02 November 2013

All saints day

all saints day is a peaceful day here in finland, as would be expected i suppose.

we were headed home from the city center today and got off at the bus stop near the cemetery. it was just getting dark which was the best time for a walk there, it made the candles that people were lighting to remember the dead seem all the more beautiful. since we were in the largest cemetery in finland i suppose it shouldnt be a surprise that it was busy, but it seemed strange for a cemetery to be that full of living people.

there was a large central area where candles were lit, perhaps for passed love ones who werent buried in that particular cemetery but were maybe cremated or buried somewhere else, and also many of the graves had fresh pine boughs and heather flowers laid at the foot of the gravestone, and candles of course. it really made for a beautiful walk, plus, X likes to ask us to pronounce the names on the gravestones, so in that way perhaps we did a wee tiny part to remember the dead. i like this holiday, and i think its great to include kids and talk about death and let them feel comfortable with cemeterys and to see that people still think of others even once they are gone.

p.s. small side note: there is no halloween in finland, though it seems to be getting picked up as a private thing that friends will celebrate by having parties, so they can still offer the chance to wear costumes and get a little candy to their kids.

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