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Day of the Dead: Hungarian style

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Kerepesi Cemetery is the Père Lachaise or Recoleta of Budapest; where the city’s rich and famous are laid to rest. Budapest’s streets are named after many of the prominent writers, politicians and national heroes buried among the cemetery’s shady pathways and grand mausoleums. Personally, I find cemeteries to be an uncomfortable tourist attraction. But it’s difficult to resist the allure of these grand cemeteries if only for their sheer aesthetic power. Especially when on All Saints Day, better known as the Day of the Dead or the day after Halloween here in the U.S., the graves are illuminated with candles and covered in flowers to commemorate the dead who have not yet reached heaven- famous and obscure alike. Today’s Halloween traditions are an amalgam of the pagan and Christian traditions commemorating the dead and celebrating the harvest. In Hungary, All Saints Day is pretty sombre stuff – no sexy vampire costumes for miles, just a lot of people coming to pray and pay their respects at cemeteries throughout the country. Here are some pictures I took at Kerepesi on All Saints Day in 2009.