, and it all seems okay. Thank you for sharing the photos.
     
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