So, how do folks in Poland celebrate Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ? Here goes from beginning to end…
Most people start out with a good clean of the house especially windows as mentioned in previous posts. Next, comes shopping and decorating and then cooking. Some people go to church on Good Friday. Most people go to church on Saturday for a short service (taking place about every 30 minutes) in which the priest blesses your Easter basket. We did it one year and my basket was disappointingly under-decorated for the event. Here’s an example of a decorated basket for church. You can see why kids love this part.
Some people observe a fast for Friday and Saturday ending with Easter breakfast in which you share the blessed egg from the basket and give each other wishes (something like with the blessed wafer on Christmas Eve). Some folks go to the Resurrection Mass at 6 a.m. on Sunday and others go to ‘normal’ Easter mass later on. After that, the fast is off and most people really eat in earnest – sausages including white sausage, soup with white sausage and hard-boiled eggs, horse-radish sauce, meat, bread, cakes, chocolate bunnies ;) etc. The rest of Sunday is spent resting and visiting family and friends and if the weather permits going for a stroll.
Easter Monday begins as Śmigus-dyngus or lany poniedziałek. That’s where kids squirt parents with water or parents squirt kids with water and teens roam the street squirting or even pouring water on friends and passersby. Some say it is a spring ritual to wash away winter’s dirt. Others say it is a kind of popularity contest for the best girl in the village. I suppose that means the most popular girl will get splashed the most? Easter Monday is a national holiday in Poland and many folks go to church which with the teens and their buckets of water can be a risky proposition.
On Tuesday everything returns to normal (except for our waistlines).
As you can see some people spend their holiday practicing their religion, honoring their traditions and spending time with family and friends. As my sister-in-law who works in odwyk (drug & alcohol re-hab) can tell you, some other people, however, spend their Easter in quite a different way. Just check the drunk-driving statistics for this weekend. More than 1000 drunk drivers were caught by the police. No comment.
Our Easter was (and still is) totally cool. We did the shopping Wednesday and cleaned Friday sans windows. We decorated the house and eggs on Saturday and cooked all our delicious dishes. On Sunday the girls received a few Easter gifts and then we visited family and went to the playground. Now, on Monday we are relaxing at home. It was a nice holiday.
A few pictures…
pickled eggs and ćwikła
Easter cake for the kids
real egg – blown out
real eggs – hard-boiled and decorated by a friend