All Saints Day
Today was a public holiday in Belgium dedicated to All Saints Day....so I enjoyed a day at home in Leuven. All public holidays in Belgium are very strongly related to Catholic holidays. And the fall vacation for schools is always in the week of Nov 1st.
Despite the fact that it is the celabration of "All Saints and Martyrs"...it is a day that mostly our dead relatives and friends are being remembered (2nd of November is All Souls day but is not a public holiday anymore). It is a tradition here , as in some other countries with a deep catholic culture, to go to the cimatories today to bring flowers to the graves. Those flowers are usually a pot of "chrysanten", a flower that does well in the colder temperatures and can resist to the first days of mild freezing temperatures. And if the weather gods know it, tonight will be the first night with temps going unther 0C. This morning I felt like going for a small bike tour after church, but it became a very very small bike tour due to the cold wind! (yes....ok and my poor shape as well, but I intended to work on that).
Anyway, there were traffic jams to the nearby graveyards here in Leuven and some additional flower sales stands as well. I really love the sight of the graveyards in this time of a year! They are just seas of colorful flowers. Very nice.
Traditionally the news reflects today some trends related to graveyards and funerals. 40% of the Belgians choose to get cremated (I honestly thought it would be more already) but it is increasing. So the sight of the colorful graveyard will change in the future to more and more walls or little gardens where the urn with ashes are kept.
Hmm I just think about the fact that I was working last year. We were preparing the first go live of System 21. Wow that seems ages ago, in the mean time we've had all 6 go lives. I remember we were all rather pissed off having to work on a holiday despite the fact that the go-live had been postponed. But there were already foreign consultants booked to come over, so we had to come in as well. Because our traditional sandwich delivery store was closed, as were all other grocery stores etc, we convinced our boss to go with the entire team to the nearby Pizza Hut. Well, you should try to go in with about 12 people at once there....it took ages before we got our food. i think we were out there for over 2 hours, so can't say it was a very effective working holiday. At least we supported the sales of Grimbergen and Maes well in the Pizza Hut that day :p. That was the least thing we could do no?