Wednesday 29 October 2014

How do you know it's October?

One of the weird things about moving to a new culture is you lose cues for dates and months and important things. The seasons are a little different in Czech than they were in Northern Ireland. The seasons are... deeper. They are more extreme here. Already it is down around zero some days (all day) and soon zero degrees will be a high in a day.

My birthday is in early November and in the UK my cue for my approaching birthday is poppies people are wearing for Remembrance Day. Here there is no such cue.

But there is a definite cue that it's October. I've taken all these photos, in various locations over the past month or so. Can you see what is in all of these?

One grocery shop.

The local home/diy store (in Poland)


The cart in front of me as I bought me food for the week.

The flier I read from Tesco today.

What you see above, whole aisles of them, whole pages of adverts for them, are graveyard candles. They are candles people put on the graves of their relatives. Some places say it is to help them to remember to pray for their dead relatives, and other places say it is to give the dead light while they journey through purgatory. 

In some places there are also a tradition of baking food for the dead, to appease any souls that might be roaming the earth on All Souls Night. 

What I think is crazy is the sheer number of candles available for sale! In the diy store there are pallets and pallets of them, stretching the length of the photo. Or the man in front of me who had twenty-one in his trolley. 

It'll be interesting to see what the town looks like on the night of November 1st.

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