Wroclaw

All Saints' Day in Wrocław

11 Oct 2022
Readers expecting a wild time of week-long costume parties and rollicking Halloween debauchery may be shocked to discover a rather sobering, sombre scene the during the evenings of November 1st and 2nd in Poland. Known nationally as All Saints’ Day (Dzień Wszystkich Świętych) and All Souls’ Day (Dzień Zaduszny, or Dzień Wszystkich Zmarłych) respectively, these two days of the calendar year are dedicated to prayer and paying tribute to the deceased by visiting their graves. In accordance with tradition, Catholic families all over Poland will make pilgrimages to the resting places of their relatives, tending the graves with a care that is truly touching, before laying wreaths, flowers and candles that will be kept lit throughout the length of the holiday. As night descends, the country’s graveyards are aglow with the warm light of literally thousands of flickering candles, creating an eerie, incredibly evocative atmosphere that should not be missed by anyone with a heart that still beats.
 

Although visitors to Wrocław may not have ancestors buried here, a trip to one of the city’s cemeteries during this unforgettable ceremony is, indeed, requisite. While we could wax poetic about the unearthly glow of the immense candlelight, the murmur of prayer and psalms, the subtle smells of the incense, fresh flowers and burning wax, the shades of ravens in the trees, the wet grass and mists, and the surreal duality of the supernaturally charged, yet tranquil atmosphere...we’d prefer you just experience it for yourself....we’d prefer you just experience it for yourself.
 

Practical Info for All Saints' Day

Note that November 1st is a bank holiday; only public transportation and emergency response employees are obliged to work this day. Catholic cemeteries, in contrast, will be open until last guest, with special tramlines running frequently and until late at night in order to accommodate visitors. Use jakdojade.pl to find connections. Don't worry, candles of all varieties can be bought outside the cemetery gates, as well as flowers - fresh or fake, traditional sweets and roasted nuts.

So which cemetery should you visit? Below we list our favourites in and around Wrocław. Certainly the best time to visit is right at dusk, but note that on November 1st the crowds are at their peak just after sundown and until about 20:00. For smaller crowds, consider visiting the following day on November 2nd or even later in the week.

Comments

Connect via social media
google sign in button
Leave a comment using your email This e-mail address is not valid
Please enter your name*

Please share your location

Enter your message*
Put our app in your pocket
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more here. AGREE
Top