Poles honored their dead on Tuesday, All Saints’ Day, turning graveyards into seas of flickering candles and whispering prayers to the souls of their departed ancestors.
Observing one of the most sacred days on the calendar for this deeply Catholic nation, people solemnly filled cemeteries across the country, the numbers diminished this year only somewhat by an autumn rain that fell on Warsaw and elsewhere.
For many, Tuesday was the culmination of a four-day weekend devoted to returning to hometowns to clean tombstones and then adorn them with candles and fresh flowers, Yahoo News wrote.
However it’s also a day to pay tribute to another tradition: heavy drinking. It plays a great role in rising road accidents level. A total of 23 people have died in road accidents around Poland during a long weekend ahead of All Saints Day. An additional 338 people were injured in 272 accidents, with 776 people detained for drunk driving, police have said.
Many offices and businesses have closed on Monday and Tuesday, meaning that hundreds of thousands of Poles left for the long weekend related to All Saints Day on 1 November, where Poles traditionally visit the graves of family and loved ones.
The police have urged drivers to be drive carefully and be aware of pedestrians, Radio Poland reports.
A police spokesman told Polish Radio that authorities are afraid that 2 November, when many people are expected to return home, will see a spike in road accidents.
Police have stepped up patrols on major roads and around cemeteries.