Here I am, at the end of my second week in Poznan.
I’m growing more and more confident each day with the Polish ways of life. The food is still lovely, the trees are still breath-taking (and still have a few leaves left!!) and the weather is still better than Manchester, although it is getting quite chilly now!
Now I am going to ramble on about various traditions…
I decided this week to bring a bit of Halloween to Poznan. And in return I got a fair few traditions thrown my way! I went to the countryside house with the Polish family again this weekend. I bought a huge pumpkin to carve and sweets for trick or treaters (the two daughters of Kasia). Although Halloween isn’t that popular in Poland, the two girls love it. They were disguised as bats and pumpkins for most of the weekend and sang some halloween songs. They even named their new kitten Halloween! I’m the official cat godmother.
On the 1st of November Poland has All Saint’s Day. This is a day dedicated to remembering deceased family members. I was informed that the usual tradition is to go to the graves of your family and grieve. It is strange going from a day full of fun and hocus pocus to a day filled with sadness. The weather copied the mood for the day and for the first time since I’ve been here, there was a day full of rain.
Now, when you’re trying to explain certain traditions, most can be quite easy. But having to explain bonfire night is one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever had to do. If you think about it, it makes us Brits sound a bit scary! We have one night a year where we throw a fake body on a fire and get really excited by it and celebrate with fire works and treacle toffee. Very weird. It might be a strange occasion, but I love bonfire night, I’m going to miss the madness!
Back to Polish traditions…
Another tradition that I’m absent for is a Poznan based tradition called St Martin’s Day. On the 7th of November you get to eat regale świętomarcińskie, a croissant style pastry filled with almond and poppy seed paste. I’m not sure of the ins and outs of this day but I was told that St Martin helped the people of Poznan and so to celebrate this you eat nice treats. I’ll be in Cameroon on the 7th so I celebrated this slightly early, and yes, the pastry is amazing. But weighs a tonne! The 7th of November is St Martins “Name day”. Last week we celebrated Rafał’s name day with tiramisu and beers. Apparently, Polish people have birthdays and name days, two separate things. Each name has a different day marked on the calendar and this corresponds to past Saints. Another nice Polish tradition.
Too many traditions and not enough time!!!
The highlight of the past week has to be the visit from the archers! Kasia and Rafał are members of an Archery club and on Saturday night the gang arrived. Only one of the girls spoke English and so it was quite a random situation. But when there is wine and food anyone can get along. I am starting to get to grips with understanding the gist of conversations which is good. It was just nice to be around a new group of people.
I’ve not had a boring moment yet!
I’ll be back with another post before my Cameroon adventures. I set off on Sunday!!
Now enough is enough.
Bye for now!