All Saints

When I first arrived in Warsaw not many people had heard of Halloween and even those that had were not interested in celebrating it. Here’s a shot from Friday showing the queue outside the fancy-dress costume shop in ZT. I think we can safely say that people’s attitudes have changed. Any excuse for a party!

I’m not a fan of Halloween myself. Although it has its origins in an ancient Celtic festival it has been turned by the Americans into a Disney version of All Saints. If we’re going to celebrate Halloween we may as well do Thanksgiving and the 4th July as well.

Anyway, the following morning I was woken by the thwump-thwump of a TVN24 helicopter filming the huge traffic jams on the highway heading north.

Some folk were heading out of town and some on their way to the massive Komunalny Cmentarz Pólnocny which lies north west of us, just behind the equally massive huta industrial area.

We headed over to the Wolska cemetery where all our relatives can be found. It was an oasis of peace and quiet compared to other places. The visit contained all the usual ingredients; flowers, candles, people, graves, grave-neighbours and a church.


Later in the day we took some friends to see Powązki. I must say it was not as impressive as it has been in other years in terms of the number of candles & flowers. Photos from earlier years can be found in the gallery.

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9 thoughts on “All Saints

  1. Hello Scatts:
    I didn’t know you had a blog of your own, besides Polandian!
    Here in Peru something funny happens, because October 31st presents a dilemma: in order to avoid that a foreign costum may grow, some president created the Day of the Creole Music (Dia de la Musica Criolla) on October 31st.
    The rest of the year, this Creole music goes on unnoticed, despised even. But on October 31st, we are all ‘criollazos’.
    The solution? Costume parties where mostly Creole music is heard.
    To me, just an ordinary day. I don’t understand why you have to party all night. If you don’t, you are a total loser. The same works for December 31st. I aplogize if this sounded too much of a party pooper.
    Nice pictures of the Wolska cemetery!

  2. Hi Gabriela,

    Yes, this is where it all started for me, in Oct 07. Then, in Feb 08, Polandian started.

    Polandian tries to stay on topic and is more popular. This place is quieter and more personal. I like them both!

    Like the sound of that Creole stuff! I admit in my ignorance I have only ever associated Creole with the southern USA, New Orleans area. Never knew it extended to Peru.

    I’ve tried your blog a few times by the way but my awful language skills mean I’m confined to looking at the pictures only! :(

  3. Gabriella –

    I have a CD released in the US called “The Soul of Black Peru.” It’s excellent and is one of my favorites. That led me to Susana Baca who I also like very much.

    I like to see governments take steps to promote local culture.

  4. Scatts: maybe you associate Creole with southern USA because of the word Creole itself. In Peru, one of our typical music is called musica criolla, where criollo uses to be translated as Creole. I’m not quite sure if both words can be considered synonims, though. You are welcome to my blog anytime. I’m aware that the translator isn’t really good, but maybe it can help you understand a little of what I express. A little or nothing at all! :S LOL

    Thanks DC. Susana Baca is a very popular singer here, being Negro (or black) music her specialty. She even won a Latin Grammy some years ago. In the few past years, Peruvians are going through an interesting process of reevaluating ourselves as a country. It all started with Peruvian food, and I’m very glad because my country has a lot to offer, not just the worldy famous Macchu Picchu.

  5. Gabriela, Poles absolutely love Macchu Picchu since our prime minister visited the “Ernest Malinowski railroad” and “Macchu Picchu” some months ago.

    h ttp://wiadomosci.gazeta.pl/Wiadomosci/51,80293,5217623.html?i=1

    :D

  6. If you have tips for more music, I am quite happy to read them!

    As used in Peru, is Creole music the same as Negro or black music?

  7. Hello Guest: I’m glad to hear that! Lots of Poles participated in various Peruvian projects in the late XIX century.

    DC: no, Creole music and Negro music are way different. As a non music expert I can tell rhythm and instruments are not the same. The musica criolla (I guess I prefer the Spanish word) has mainly guitars, and it can be danced in couples as a ballroom dance. On the other hand, Negro music is more about percussion, as Peruvian cajon (see here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caj%C3%B3n). The dances are more about hip movement.
    Both kinds of music are really nice and the dances are elegant! And in Peru we have much more kinds of music.
    I repeat, I’m speaking as a non music expert.

    Thank you all for you interest!

  8. Hi scatts, the funny thing is that I was briefly visiting one of cementaries in my town, very old and very beautiful (well, like the whole town), and too noticed the similar thing – much smaller number of candles as in the years before, I just laughed and thought – is it the recession?? :)

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