Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween in Poland

Well, they don't celebrate it. It's considered a very pagan American holiday (which is pretty much what it is, except I think it originated in England). Still, you can find a few Halloween decorations and costumes in large stores and probably some teens "celebrate" it in bigger cities.

We always do something at home, since there's no trick-or-treating. A couple of years ago the kids had a party and invited friends from school. They were all so confused when they saw Evie dressed as a ballerina. Ballerinas aren't scary! They thought you have to be something frightening.

As I say, I always try to do something Halloweenish. This year we did the usual stuff, but the kids made almost all the preparations.


"We" carved a pumpkin: Greg (who hates Halloween) did the artistic part, the kids scooped out the "monster teeth" (all while I took a nap). Note the little hanging decorations the kids made a few days ago for the stairs.



We played Halloween Bingo by candle light: the kids drew the pictures on the cards (spiders, witches hats, eyeballs etc.).

We played with slime: I just put the potato flour and water and bowls on the table and let them make it for themselves (no green food coloring or anything).


As usual I hid the candy around the living room and they searched for it by candle light.

Then we watched The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and ate dirt dessert with worms.

And there you have a lazy mother's Halloween.

******
As a heavily (95%) Catholic country, they celebrate All Saints day on November 1st and the Day of the Dead (not sure if that's what you call it in English) on the second. This is a very lovely holiday when everyone visits the graves of their loved ones. The cemeteries are amazing, all lit up with hundreds of candles. Even though we live far from the graves of any family members, we always visit a nearby cemetery just to walk around. It's magical. Here's proof (from a few years ago):



It's also a big drinking holiday (any excuse will do in Poland :), and as it falls on a Sunday this year we'll be staying off the roads, meaning no going to church. This is one of those holidays that they give statistics on the news every night about how many drunk drivers were stopped etc.

But those cemeteries are gorgeous.

29 comments:

Barbaloot said...

Yum-dessert dirt cups! What a great excuse to break that fun treat out:)

Lara said...

Wow! That cemetery really is gorgeous. I would love to be able to see that in real life.

And you're not a lazy mom at all! For living somewhere that Halloween isn't even celebrated, you did a lot! (More than me over here in America!)

L.T. Elliot said...

That cemetary is just BEAUTIFUL. How charming! I bet that is a real treat to see. What beautiful reverence, huh?

Happy Halloween to you and your family!!

What the Hecklinger?! said...

Way to get festive! It reminded me of how I try to get the most out of celebrating Canada Day and Canadian Thanksgiving here in these United States. Only you did way more. And it was way cooler. Dangit. :)

Liz said...

I love Ewalina's costume - so creative!

Nathan said...

FANTASTIC Jack o' Lantern, Greg!

I miss seeing the cemetaries all lit up. It would be great to be in a private plane that night.

Chief said...

How beautiful!

Kimberly said...

I love that you find ways to celebrate Halloween with your kiddos even though the rest of the country doesn't!

And the cemetery looks incredible. I can just imagine walking through it being dazzled by the lights.

Fairie Queen said...

I think we're going to skip the trick or treating next year and hunt for candy by candlelight, too! That sounds so fun! And the Dio de Muerta (as the Mexicans call it) is tomorrow and, as we have a huge Mexican contingent in our neighborhood, there's talk of a parade downtown tomorrow night. Everyone dresses up like their dearly departed, complete with grotesque masks. Not quite so pretty as those cemeteries.

Jillybean said...

A cemetery in our area does something similar in December, it is spectacular.
Sounds like a fun Halloween. Are they selling Christmas decorations in the stores there right now too?

Kazzy said...

Yeah, it's a bit pagan, but the kids have fun! :)

I may have to steal your pumpkin idea next year... way cute!

Hope your own little pumpkin is coming along... due in December?

charrette said...

I agree about the pagan junk, but it's always fun to dress up! I like the way you've adapted to make something fun and memorable for your children.

The lights in the cemetery are gorgeous...and give such a feeling of hope rather than horror!

Shauna said...

Awesome! Hope you are all well and have a super weekend :)

Heather of the EO said...

There's nothing lazy about your Halloween! So creative and fun. You do more than we do here. We just settle for trick or treating and call it good. Although, I did make hot dog mummies, wrapping the dogs in that crescent stuff and making mustard eyes. Easy peasy. My kind of "creative." :)

gramalee said...

So actually those gruesome suckers and Halloween puns will make sense. Thanks for this great post! xomom

Anne said...

I'm so glad you still celebrate H with your family! And I'm happy Evie took my idea for her costume! Sounds like you weren't so lazy at all!!! That sounded WAY funner than our American Halloween!

Erin said...

It really sounds like you had a fantastic Halloween with your family. That pumpkin is gross/scary/awesome. Sorry you couldn't make it to church, but, like you said, your life is pretty important and a two hour drive with drunk drivers doesn't sound very fun.

Josi said...

That is fascinating! I might prefer that kind of Halloween to the over-commercialized money suck we have here. Not that I'm cynical or anything :-)

Susan said...

Um, I'm glad I'm not in Poland. If that's what a "lazy mom" does. Since all we do is provide costumes and candy, let the ward's trunk or treat, the school's magician/halloween night, and the town trick-or-treating do the rest. Your way sounds honestly so much better Quality there! (How have I not done tissue ghosts with my kids?!?) I'm gonna have to refer back to this post next year and try to emulate you!

Carolyn V. said...

Wow, that is so cool. It's interesting how different cultures celebrate holidays. The lights are beautiful. (p.s. I loved the pumpkin!)

MelancholySmile said...

Sometimes, the simplest of things prove to be the most memorable. I can see 'trick or treating' by candlelight becoming one of those iconic memories for your children. What a lovely image!

And those cemeteries look great, too.

JustRandi said...

That cemetery picture is absolutely magical! I love learning about Poland and the interesting differences. Thanks for these fun posts!!

Melissa Bastow said...

I wouldn't say you did a "lazy mom" Halloween. That sounded quite spectacular. My kids were lucky that we painted their pumpkins before trick-or-treating. Yeah, PAINT, I don't even attempt carving.

And yes, that is a very lovely picture of a cemetary. You would think a day called, "Day of the Dead" would be freaky, but that's down right saintly (minus the drinking...)

Alison Wonderland said...

I wouldn't say lazy either, lazy is handing the kids a pillowcase and telling them not to come back anytime soon. (Also known as the way I do it.)

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I think your pumpkin looks awesome and the cemetery stuff looks fascinating. What a cool tradition.

p.s. I owe you an email. I've had a full plate for a couple weeks and hope to refocus on PIP real soon.

Cynthia said...

The cemetary looks totally magical! I think it's great that you've found ways to celebrate the holiday with your kids, it certainly gives me good perspective.

Terresa said...

Love the pumpkin. And yes, gorgeous cemetery, the proof is in the pic!

Andrea said...

I agree with many others: you are not lazy--you did more than we did and we live in America where it is celebrated! I think we're the ones who are lazy--we have church and school Halloween carnivals, family get-togethers, and kids wear their costumes to school, so maybe we think: why do any more?

Actually, your Halloween sounds a lot less stressful (activities on one day instead of all month) and more fun!

Good job!

Heidi Ashworth said...

Day of the Dead, yes, that's what it's called--and the photo of the cemetary is gorgeous! I fear Halloween would be one of those things I would so much miss in Poland--however, it is always so much work and never as great as I think it's going to be.