Traditions across Europe-an eTwinning project

“Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, TRADITION and myth frame our response.” (Arthur Schlesinger Jr.)

Polish manners in the past and today. What we know about the past. November 24, 2008

Filed under: life in the past — ligregni @ 5:47 pm

In the past Sarmatians…

strongly valued social and family ties. Women were treated with honour and gallantry. Conversations were one of the favourite preoccupations. Guests were always welcomed – relatives, friends, even strangers, especially from abroad. Latin was widely spoken. Sumptuous feasts with large amount of alcohol were organised. Male quarrels and fighting during such events were quite common. At the parties the polonaise, mazurka, and oberek were the most popular dances. Honour was of prime relevance. Men lived longer than women, they also got married later. Marriage was described as ‘deep friendship’. Men often travelled a lot (to the Sejms, Sejmiki, indulgences, law courts, or common movements). Women stayed at home and took care of the property, livestock and children. Although large numbers of children were born, many of them died before reaching maturity. Girls and boys were brought up separately, either in the company of women or men. Suing, even for really irrelevant things was common, but in most cases a compromise was reached. (from

What do we think about manners in the past and today?

I think in the past people had better mannners. For example, nobility and knights when they were fighting, they respected their rival. People also knew many foreign cute languages.

by Magda

In my opinion in the past women were treated in a different way and they behaved differently. They looked like ladies, behaved like ones so they were respected.

by Laura

In the past people had better mannners than now, e.g. they were more polite, they were greeting everyone, men kissed women’s hands and people had more respect for eleders. Today teenagers are vulgar and htey have no respect for others. They don’t want to study, they cheat and play truant. There is no toleration for people with other skin colours and religions, even disabled people are discriminated against.

by Kasia

In the past situation was better. People were obeying rules. Honour and nobility were the most important. It is great to read about nobles.

I think good manners are very important in our lives. You should treat everyone in a way that you want to be treated.
Nowadays people are becoming too confident. They think the world is theirs. They don’t care about others. Teenagers are trying to show their strength by being rude.

by Zuzia

In the past people (especially nobility) had different manners from ours. A noble was helpful and not prejudiced.

by Karolina

Nowadays people are not as tolerant or polite as they were in the past.
In the contemportary world people are different than in the past. Today’s teenagers don’t obey the rules. They are rude and nasty to other people.

Most of good manners are still appreciated, but presently people aren’t as polite and tolerant as in the past.

by Julia

In our granfathers’ times people were more polite, they were very helpful, even to strangers. In the 19th century in (Polish) houses children did the housework, they didn’t argue about it with their parents. They didn’t smoke, drink and weren’t sexually active at young age.

Teenage boys were really nice for girls, they treated them like ladies.

by Małgosia

class 3, Gimnazjum nr 18, Gdańsk, Poland


2nd November – All Souls Day in Polish tradition (with pagan roots) and literature

Filed under: Old traditions — ligregni @ 4:47 pm

The 2nd November is a special occasion to pray for our family and for those that died but are still in purgatory waiting to be able to enter heaven.

The masses are held in churches just on the 1st November.

A Polish great poet and writer, Adam Mickiewicz, described this day in his book entitled “Dziady”. “Dziady” in English has a meaning of “grandfathers” or “forefathers” or just old men. The day was actually called Dziady in the past in Poland. It is an old tradition with pagan roots celebrated in the area of Eastern Poland, Belarus and Lithuania about four times a year.

According to Mickiewicz, common peopl were gathering in abandned houses or chapels near the cemeteries with food and drinks for the souls. The souls were then summoned back and their life and deeds were discussed and judged according to the folk wisdom. People were judged not only for what they did but also for what they didn’t do, failed to do or for what they lacked.

by Natalia, Sandra and Martyna

Gimnazjum nr 18, Gdańsk


30th November in Poland – St Andrew’s Night

Filed under: Old traditions — ligregni @ 4:16 pm

It is a special day. On this day we celebrate a tradition of future telling, especially for non married girls.

This event, in Polish called Andrzejki, has been celebrated in Poland since the turn of 16 and 17th centuries. The main purpose of Andrzejki celebrations is to predict the future of an unmarried girl, especially her prospects of finding a good relationship. Young men also celebrate a similar event on St Catherine’s night, but it is not as popular as Andrzejki and some people have never heard about it.

Some of the rituals on the Andrzejki night:

  • pouring melted wax through a key into a bowl of cold water, (the shadows created this way help guess the future) it must be dark in the room and there can be only a candle light, of course it adds to the atmosphere of the evening.

  • pieces of paper with male first names are put on the edges of the bowl filled with water. A candle in the middle of it will burn one of the pieces first thus telling the name of a future husband .

  • three cups flipped upside down, under them a wedding ring, a small cross and a green plant are put. Who choses the ring will have a happy marriage, a cross will bring a life in monastery and the green plant is predicting the unmarried life.
  • tossing shoes of girls, shoes are arranged one after another along the wall and moved gradually one after another in the direction of the door. The first pair on the doorstep will belong to the girl who will get married as first.

by Aleksandra, Filip and Nikola

In Poland we eat everyday meals on this day, we know in Scotland people eat fish because st Andrew was a fisherman (st. Andrew is the patron of Scotland).

On this day we sometimes have a pyjama party. We can eat chips and drink piccolo and watch horror films.

by Agnieszka, Marta, Klaudia and Asia

Gimnazjum nr 18, Poland


11th November – Poland’s Independence Day (Dzień Niepodległosci) and Saint Martin croissants

Filed under: Traditional recipes — ligregni @ 3:37 pm

In Polish cities, on 11th November (Polish Independence Day, a national holiday, the anniversary of regaining independence in 1918), a well known saint, Saint Martin, is celebrated – all people traditionally eat Saint Martin croissants, tons of croissants each year are eaten.

Unlike French croissants, they are crescent-shaped sweetrolls with poppyseed-almond filling.

I have found the recipe for the croissants at .

“Makes 16 St. Martin’s Day Croissants

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • Dough:
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (not rapid rise)
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) melted lukewarm butter
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • .
  • Filling:
  • 1 (12-ounce) can poppyseed filling
  • 1 (12-ounce) can almond filling
  • .
  • Glaze:
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water, more or less
  • 2 ounces toasted sliced almonds


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine yeast, milk, and 1 tablespoon sugar until yeast has dissolved.
  2. Add egg yolks, confectioners’ sugar and butter to bowl and mix. Add flour and knead thoroughly until dough is smooth and starts to blister, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide in half. Working with one dough half at a time, roll each into a 1/4-inch thick circle. Using a pizza wheel or nonserrated pastry cutter, cut into 8 pie-shaped wedges.Note: Instead of 16 individual crescents, you can make two large crescents.
  4. In a medium bowl, thoroughly combine poppyseed and almond filings. Place 1 tablespoon filling at the wide edge of the triangle and roll away from you. Place, point side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet forming into a crescent shape. Repeat with the remaining triangles. Repeat wth remaining half of dough. Cover with plastic and let crescents rise until doubled.
  5. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake croissants about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely. Combine confectioners’ sugar and enough water to make a runny glaze. Frost crescents and sprinkle with toasted sliced almonds. Great with hot tea or coffee.”

The croissants are so tasty people also prepare them before and after the day.

By class 1, Gimnazjum nr 18, Gdańsk, Poland