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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Poland illuminated on All Saints' Day

Cemeteries across Poland have come alive in a blaze of colour as the nation observes the holidays of All Saints and All Souls.

Zakopane, southern Poland: photo - PAP/Grzegorz Momot

Time-honoured tradition sees graveyards across the country bathed in light on 1 and 2 November, with lanterns and flowers left on the graves of loved ones.

Meanwhile, collections are also being made for the renovation of funerary monuments and graves both in Poland and beyond.

Owing to Poland's tangled history, a strikingly large number of Polish cemeteries endure abroad.

These include the great necropolises of Lyczakow (now Lychakiv in Lviv, Ukraine), and Rossa (now Rasos, in Vilnius, Lithuania), as well as more modest provincial graveyards (Poland's borders were shifted west following World War II).

There are also numerous Polish cemeteries across the globe connected with the country's plight during the Second World War, with waves of emigration - and sometimes deportation - resulting in graveyards being created in the Middle East, Uzbekistan, Siberia, and England, among others. 

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