All Saints’ Day (Wszystkich Świętych) is an annual national holiday in Poland to celebrate the saints on November 1. It is also known as the Day of the Dead, as many people remember dead family members and friends on this day. Special church services are held to commemorate the saints in various towns and cities in Poland. Many people lay flowers and candles on the graves of deceased. This tradition continues through to All Souls’ Day (Dzień Zaduszny or Zaduszki), which is on November 2, but it is not a public holiday.
This year we changed the tradition and visited various old and non Roman Catholic cemeteries in Warsaw. Among theme were: The Orthodox Cemetery (a historic Eastern Orthodox cemetery), The Karaite Cemetery, The Evangelical Reformed Cemetery (a historic Calvinist Protestant cemetery), The Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession Cemetery (a historic Lutheran Protestant cemetery) and the Caucasian Muslim Cemetery. Meanwhile, we passed the Mormon Church, warmly inviting for a hot chocolate, however, we have not given tempted and marched on. Unfortunately it was too late to reach the Warsaw Jewish Cemetery. Dusk was already falling (ca. 4 PM) so the gate has been closed, according to the custom. Nevertheless, we returned happy with our 5 hour journey through Warsaw, across different cultures and funerary rites.