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Archive for May, 2011

In Poland Easter is a big celebration and the schools get six days off (from Good Thursday till the Tuesday after Easter). On Thursday and Friday we clean the house and prepare the food and most people go to church to attend special celebrations. This year on Thursday our church was visited by the bishop, who washed the feet of 12 men in a special ceremony to commemorate Christ’s Last Supper. On Friday we pray in front of an altar of Jesus in prison.

On Saturday we remember Christ being entombed and there is a typically Polish tradition (at least I believe so) of constructing Christ’s tombs in churches. The tradition stems from the time when Poland was partitioned (19th c.) and the tombs were to symbolize the hope for the rebirth of our country. Hence the obligatory patriotic symbols. Every year the tomb is different. This year it boasted a cross resembling the one on the Giewont Mountain. There was a statue of John Paul II too, because today we celebrated his beatification.

There is an even older tradition connected with Good Saturday. We bring to church baskets full of food to be blessed. That’s how a basket like this looks like:

As you can see there are eggs, oranges and a sugar lamb. That’s not all, however. At the bottom there are bread, sausage, bacon, horseradish, butter and salt as well. Everything to be eaten for the Easter Sunday breakfast.

Of course, we have some other delicious things for Easter too and as everybody in my family loves sweets, we always have lots of cakes (five this time).

This year we had many guests on Sunday. So after we returned from a special 6a.m. mass, there came my grandma and my aunt for breakfast and dinner and then my uncle, aunt and cousins for supper. You can imagine what a day it was :)

On Easter Monday we go to church as well, though going out on this day is a dangerous venture. It’s Smigus Dyngus when people pour water on one another. The tradition is probably rooted in pagan times and its origin just as the meaning of the name are not known. This year my sister celebrated the day in the Slovakian way (she studies the Slovakian language) and we got sprayed with perfumes. Fortunatelly, she didn’t beat us with willow twigs, which they do there as well :)

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