Dziady – traditional, polish Halloween

dziady traditional polish Halloween

As some of you may know, I’m Polish. With halloween quickly approaching, I wanted to share a few words about something called ‘Dziady‘ (translates as ‘forefathers’). ‘Dziady’ was an old slavic tradition. It was celebrated twice a year: in Autumn (on 31st of October) and in the Spring (around 5th of May). Local people organized bonfires, drank, ate and left food for the dead that supposedly joined them after dark. Wooden masks were made to symbolise spirits of the dead.


‘Kraboszki’ – Masks symbolizing spirits of the dead . By Gibich / (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Every feast had a very spooky, atmospheric vibe to it.


See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As it was pagan tradition, it was never accepted by the catholic church. It has been transformed since then and is celebrated as catholic holiday called ‘zaduszki’  (it’s a day after ‘All Saints Day’ and it’s all about remembering those close to us that are no longer here). In some rural areas though, people still celebrate the old version of the holiday.



By Gibich / (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


By Lesza Ślężyńska / (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


By Lesza Ślężyńska / (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

One of polish most famous poems – ‘Dziady’ by Adam Mickiewicz, describes the mysticism of the celebrations.
And how Halloween was celebrated by your ancestors ?











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10 thoughts on “Dziady – traditional, polish Halloween

  1. CREEPY! This is such a scary Halloween!

  2. Thanks for sharing. Love learning about traditions from other countries.
    Sarah Fuller recently posted…65 Things to Grab for Thanksgiving SavingsMy Profile

  3. This is fascinating. I had no idea that this custom was celebrated in Polish history. I enjoyed this look into the origins of the Halloween.
    Ginene Nagel~Fox and Finch Antiques recently posted…Halloween Night SkyMy Profile

  4. […] Dziady – traditional, polish Halloween […]

  5. Nov 1st and Nov 2nd are big Catholic holidays for my family when I was little. In fact, my grandmother still spends both days praying for our loved ones and leaving favorite foods of relatives that have passed on to this day (sort of like a day of the spanish dead celebration but with a TON of prayers). This reminds me of that! Isn’t it interesting that traditions cross cultures so easily?

    Thanks for sharing this with us on #SHINEbloghop this week! It was so lovely of you to join us l:)
    Maria recently posted…What My Daughter Won’t Remember about her ChildhoodMy Profile

    • Yes, it’s very interesting! Different cultures have their own versions of the same/similar holidays. I love it. It reminds me how similar we all are, no matter where we from 🙂

  6. This is a really cool post, I’ve loved learning how others celebrate holidays around the world, it’s really interesting. I have no idea how my ancestors celebrated, I only hope it’s half as exciting as yours!!!
    Nikki Frank-Hamilton recently posted…Changed, if we are lucky enough, we become better.My Profile

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