Allhelgona på Skogskyrkogården
An UNESCO World Heritage Site.
November 6th, 2010 - Stockholm Sweden
Canon 17-55mm 2.8 IS
As dusk falls on Saturday, All Saints Day, Swedes stream towards the country's graveyards armed with candles, matches, wreaths and flowers for the graves of their loved ones.
The beauty of the candlelight blended with a soothing melancholy creates an emotionally-charged atmosphere. Small rural churchyards are visible across fields, dotted with flecks of golden light, while in towns and cities people murmur hushed greetings to those visiting neighbouring graves.
Probably the most spectacular place to witness the festival is the massive cemetery of Skogskyrkogården in the south of Stockholm. Chatty crowds drift from the train station, past hot dog vendors and candle stalls, as if to a football match.
But as they enter the cemetery they are greeted not with the roar of a stadium but with a silence almost as overwhelming. Thousands upon thousands of marshal lights line the winding road into the churchyard, the glare becoming more and more intense until at the top of the hill in the centre there is barely space to walk between the rows of candles.