The Slavs, like many ancient peoples, had a tradition of visiting family members’ graves during the springtime and feasting together with them. The land of the dead was believed as being inside the earth as Mother Earth began to weep spring tears of joy, her loving heart awakened after winter. As a result, the inhabitants of the land of the dead breathed easier. When the lights are burned this acts as a offering to your Ancestor.
A grave candle, grave lantern, death candle or a death lantern is a type of lantern, which is lit in memory of the dead or to commemorate solemn events. The form of a lantern is commonly used in Christianity, and is a tradition that was appropriated by them from the earlier pagan traditions.
The grave lanterns, known as znicz, and are a common tradition in Poland. After death, souls were thought to travel into the land of eternal happiness – Nawia. They would return to the world of the living a few times during the year, however, and they had to be properly received. Rituals connected to the forefathers – the Dziady – took place in accordance with the principal that spirits could do favours for the living – such as teaching them moral lessons – and the living can could favours for the dead – the custom of offering food and drinks. Fires were lit on cemeteries and special grumadki (pieces of wood) were placed at crossroads in order to point the way back towards heaven. Tribute was paid through tournaments, song, and dance.
// When burning please remove the top cap as it is plastic.