October 31 is Halloween in many countries. This custom known in Anglo-Saxon countries is also gaining popularity in Poland. Observing the assortment and interior design of stores in the last days of October, one can have the impression that it has permanently entered the Polish landscape and is gladly celebrated by Poles. Havas Media Group has checked how Poles really approach Halloween.

Picture: Julia Raasch / Unsplash

Do they celebrate or not?

Celebrating Halloween is not very popular among Poles. Active participation is declared by less than 20% of respondents (18.6%). Celebrating this custom is primarily popular among young Poles. In the group of people aged 18-24, active participation in Halloween was declared by 31.6%. Among the oldest respondents over 55, this percentage was 8%.

The most popular way to celebrate Halloween is to decorate your home or apartment. Every second person who actively participates in Halloween will do this. Some people will spend the day watching horror movies or going to a themed party. Less than 20% of Poles will also accompany their children collecting candies.

Although the subjects themselves do not actively participate in the celebration of various Halloween customs, they see that it is an attractive day for the youngest. Over half of Poles (51.8%) surveyed indicated that Halloween is just fun for children and teenagers.

Quite a large percentage of Poles see in their immediate surroundings children and young people actively participating on this day. 46.3% of respondents indicated that they see children in their immediate area who visit houses in disguise during Halloween and collect candies. 30% declared that they will prepare for the visit of those children by buying a supply of candies to hand out and putting up decorations.

A significant percentage of respondents see in their immediate surroundings children celebrating Halloween. Despite this, only 17.6% of parents declare that their children take an active part in various activities related to this day.

The most popular form of celebrating Halloween is cutting and decorating a pumpkin – more than 60% of parents of children celebrating Halloween indicated this.

Picture: Bekir Dönmez / Unsplash

Slightly less than half of the parents indicated that their children will collect candies on this day or will take part in Halloween games organized by kindergartens or schools.

The attitude of Poles to Halloween

For 44.6% of Poles, the growing popularity of Halloween in Poland is a neutral phenomenon – it has neither positive nor negative overtones. Respondents perceive this day primarily as:

• good fun (45.4%),
• a great opportunity to have fun and change – to spend the day in a different way than usual (48.1%).

Picture: NeONBRAND / Unsplash

Many Poles evaluate Halloween in terms of purely entertainment, but the disadvantages of this holiday are also noticed. For most, this day has a purely commercial dimension. Respondents see that this is another opportunity for stores and brands that want to increase sales in this way.

Some Poles also believe that we should not celebrate this holiday. Celebrating native traditions related to All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day should be much more important to us.

However, it is difficult to say unequivocally whether Poles are afraid of popularizing Halloween. In the study, 41.8% of adult Poles declared that Halloween was crowding out our native traditions and disrupting the mood of All Saints’ Day. 43.1% of respondents do not have such fears.

Although some Poles positively assess Halloween and take an active part in it, celebrating native traditions does not lose popularity and importance. Nearly 90% of respondents declared that they were going to visit the graves of loved ones on the occasion of All Saints.

About the study

The Havas Media Group study was conducted by a nationwide online research panel on a representative sample of adult Poles N = 1060 in October 2019.

• methodology: CAWI
• target group: All 18+

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