Montmartre Cemetery on All Saints Day

Old Nov 1st, 2009, 11:51 AM
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Montmartre Cemetery on All Saints Day

November 1st is the one day that the French will go to a cemetery, if they only set foot in a cemetery once a year. Technically, they should go on November 2nd, the day of the dead, but November 1st is a holiday (when it isn't a Sunday!), so that is when people go.

Today, I visited the Cimetière de Montmartre, one of the "big three" cemeteries of Paris, along with Père Lachaise and Montparnasse. There was a light rain and leaves were falling from the trees -- a perfect cemetery day.

If you want to see what I saw, here it is: http://tinyurl.com/ydog58y
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Old Nov 1st, 2009, 12:08 PM
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Kerouac, thanks for the awesome photos! Some of these crypts are like works of art and the flowers are stunning. Black cat? How appropriate! BTW do Europeans 'celebrate' Halloween or is the candy give aways an American thing?
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Old Nov 1st, 2009, 12:10 PM
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Thank you for sharing. We were at the Cimetiere de Montmartre in Sept, but of course, could not enter. Since we may never get there in early Nov. you now have "let us in". We did have Pere Lachaise on our list to do but didn't get there this last trip. Now on the bucket list for a future trip. Keep the pictures and travel tips coming!
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Old Nov 1st, 2009, 12:12 PM
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A hauntingly beautiful selection of images, Kerouac! What a lovely, and rewarding way to spend a drizzly day! Thank you very much for sharing.

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Old Nov 1st, 2009, 12:24 PM
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November 1st is All Saints Day, which also commemorates those who have gone before, so I think either day would, technically, be appropriate for a cemetery visit. Lovely pictures - thank you for sharing.
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Old Nov 1st, 2009, 01:13 PM
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even a drizzly day is beautiful day in Paris...I feel like walking over there again when I watch your pictures...coffee and croissant smell comes back to my mind about Paris...I hope to go again very soon...thank you very much for sharing your wonderful pictures...keep up the good job...
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Old Nov 1st, 2009, 05:30 PM
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A perfect day for such pictures, thank you.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 12:59 AM
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Kerouac, that was fantastic. Thank you.

Pauljagman, I posted this elsewhere yesterday in response to much the same questionbr />
The US imported it(Hallowe'en) from the Celtic countries where it's called guising. It was traditionally done both at Hallowe'en and at New Year.

We all did it (in the 50s and early 60s) and our parents before us. My mother taught us a wee song to the tune of "Tramp, tramp, tramp, the boys are marching"

"Tramp, tramp, tramp the boys are marching.
We are the guisers at your door.
If you dinna let us in, we will smash your windies in
And you’ll never see the guisers any more."

We never smashed windows, of course, and we had to perform- a song, or a poem, or a story (not a joke- that's a modern cheat, if you ask me.) There were traditional games, like dookin' for aipples, and eating treacle scones hung on a string whilst your hands were tied behind your back. The pumpkins were turnips, and my family had a special curved and sharpened knife whose sole use was to hollow out the lantern- oh the smell of singeing neep!
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 05:49 AM
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That was great Kerouac! I am so sorry I have missed this "charming" little cemetery all the times when up in Montmatre. Next year for sure!
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 09:02 AM
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Kerouac, did you happen to see the "cat ladies", they always wear raincoats so that they can sneak in cat food. Some of the cats are abandoned domestic pets and are friendly. They deserve better. Anyway, that's our excuse for doing the same.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 09:27 AM
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Kerouac, lovely pictures as always. Thanks for sharing. Another item for my "to do" list for my next visit.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 09:54 AM
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Kerouac, thank you. I love Dalida, and listen to her at least once a week on my drive into work.

Count me as one who makes a point of visiting cemeteries when I travel. They are so peaceful and pretty. It also gives you a chance to reflect upon the lives of people you've admired when you find their grave.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 10:58 AM
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Kerouac-wonderful photos -- thanks!
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Old Nov 12th, 2009, 07:00 AM
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I added another set of photos of the cimetière de Montmartre to that photo report, if anybody is interested.
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Old Nov 12th, 2009, 08:40 AM
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Kerouac, maybe you can clarify something for me.

During the summer of 2008, I visted the cemetary to see two of my favorites May Ray and Samuel Beckett, then I strolled over to see Dreyfus. I read that his grave has been disguised to thwart desecration. Where the grave was supposed to be was a sign that indicated that the grave was for sale. I asked a Frenchwomen if she could find Dreyfus and she said no. My French is too poor and her English was too limited to explain my hypothesis.

Was that Dreyfus? Thank you.
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Old Nov 12th, 2009, 09:47 AM
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Well, I believe that both of them are in Montparnasse cemetery, which I have not visited in ages.

I am not aware that there is any problem with desecration of that grave. Here is what it looks like:

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg...e=gr&GRid=1639

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rongunzburger/3187432937/
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Old Nov 12th, 2009, 10:12 AM
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Thanks Keruoac.

I found Man Ray and Beckett with some help. But not Dreyfus.
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Old Nov 12th, 2009, 11:19 AM
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Very interesting photos. Now I know I must do at least one cemetary walk on my next visit to Paris. Are all the bodies buried above ground? Thank you.
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Old Nov 12th, 2009, 01:48 PM
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The bodies are underground, but it is common to have a "monument" over the grave.
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