Thursday, April 15, 2010

105/365:Candles in Lodz

105/365:Candles in Lodz
105/365:Candles in Lodz, originally uploaded by Magic Madzik.
April 15th

A small tribute to our late President in the Schiller Passage. In Warsaw, people placed candles by the presidential palace, but in Lodz it's not so obvious.

I am not sure but it seems these kind of jar candles are not known in the West. I remember having to explain to friends from the UK that they were burning graveyard candles on their dinner table, and now I see a question in the comments that further shows they may be a mystery to the non-slavic countries. In essence they are candles made specifically for burning on graves, or, as in this case, in a public place as a symbol of rememberance. You would not, however, place such a candle in your window even if it symbolised the same tragic event. You don't take these home. They are for the dead.

We call them 'znicze'. The word dates back to pagan times, when some Slavic religions would keep an eternal fire burning on their altar. I'm afraid I don't know anything more on the subject.

As a point of interest, the panels you can see in the background are part of a very graphic and disturbing exhibit commemorating the Katyń Massacre of 1940. The President and the 95 other people who perished in the plane crash last Saturday were on their way to Russia to attend a service honouring the 70th anniversary of these deaths.


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