31st October and 1st November in Gdańsk. Traditional or modern way?
Despite the global trends, Polish people are still sceptical about Halloween. Our domestic tradition included a rite called “Dziady”, which is a Polish word for “Grandfathers”, cherished centuries ago. It is the day of hosting the souls of the dead and earning their favour. We also celebrate the 1st November – All Saints’ Day and the 2nd November – All Souls’ Day, the time of reflection, afterthoughts and memories. In Gdańsk, the old and the new traditions intertwine.
In spite of the relatively short tradition of Halloween, visitors who come to Gdańsk for a long weekend can count on special, pumpkin menu in restaurants and attractions with ghosts and horror, all of that taken with a pinch of salt. After all, it is a custom practiced almost all over the world. Those who celebrate, dress up in ghostly outfits on the night of 31st October, and children are trick-or-treating.
Is celebration in Poland similar to other countries? Polish people are sceptical about this custom probably because it caught on recently. However, “Dziady” was celebrated here centuries ago. It included hosting the souls of the dead and earning their favour, mostly for fertility and harvest. Today the rite is forgotten and rarely practiced. On the other hand, the most important day is the holiday celebrated on 1st November – All Saints’ Day which is a ceremony in honour of the dead who attainted salvation. On this day, almost everyone visits cemeteries and the graves of their loved ones and lights a symbolic candle. It is the day of reflection and memories. 2nd November is very similar – in All Souls’ Day we commemorate all the dead.
How to spend Halloween in Gdańsk? We have a few proposals for you.
Hard Rock Cafe
Since 27th October in Hard Rock Cafe restaurant the real Halloween marathon will take place. The marathon will be finished on 31st October. On top of that, spooky decorations, terribly delicious cocktails and a concert on Tuesday, 31st October.
Frightening marathon in the Helios Cinema network.
For Halloween, the Night Film Marathon poses a hellishly difficult dilemma for horror fans. There are two nights and two sets of films to choose, which include 8 terrifying horrors! Which set will you be brave enough for?
Tribute to the dead
This unusual concert, which is a tribute to the dead, will begin on 31st October, at 9 p.m. at Wydział Remontowy (Plac Solidarności). It’ll be a great opportunity to hear the songs of late artists such as: Nirvana, The Doors, David Bowie or Elvis Presley.
How about VHS for Halloween? This is what B90 club and VHS Hell group prepared for you. 31st October, at 6:30 p.m., on Elektrycy Street the showing of horrors from forgotten video tapes will begin. This time the programme will include two “superproductions” of “gore film”: Frankenhooker and Slime City. Special effects, particularly in the second film, will make you laugh derisively but this is the atmosphere of VHS Halloween.
Halloween party at BUNKIER
The club and gallery BUNKIER invites you to a frighteningly atmospheric party. Amazing fun, the best DJs, delicious “bloody” cocktails and Halloween’s scary burger. Halloween at Bunkier is not only fun but also plenty of prizes for the best costumes.
The details concerning the party are available HERE.
When the fun’s over, there is also time for a moment of reflection...
If you are in Gdańsk and you’d like to light a symbolic candle to commemorate the dead, we recommend visiting the Cemetery of Lost Cemeteries, which is located near the path leading to Góra Gradowa and around the Corpus Christi Church. It commemorates the cemeteries of all faiths, destroyed after World War II. The incredible atmosphere is especially tangible on Tuesday night, when thousands of burning voting candles will illuminate the dark cemeteries. It is worth remembering that this is the day of reflection for everyone, so most shops (including shopping centres) will be closed. As well as the Gdańsk museums.