All Saints Day in Slovakia


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Europe » Slovakia » Kosice Region
November 2nd 2009
Published: November 2nd 2009
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FlowersFlowersFlowers

By daytime on Saturday, the flowers are already beginning to accumulate.
All Saints Day in Slovakia, as well as many other Slavic countries, is a highly celebrated holy day. Throughout the entire weekend, Slovak families travel across the country to visit cemeteries where their deceased family members are located. Cemeteries overflow with flowers and thousands and thousands of candles are lit and placed on the graves. Families take time to meet together and take care of their family members' gravesites. Because some families must travel to multiple cemeteries across large areas of Slovakia, this begins taking place on Friday and doesn't end until late Sunday night, when the actual observance of All Saints takes place. Virtually all Slovaks travel to their local cemetery late on Sunday night to pay respects and light candles. Additionally, war memorials that commemorate the World Wars are highly decorated.
Although the practice is similar to Memorial Day in the United States, All Saints Day in Slovakia has a much larger observance. It generated more traffic on the road than virtually any other day in Slovakia, including Eastern and Christmas. A large industry has sprung up to accommodate All Saints Day observance in fact. Flower shops in town start stocking memorials several weeks before All Saints and Tesco
Communist MonumentCommunist MonumentCommunist Monument

A monument to people who "gave their lives for the ideas of Communism." Notice that it is still decorated each year.
(a Wal-Mart-like store here) has its own dedicated All Saints Day isle, much like Wal-Mart might have one for Halloween or Christmas.
The experience was very unique and quite powerful. Local radio stations play sad music all day and take calls from people to give memorials about deceased relatives. In the cemetery the smell of burning wax is overpowering and the cemeteries are quite beautiful, especially at night. The pictures show a little bit of the experience of All Saints Day here in Slovakia.




Additional photos below
Photos: 10, Displayed: 10


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CandlesCandles
Candles

Thousands of candles glow across the cemetery.
Old StatueOld Statue
Old Statue

An intersting statue incorporated into a gravstone.
CandlesCandles
Candles

It seems almost like an optical illusion...like you are flying over a city and seeing street lights at night.
CandlesCandles
Candles

Typical candle holders placed on graves.
CandlesCandles
Candles

The variety of candles people bring with them can be seen.
War MemorialWar Memorial
War Memorial

The World War I and II memorial is one of the most highly decorated sites in the cemetary each year.
War MemorialWar Memorial
War Memorial

Three rows of candles glow on the war memorial.


2nd November 2009

WOW
This would be an awesome experience. I am one who does not necessarily understand why we celebrate Halloween by dressing up as different characters, whether they are fictional or real. Reading about this tradition makes me wish the United States would have celebrated the holiday this way! Can't wait to see you guys!!
2nd November 2009

Very interesting
Brett, thanks for the information you sent. It was quite interesting. The pictures were great. And - a couple of them definitely looked like flying over a city. I had to tell myself that wasn't what I was seeing.
3rd November 2009

a beautiful tradtion
I'm glad to see an entry about this special day. It is one of the things we miss the most about living in Poland. Even the trams changed the city routes to accomodate everyone that wanted to visit the cemeteries. Every grave had little lanterns on them, even the old forgotten ones, thanks to the churches. I watched during the days leading up to November 1st, to see the graves washed down and the leaves and debris swept away, before the flowers and candles were arranged. Thoughout the city, all statues and memorials have the laterns and flowers. And the crowds in the cemetries! We were entranced as we joined the stream of families visiting their loved ones. It is a beautiful alternative to our "October 31st". Thanks Brett for the photos!
3rd November 2009

Thanks Brett, for a very informative and beautiful depiction of All Saints Day.
25th April 2013

http://nflgiftideas.com/New-Orleans-Saints/Category/24/
Thank you for sharing this very nice post, please keep continue the sharing of this types of information. Here we are waiting for more

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