Light a Candle for a Loved One

Light a Candle for a Loved One


“Mother showed me the nearby cemetery, where Ilonka was buried. Once a year on Dusicky (All Souls’ Day) on November 2, like everybody else from the village, we would go to the cemetery, and my family would light the customary candle at my sister’s grave in her honor.”                                                                                                                                          –Charles Novacek, Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance

In Slovakia November 2nd is Dusicky (All Souls’ Day), the holiday for the dead. People remember and honor the good spirits that have passed on – their family, friends, and people who have left an impact.

All Souls’ Day is a Catholic festival, but the Slovak people have celebrated it since pagan times. It was believed that one night every year the dead walked the earth with the living. To calm family ghosts people took time on this day to pay respect to their loved ones’ souls. The tradition continues today with placing of lighted candles and wreaths on relatives’ graves.

The flickering glow of so many lit candles in cemeteries is enchanting!

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