All Saints’ Day (November 1) is a national holiday here. School children have been on vacation for the last two weeks; today their parents get the day off too. We’ve been seeing a big sign on a greenhouse nursery for weeks – “Ici Fleurs de Toussaint” (All Saints’ Flowers Here). The French tradition is to put flowers, especially mums for All Saints’ Day, on their loved ones’ graves. We stopped at the churchyard in the center of Saint Nic to see how a French cemetery differs from one at home.
They really are quite different! The graves are all marked by stone tombs; most of them are for families, not individuals. The tombs are packed into the graveyard, making it a much less restful space than an American cemetery. Placed on top of the tombs are both flowers and stone plaques.
Some plaques are rather generic (such as À mon oncle – To my uncle), while some are very personal