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
Polish Easter traditions,
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.