A Polish Insight

In Poland, Halloween has only recently been started to be celebrated. My friends from North America have always told me about the many events happening on the 31st of October in their countries. Since they were little kids, they dressed up, carved pumpkins, and went trick-or-treating. I did not have that experience as a child, but I see more celebrations like these taking place in my country every year.

Polish people who celebrate Halloween mainly do it by going to Halloween themed parties. Usually they prepare costumes ahead of time, although not all events require wearing one. Some Poles decorate their houses and prepare candy for the neighbourhood kids to collect in the evening. I live in a big city where one rarely has a strong connection with their neighbours, but that is less and less often a good reason for children not to come. “There is candy in that house!” is a good enough excuse to knock on an unknown door for the first time.

However, it is not always an easy decision for parents to allow their kids to celebrate. The underlying problem with Halloween in Poland is the opinion that this church has of it. According to the most recent statistics, over 87% of the country’s population belongs to the Roman Catholic Church. Since the tradition originated from pagan festivals, the more conservative citizens disapprove of all celebrations on that day. It is also the eve of All Saints’ Day, a feast which is observed virtually in the entire country, not only by religious families. The Catholic Church recognizes celebrating the night before this feast as an important celebration of Satan and for this reason does not approve of commemorating Halloween.

by Maria S.