Halloween in Poland: painting pumpkins, not carving them

Painted squash for sale from Wroclaw, Poland.

Painted squash for sale from Wroclaw, Poland.

 

Painted Polish pumpkins and finding a baker in Wroclaw that makes deliciously sweet gluten-free cakes: now that’s what I call a Sunday afternoon.

Siren make of pumpkins!

Siren made of pumpkins!

A few blocks from me is the Botanical Gardens (Ogród Botaniczny) and this past weekend, they had a pumpkin festival. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was delighted— painted pumpkins, both cute and scary, as well pumpkin flavored treats and warm cider. As it was one of the last warm afternoons of autumn, it was a great was to enjoy the day, and was interesting culturally.

Pumpkin pancakes.

Pumpkin pancakes.

Now that's scary!

Now that’s scary!

It also gave me a bit more insight into how Poles feel about Halloween, something I first It appears to be complicated, as some traditions, like decorating with pumpkins, are embraced. However, as Poland is still quite Catholic and conservative, the holiday is hardly embraced by everyone.

Pretty cool...

Pretty cool…

Bonus: I found a baker who does amazing gluten-free cake. I should say, cakes. They had cheesecake (blueberry and raspberry!) several kinds of chocolate cake… and best of all, they were very nice about my halting Polish. Instead of a blank stare, they just gave me a free sample of orange glaze cake (made with chickpea flour) and I immediately bought this chocolate and hazelnut cake.

Gluten-free cake, along with a neat pumpkin ornament.

Gluten-free cake, along with a neat pumpkin ornament.

They don’t have a store, sadly, but each Sunday they’re at this market. I know what I’m doing next Sunday…

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