A Polish November

Whilst other countries are using the month of November as an excuse to grow mustaches, and worrying about what to buy for their family for Christmas, it’s a more traditional and somber time in Poland.

On 1st & 2nd November, it’s All Saint’s & All Soul’s Days, and entire families will travel all across the country to visit cemeteries and pay their respects to loved ones.  They leave flowers and candles on the graves, which creates a truly special sight once the sun sets.

All Saints Day, 1984, Oswiecim, Poland Img871

It’s a very moving experience to be a part of, and a very busy time to visit. In the UK my experience was that once the funeral is over, it’s very rare for people to actually visit the cemetary again, let alone on a regular basis. Here in Poland, it’s a regular occurrence to visit and pay your respects.

This is one of the many ancient traditions that are still followed by many Poles, and I absolutely love the fact that they do still adhere to these traditions. It’s something I feel the UK is missing out on.


Unfortunately, the pictures above are taken from Wikimedia Commons, as I’m awful at taking photos in the dark, but I hope they still give a good impression of what you can see if you visit in November.

It’s also a public holiday on 1st November, and on 11th November. This means that almost every shop will be closed (even the shopping malls), and many restaurants. So plan ahead and get your food in the day before or stick to the main tourist areas of Krakow where the restaurants tend to be open.

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