Written by Jakub Hlavacek
Learn more about Dusicky also known as All Souls’ Day
“Památka zesnulých” or more commonly known as “Dušičky” (Little souls) is celebrated on 2nd November by Christians. A lot of people compare it to Halloween (All Hallows’ Eve), yes they are quite similar and have the same roots, but they are celebrated in with a different tone.
The celebration of “Dusicky” unfolds from “All Saints’ Day”.
“All Saints’ Day” is celebrated in a day, when Celtics celebrates “Samhain” in midnight from 31st October to 1st November. “Samhain day” is also considered as a day when the gate between life and death opens. People believed that during this time the spirits of the dead can visit the living world and the living can visit the underworld. The living are guiding the dead with light. The tradition of lighting a fire and candles comes from both Celts and Slavic, which believed, that the fire cleanses and helps to protect from deceitful spirits. Traditions of “Samhain” are basically similar to Halloween.
Given to the fact that Celtics and then Slavic inhabited Middle Europe and their culture blended here, it is assumed that “Samhain” was also celebrated in the Czech Republic, and then, with the onset of Christianity was replaced with “All Souls’ Day” that were celebrating the deceased.
“All Souls’ Day” is a quiet, reflective day. Czech people are much known for being the most atheistic country, but they hold “All Souls’ Day” as something like a religious fervor. It is a remembrance of loved ones and friends. Czech families attend church services and light candles on the graves of their beloved and pay them respect. Czech’s arrange the grave lay wreaths, flowers and spend time honoring them. It is a very spiritual day, that persisted even in our materialistic world of today.
Despite the weather, not even rainy or cold weather would not discourage Czech people from honoring their dead. When this day falls mid-week, many Czech people will celebrate the weekend before or after the actual date. If you ever manage to visit a cemetery in the Czech Republic during this time, you will notice the flickering glow of lit candles. It really looks peaceful and holy.
On the other hand, Halloween is a very different day with activities including trick-or-treating, attending Halloween costume parties, apple bobbing, playing pranks, telling scary stories and mainly carving jack-o-lanterns.
Halloween and “Dusicky” is by most of the people considered as the same, but there is a big difference between the way they are observed. Even though both Halloween and “Dusicky” have the same basis, there are few similarities. Both are about spirits, deceased and paying them respect, but “Dusicky” is more spiritual and has deep religious roots