Highlands Prepare For Ceremony of Lights

Travellers in Poland over the next week should make sure to visit at least one cemetery during their stay. Grim as the idea might sound, graveyards are amongst the most spectacular sights in early November. This is due to the time-honoured commemoration of All Saints and All Souls, when candle-lit lanterns bring swathes of colour to both cities and countryside alike.

The time-honoured ritual echoes the pagan custom of Dziady (Forefathers), which was itself celebrated in drama by Poland's great 19th century bard, Adam Mickiewicz. All Souls today sees families decamp to cemeteries to pay respects at the tombs of loved ones. Flowers and lanterns are left in copious quantities, and no grave is left untended, in a touching tribute to the notion of All Souls.

Here in Zakopane, the best place to saunter over to the folkloric Cmentarz na Peksowym Brzyzku (Cemetery by Peksa's Brook). You can find it by the old wooden church of St. Clements at ul. Koscieliska. Many distinguished writers and artists are buried there, and the tombs themselves, many sculpted from wood, are a delightful sight in themselves.


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