Saturday, November 7, 2009

Serbian Orthodox "All Souls' Day"

Today is All Souls' Day for members of the Serbian Orthodox faith. It's actually called Zadušnice, which doesn't really translate as All Souls' Day, but the idea is basically the same, except zadušnice happen (the word is a plural) four times a year. These are days when when people visit the graves of loved ones, light candles for the souls of the dead, and offer food and drink at the graveside. These days always fall on a Saturday, usually on a second Saturday before the beginning of the Lenten season (Easter and Christmas, since Orthodox Serbs avoid fats during those periods), the Saturday before the Holy Trinity Day, (12th October), and Saint Demetrius Day (8th November).

This photo was taken looking away from my husband's grave that my son and I visited.

13 comments:

Jacob said...

It is so nice that you and your son were able to visit your husband's grave together...common memories provide a priceless and eternal bond and sometimes make the loss less painful (at least momentarily) to bear.

koala said...

I've seen a few attempts at translation of this day like the Catholic "All Saints Day" or more Mexican accurate "Day of the Dead" but none of the names really captured the spirit of this Slavic tradition.

Thérèse said...

Souls connection between here and up there.

Carraol said...

Great post, impressive similarity with Mexican Day of The Dead on November 2th, probably the same origin, lost in time. Greetings from Mexico.

Carraol said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Virginia said...

Lovely photograph. I lilke the 3 crosses in the foreground. A day to remember.
V

Alexa said...

I'm glad Dejan was there to visit with you. It's a beautiful photo, Bibi.

Mara said...

I love the image to go with the story.

xdexx said...

As a kid I really hated this day - and any other cemetery visit that involved food & drinks (40 days after the funera, six months, first year and than annual visits). I was the one to serve guests - it felt so weird eating and drinking around the grave...

Orthodox priest was also present, accompanied with an assistant often singing totally out of tune. It was almost comical - at least this is how I remember it now, many years down the road.

Looking at your photo of New Cemetery (Novo Groblje) just brought all the memories back...

Tash said...

Beautiful and moving photo. Gospodi pomiluj.

Jilly said...

This image is so beautiful. Your husband lies in a peaceful place, Bibi. Such a moving post. Take care, Jilly x

heidi said...

This is so cool and I had to do a double take. It's kind of layered. You've inspired me to take more "city" shots.

Amy said...

I'm an Orthodox Christian in the US (married to a Serb from Belgrade), and the church calls it "Soul Saturday" here.

My condolences on the loss of your husband.