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Adopt this beautiful way the Polish honor the dead on All Souls Day


Soft Light | Shutterstock

Cerith Gardiner - published on 11/02/20

This tradition is a sight to behold!

As we honor deceased loved ones today on All Souls Day, many people will be visiting the graves of family members to pay their respects — if COVID restrictions allow.

While many people will say some prayers, have a little chat, and spend time caring for the grave of those who’ve passed away, in Poland there’s another tradition that literally leaves the cemetery glowing.

Polish people will go to the graveside armed with blossoming chrysanthemums — a flower specially chosen for the occasion — and candles, called zniczy. The choice of leaving a candle on the grave is to symbolize God’s presence next to your loved one that helps prayer and contemplation.

Sergey Dzyuba | Shutterstock

The result is a field of beautiful flickering flames that might leave you thinking the cemetery is on fire, especially when seen at night, as shared by Henry Dybowski on Facebook.

If you are able to visit your loved one’s grave this year, you could try adopting this meaningful tradition. While you might not be able to leave a candle alight (you can check with your parish priest) you could light a candle while you say your prayers next to your loved one.

If you can’t visit the cemetery this year due to COVID, then take a look at these helpful ideas to honor the dead this All Souls Day from the safety of your home.

Odilo of Cluny

Read more:
Why All Souls Day was established by this Benedictine monk

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