Polish Easter Traditions

Did you know, that not Christmas with a bunch of gifts and Santa, but the Resurrection Sunday is the most important and the most joyful catholic feast? Also known as Easter, it begins with the Holy Week, although we start to prepare much earlier. Easter is also full of interesting customs that are not necessarily related to the religion.

Cleaning

You must have heard that in the spring the house must shine. We clean windows and floors, wash the curtains, dust the places where usually nobody ever looks, and everything in order to chase away diseases and evil, and of course to welcome the awakening nature. From the religious point of view, we also clean our souls to let the Christ in our pure hearts.

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Palms

Palm Sunday is the day when we bring to churches willow branches, boxwood, flowers and herbs, all decorated with colourful feathers. Blessed palms bring luck and protect from meanness of our neighbours. According to the old traditions, swallowing a catkin of the willow blesses you with health and money.

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Basket

Basically, you can put there everything, but don’t forget about “lamb”, bread and salt, white sausages and eggs. The lamb is usually made of butter and symbolizes Christ, bread and salt are symbols of love, prosperity and sustainability, and sausages in the basket mean that the Lent is over. The most famous symbol of Easter is egg – colourful symbol of life.

In the cities, you would rather see the minimalist version of it, so you should definitely visit an old traditional Polish village to see how the real Easter basket looks like (with various types of bread, meat, sausages, spices, herbs and lots of coloured Easter eggs, all that covered with snow-white napkins and decorated with willow branches and flowers).

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Eggs

At Easter we don’t give presents, but children definitely won’t get bored. Not only painting eggs is a great entertainment. We hide Easter eggs in gardens or homes, and children have to find as many of them as they can. To keep the spirit of competition, there are some small sweets next to the eggs. There is also some real sport – running with an egg on a spoon. It’s not so simple, try not to drop it!

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Water

Be afraid of the Easter Monday, because a bucket of cold water may be poured on you! Previously, the tradition concerned only pouring virgins, with the saying that they have a better chance to get married. However, married women were also at risk, because obviously water is increasing their fertility… Currently the Wet Monday is about dousing everyone and everything with… everything.

I assure you, it’s a great fun… or maybe you better stay at home and have another piece of Easter cake? 🙂

 

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[Polski]

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