Posted by: Moon | November 1, 2009

Names Day and All Saints Day .. a Celebration…

Ok, here we go trying to explain two new celebrations to me .. both wonderful ideas, and one everyone should embrace in my humble opinion …

Oct 30th has now become a special day for me, it’s my Names Day. I have been aware of this ever since I met Miska, but when we were in the USA she forgot the day really, being away from home it’s an easy thing to do, this year, I forgot it was my Names day, so at about 4pm, after my Slovak lesson, I was greeted by a smiling wife presenting me with small gifts… It’s not as important as a birthday, but everyone has a second ‘birthday’ here is Slovensko. What a great idea !!!! It’s just a day where every Simon in Slovakia and Simone gets celebrated. If you ever go to a put on Joesph’s or Michaela’s names day, you can guarantee the pub will be full of Joe’s and Michael’s !!!.. Go on the 26th Dec…. and ask for Stefan… you get a huge reply ! So, any excuse for me to have a few shots of Slivovica, some cokolada and some of Anka’s fine cakes .. Woo Hoo … everyone’s a winner with this one …. Go look when your Slovensko Name’s day, I’ll raise a glass for you !!!!

On a more serious note, the 1st Nov is a very important day and a family celebration on a different, but very important note. It’s all Saints Day. While America goes all out in celebration with their children of Halloween, which they did incredible well in Newport Beach and I am sure all over the US. The UK barely grasps the idea of Halloween, and really, it’s something as a child really just passed us by, we were far more interested in getting to celebrate the 5th Nov….. The Slovaks, and others I believe, take the 1st to celebrate and remember those that have passed away.

What a special, emotional, and wonderful thing to do. I have not done too well with deaths in my family and certain close friends. I lost all my grandparents before I was 18, I was 8 when my first Grandmother died, losing the others as I can barely remember and my eldest Grandfather passing as I turned 18. Today was a moment to celebrate their lives, remember them, and to think about a special friend I lost when I was only 23, he was 24 and taken so quickly for no reason. The biggest loss was obviously my wonderful Father. I won’t go into all of this now, but to lose your Dad when you are 19 is a huge part and influence in my life. I was so lucky to have a father who was a wonderful role model, who worked hard, and spent the rest of his time with Ma and the 4 of us. Sad, so sad to lose him, for him not to be around to see us all succeed, grow old and to celebrate the victories we have in life. Sad he has not got to meet Miska and to look on my travels and success. I won’t go into my beliefs, but, I am sure I will get to discuss this with him one day (he has got a lot of photos to catch up on !!!!) so, the whole family, children up to the eldest visit, tidy, clean the cemeteries and to place flowers and light candles in memory of those dear departed. The graves are beautiful, the candles burn and people meet and greet. We visited our 1st cemetery in the village, and spent time, lighting candles for Miska’s Grand and gt Grand parents. Very emotional, but in celebration. My Father is not buried in a cemetery, or Church graveyard. He is buried under a tree in a place where we spent so much time as children, a very happy place, and I often walk the dog there, spend a few mins just being there. Now I am far away, I lit my candle, stood for 2 mins and thought of the man I call Dad. Tears flowed for a few minutes, and my new family embraced and fell silent for a min. We then visited graves of brothers, Uncles, Aunts and I was learning my new roots and the history of the family. We ended up visiting 4 cemeteries and seeing 2 sets of family I have never met. As always, food aplenty, Domanca flowing and we got home very tired, but in celebration. As night fell, it was a beautiful full moon, the temperature dropped to well below freezing and Miska and I walked back to the cemetery one more time to see the candles flicker and ‘enjoy’ the silence and wonder the home of our departed family.







  1. Very special day for me, and I am very happy you spend this day by my side. Thank you my husband.

  2. Happy all saints day!

    I always remember this day from working supplying pot plants to a well known department store who had a branch in Paris and this was their biggest order of the year.

    • You are not wrong !!.. they must make a bloody fortune !!!! but, it is very special, and it’s a day everyone should have !

  3. Sorry I forgot to mention that it is not well-known or celebrated so much in the UK

  4. Wonderful to be participating in all these different customs. I’m not much for halloween or saints but glad you reconnected with those you’ve lost.

    • I’m not much for these things either, but if it means you have 5 mins to think nice thoughts about those that are no longer here, well, that has to be a good thing x

  5. that’s lovely. what a brilliant celebration to have. my dad died when i was 16… we all get together on his dead day and talk and laugh about him. i love the post. xx

    • It was a great day, and a great idea. The day my Dad died now just passes me by, and I often don’t even think about it, guess thats all part of the healing….. so, this was nice to share in the new family’s tradition, and to have 5 mins of quiet to remember my Dad x

  6. All saints day is really different…
    Living so far away I don’t celebrate it, I just lit the candles for all departed.
    You mentioned Levice – my grandparents are burried there – my grandad whom I never knew and my grandma whom I resemble so much. Thanks to you I will lit extra candle for them today.

    • Shame I didn’t know…. We were in the main cemetery in Levice… and I could have lit a candle for you ! We live in a small village about 20 mins from Levice, and all this was so new, but wonderful all the same….

      I guess you must be a Slovak who has moved away .. love to more, and how your husband coped with the language ?

      • My husband is Slovak too, so no problems there 🙂 But as you say – the other language is always a bit strange, the structure just has no logic in it 😉 I can say the same about English.
        My brother is married to foreign girl, they speak English together and to make it even more complicated, they live in the third country. Her basic vocabulary is: pivo, kava, maminka, korbaciky. I am sure you understand everything.

  7. Yes, they are the few words i do know !!! apart from the fact Coffee can be female !!!! But as you say, I just take the abnormalities of English as normal, I have to do the same here …

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