All Saints Day

Today is All Saints Day, a national holiday in Hungary devoted to visiting the graves of family members and friends. We went to Kerepesi Cemetery, over 100 acres of wooded space that is a veritable Who’s Who of Budapest Metro stops. Virtually anyone who was anyone in the 19th and 20th centuries is buried there in family plots that range from modest to jaw-dropping. It was a suitably dreary and drizzly day, but the fall colors, beautiful statuary, and lush surroundings make for an amazing experience.

Many of the tombstones included the profession or accomplishments of the deceased — Google translate got a workout on the ones I couldn’t pick up on my own — so under a name might be “Professor,” “Composer,” or “Pharmacist.” Several had wistful or sardonic epitaphs, and one even had what looked like a full curriculum vita, in case a visitor might want to make a job offer. And then I ran across this one:

The quotation is from John (János) 14:19. With all due respect to “Mathematician” or “Biochemist,” I suspect “Because I live, you also will live” was probably more reassuring to those left behind.


2 responses to “All Saints Day

  1. Pingback: When Saturday Isn’t Saturday | Suddenly Hungarian·

  2. Pingback: Fall, Fish Soup and Farkasreti | Suddenly Hungarian·

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