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.
Every feast had a very spooky, atmospheric vibe to it.
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.
One of polish most famous poems – ‘Dziady’ by Adam Mickiewicz, describes the mysticism of the celebrations.
And how Halloween was celebrated by your ancestors ?