Last week was an eventful one for two reasons. Firstly, on October 31st, it was Halloween. Then, it was Wszytkich Świętych or All Saints Day on November 1st. Halloween is a very popular holiday in America. No-one gets off of work for the holiday and different people like it for different reasons. Children love it because they get to go trick-or-treating and wear costumes. Young Adults love it because they get to wear costumes, have parties, and drink a fair amount of alcohol. Some adults also like the holiday because it is fun for their children or they get in the 'holiday spirit' and decorate their homes and give out lots of candy. I did not miss Halloween very much this year. It was a fun topic for my lectures, but I certainly did not feel like I missed out that much. I guess I don't have much Halloween spirit. I did see some children going around Lębork on the night of Halloween in costumes so maybe it is getting more popular here in Poland. Whether this is good or bad I have no idea.
More interesting than Halloween was the day after or All Saints Day. This day started off very well because it was a day off of work. I enjoy my job, but a free day here and there is much appreciated. I knew that the custom here in Poland is to go the cementery and decorate the graves of your relatives with candles, flowers, and other such-things. Due to this I was hoping to see the cementery during the night of All Saints Day. Being the efficient thinker that I am I had a good thought as to how I should get to the cementery. I knew the cementery was a far distance away from the house, so I figured I would run to a park, work out a little bit, and then continue running on to the cementery. This was a good plan in theory. However, I did not account for two things: One was the rather large amount of people both at the cementery and walking there. Second was the fact that I was wearing shorts and a work-out shirt and I looked out of place with everyone else wearing pretty nice clothes. Despite my feeling a bit out of place due to my attire I pushed on and made it to the cementery. The candles and decorated graves were very very pretty. I stayed for only a little bit and then headed back to the house.
I was very impressed with the appearance of the cementery. I am sad that we don't have a similar tradition in America because I think that it is a nice way to honor and remember relatives who have passed on. However, I do believe that if we did have the same tradition of decorating our cementeries then it would turn into a competition and a fight. For example one person might try and have the biggest candle, or the most flowers, or the prettiest tombstone, and so on. So, the nice tradition of remembering your deceased might be turned into an all-out competition and the intentions of the holiday would be lost. So, I am personally sad that we don't have the same traditions for All Saints Day, but perhaps it is for the best.
Born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan David was raised by his parents with his two sisters and brother.