Like so many customs incorporated into Catholicism, this tradition actually has pagan roots, and was established as a holy day of obligation in 998 to replace the ancient Slavic tradition of ‘Dziady.’ During Dziady (literally, ‘Forefathers’), the living would prepare an elaborate feast to host the souls of those who had passed, believing that on this day they were able to leave the afterlife and return to their families. Places were set at the table for the ancestors and fires were often lit on the road showing them the way to the house. A soul forgotten at Dziady would bring on bad luck. [For this reason we challenge you to find an unloved grave, however unlikely, and light a candle there.]
As one of Poland’s most important public holidays, only public transportation and emergency response employees as obliged to work on November 1st, so don’t be surprised to find your favourite bar, restaurant or shop bolted shut. Below are Poznań's most centrally-located Catholic cemeteries.
Cemetery of Distinguished Citizens of Wielkopolska
Wzgórze Św. Wojciecha
Opened in 1818, this necropolis is currently the final resting place of many prominent Poles from the Poznań region, including journalists, social activists, …