President pays tribute to Smolensk victims as Poland marks All Saints
PR dla Zagranicy
Polish President Andrzej Duda has paid tribute to late President Lech Kaczyński, while Poles flock to cemeteries on Wednesday as the Catholic Church marks All Saints Day on 1 November.
Candles burn on graves at Warsaw's Powązki cemetery. Photo: Ratoncito Perez/Wikimedia Commons (CC0)
Duda said the Christian feast day was an opportunity to remember the deceased, especially Kaczyński and his wife and the 94 others who died in 2010 in the Smolensk plane crash.
A Polish presidential plane headed to Smolensk, western Russia, crashed upon landing at a military airport, killing all on board on 10 April 2010.
Meanwhile, Poles head to visit the graves of their late loved ones to lay wreaths and light candles on Wednesday.
Church officials have said the public holiday is a joyful occasion for celebrating the deceased and reflecting on the sense of life.
All Saints Day has its origins in the early days of Christianity. The Church's martyrs were celebrated in May until 731, when Pope Gregory III moved the day to 1 November, likely to compete with the pagan feast day Halloween.
A hundred years later, Pope Gregory IV made the date a commemoration of all dead Christians. (vb/pk)