Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter time in Poland

This morning we were surprised by a knock at our
door at 7:30 am.

Standing there was our neighbor from
across the hall and

she was carrying this lovely
dish with hand-painted eggs.

We've never really known too much about
olish Easter
so I decided to do a little bit of research.

Of course since Poland is definitely Catholic----
Easter begins with Ash Wednesday and Lent.
Pussy willows are collected prior to Holy Week,
the week between Palm Sunday and Easter, and are
brought to the church for a blessing.
Some of the older

generation believe that it is
good luck to eat

one of the buds of the pussy willow.
On the Saturday preceding Easter,
people are seen

everywhere taking their decorated
baskets to the church for

another symbolic blessing. This time
they take a sampling

of foods, similar to the one seen here.
This food remains

untouched until Easter morning.
The egg symbolizes new life.

The flowers painted on the egg stand for love
and charity. The bread is symbolic
of Christ---
the bread of life,
and the sausage is representative

of the changes in the old law that occurred
at the advent of Christ.

Before the Easter breakfast, it is common
to cut wedges of
the hardboiled eggs and
share them with loved ones.

As you do so, you wish them health and

for the rest of the year.

Easter mass is celebrated on Sunday morning.
Today, the bells
pealed for 30 minutes and the priests and
congregation circled the church three times.
One of the most fun traditions is "Wet Monday".
This is the day following Easter when
everyone looks for a reason to sprinkle (or douse)
water on each other. I'm not sure where this
tradition started (or why), but I'll probably
be sure and stay home tomorrow. Some say that
you will have good luck if you are sprinkled,
but I think I'll take my chances.

1 comment:

LisAway said...

We always (except two Easters ago when Aaron was born (Easter morning) visit Greg's parents for the Easter break and we go with them to their church for the blessing. all the baskets are placed on a long low table and everyone is surrounding it. The priest talks a little about Easter and then pronounces the blessing and sprinkles the baskets with holy water. It's kind of neat. Also, in Greg's parent's church they have a replica of the tomb with Christ laying in it for the three days and on Sunday when people come to church the tomb is empty. I like that.

We also do the egg wedge blessing thing (which is similar to the Christmas opłatek or wafer).

Also, when we were first married and living in America I would dye our eggs the old Polish way, with onion skins. You can get them all shades of brown, and skins of red onions work great, too. Not so colorful and fun as American (and now Polish) dyed ones, but I really like the feel of them.

Thanks for sharing these traditions. I think I should have written a post about it instead of writing it all here! :)