Rochdale’s Polish community celebrate All Souls’ Day
Date published: 07 November 2019
Celebrating All Souls' Day at Rochdale Cemetery
Members of Rochdale’s Polish community celebrated All Souls Day at Rochdale Cemetery on Sunday (3 November).
Despite poor weather, approximately 50 people of all ages, led by the Parish Priest, Father Wojech Swiatkowski, prayed and remembered all those that had made their homes in Rochdale since the end of World War Two.
All Souls Day, or ‘Zaduszki’ as it is known in Poland, is one of the most important family holidays in Poland. What once began as a set of traditions to please the spirits of the departed is now an occasion to gather the family and remember those no longer with us.
The Zaduszki custom of honouring the dead corresponds with All Souls' Day celebrations in many parts of the world, but has a more profound meaning amongst the Polish community.
Zaduszki celebrations begin with tending to family graves and surrounding graveyards, followed by a procession through the cemetery with a series of prayers being said at five different locations.
Similar gatherings are held in the neighbouring Polish communities in both Oldham, Ashton and Manchester.
The Polish Catholic Centre based at Westfield on Manchester Road, adjacent to the BMI Highfield Hospital, has been a hub for the Polish community in Rochdale for over half a century, and continues to serve both spiritual and cultural needs.
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