Lexicon of Polish cultural connotation: S – All Souls Day vs Halloween2010/11/03 17:11:00 Written by EwaMaslowska
In spite of the differences of the celebration there is something in common as it has been developed on the believes in the spiritual continuation of the life after a physical depth. In the very past people believed in the influence of the souls on their life. That is why the celebrations were kind of sacrificial feast.
In numerous Christian countries, especially in those belonging to the Eastern Church, there is still a custom of having a feast on the ancestor’s graves. Some of the food is left for the souls.
In Mexico there is a similar habit, but the ceremony became a big colourful festival. There is something similar in the way Halloween is celebrated in USA and in many other West European countries as it is focused on fun – like the festival.
In contrary to Halloween, in Poland it is a day of nostalgy and memory of those who have left. All people visits the cemeteries with flowers and candles. In the evening millions of the flames enlightens the cemeteries and there are still a lot of people there. The TV and Radio programs are devoted into the memory of the famous people who have already left. This year we have unusually big number of victims.
Intercultural contacts change the situation. Young people also arrange Halloween parties, but the next day they spend visiting the cemeteries like their parents. The tradition is very strong in Poland.