All Saints Day in Poland ( Dzień Wszystkich Świętych ) – Why So Serious?

Tomorrow is All Saints Day in Poland, a day when people in Poland visit graves of their loved ones and friends who have already sadly passed away, they reminisce about them, pray for them and light candles in their intention showing respect and honour . You can light a candle on someone’s grave or leave it flaming together with thousands of other candles left in intention of the unknown, or people who’s graves couldn’t be found (usually near the Chapel). This all together creates an outstanding view of the cemetery in the evening or at night….

All Saints Day is followed by All Souls’ Day, a day meant for reminiscing the dead.

All Saints

In the meantime, tonight…..some other cultures concentrate on Halloween, on getting dressed up, trick-or-treating around houses and decorating everything around with scary props and carved pumpkins…the so called Jack’o Lanterns.

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[The photos above were taken by my very own and private big brother (thank you 🙂 ) during Halloween organized by Jewish Primary School in Wrocław – lovely people and atmosphere by the way!  ]

Now to the point.

What both holidays are all about, what is their historical background and what their symbols are can be easily found around in the internet but why do Polish people so often get offended by the idea of children trick-or-treating or young people attending halloween parties? Why don’t they celebrate Halloween in the first place?

The answer is quite easy..

Poland is a catholic country while halloween relates to spiritual-magic-satanistic cults of celtic druids. Occultism and satanism obviously don’t get along with catholic church (: And although both holidays concern the dead, halloween has too many symbols that bother catholics. For example, Jack- o’ – lanterns were symbols of satan; blood, vampires, witches….


So if you’re a foreigner in Poland, no matter whether it’s Wrocław or Warsaw, be prepared to meet people who will not tolerate halloween, people who will be offended if you organize halloween and people who simply won’t even want to talk about it. Though most clubs and pubs in Poland throw halloween parties and the younger generation takes part in a lot of halloween events going on during this holiday, there is still a strong religious belief that halloween shouldn’t be celebrated in Poland.

Despite being catholic,I personally belong to the open-minded group of people who understand the phenomenon of mingling cultures. However, looking at all those sad and serious people at the cemetery today, I  thought I owe you a few words of explanation as to why All Saints Holidays in Poland are so serious and why some people here might give you that „who do you think you are”  look when you get dressed, carve multiple pumpkins and walk around with your kids asking for treats on the eve of All Saints Day.

Regardless, I wish you all a happy Halloween and a lovely All Saints Day, seasoned with a pinch of understanding and tolerance spreading both ways!


6 uwag do wpisu “All Saints Day in Poland ( Dzień Wszystkich Świętych ) – Why So Serious?

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  3. Here is a little observation, from the perspective of someone who lived in US for many years. The author of the blog, may not know, that Americans while lavishly spend on Halloween celebration, do not commemorate All Saints Day… although they’re considered, and most Poles and non-Poles, probably you too, consider them tolerant. So the theory about being tolerant and celebrating all (different holidays) does not necessary work. Tolerance has nothing to do with what country celebrates what holiday, their roots and traditions do. US has no tradition to celebrate All Saint Day just as Poland does not have o reason for celebrating Halloween. Poles are no different than other nations in rejecting customs irrelevant to their culture. Try to convince Americans to start eating liver with onions or even duck…for Thanksgiving, good luck with it! Lol..On the other hand, too often young Poles blindly copy others without understanding that …others won’t “mingle” foreign customs into their own for the same reasons you are accusing Catholic Poles of rejecting un-Catholic beliefs. The group of young Poles who endorse Halloween activities probably does so to annoy Catholics and to separate themselves from majority. Not realizing that Americans, Brits, French or any other society, admire those nations that value their legacy, cherish their heritage. Why is it „so sad”? Actually, everyone whom I ask, doesn’t think it is, they see it as a nice gesture remembering our loved ones, our ancestors. Traveling, buying colorful candles, fresh flowers or sweets, nibbling on peanuts or popcorn outside the gate, for some reason meets criticism for „carnival” like atmosphere, go figure….LOL


    • Hi there 🙂 Thank you for your comment 🙂 I think you didn’t really get my point with the tolerance as I didn’t mean that everyone should celebrate everything. No, that’s not what I said and that’s not what I believe should be happening.
      As for the rest, I agree with you somewhat and I am glad you find this celebration as a „nice gesture” because most foreign people I have spoken to mentioned it looks all sad, and so does a majority of Poles I know too lol … now go figure that 😉



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