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Easter in EuropeStory: Easter customs in Poland
Posted on Sunday, May 01 @ 13:32:07 CDT
Topic: Easter in Europe

The preparation for the celebration in Poland starts one week before the Easter Sunday.

The preparation for the celebration in Poland starts one week before Easter Sunday. It is called the Palm Sunday and it is an introduction to the Great Week. On this day people go to church to bless palms, which are the symbol of Jesus’ arrival to Jerusalem, when its citizens were throwing palms to his donkey’s feet. During all the Great Week people send Easter cards to each other wishing a happy Easter time.

The first day of Easter is the Great Thursday. This day is celebrated mainly by priests, because on this day Christ established two important sacraments. On Thursday we bake some yeast and cheese cakes, sort of Easter cakes.

The Great Friday is the day of Jesus’ death and his funeral. Believers adorate and kiss the cross. In many cities in Poland people go out of the church to participate in the Passion. The bells don’t ring in any church, there is silence. On this day we don’t eat meat and we have only three meals during that day (light breakfast and dinner, full lunch). People who believe in God go to the church.

The next day is the Great Saturday. In the morning we paint and scrape eggs (there are a lot of techniques) and then we go to church to bless a basket full of food (colorful eggs, bread, sausages, salt, pepper, sweets, horse-radish and a statuette of lamb). In some areas of Poland people also search for chocolate Easter eggs in the garden. In the evening the fire and the water are blessed in the church. In front of the church we set a big fire and people take this “light” to their homes, because it is a symbol of wealth. Some believers stay for the night prayer on the Christ’s grave, which is guarded from Friday to the Resurrection. In some churches the Resurrection takes place at midnight and in other at six o’clock on Sunday morning.

On Easter Sunday in the morning we eat blessed food and share it with the whole family. Everyone should taste everything that is in the basket. The head of the family wishes everybody happiness, health and luck. After breakfast we go to the church and celebrate Resurrection of Jesus. On this day families meet for the common meal.

Monday is the second day of Easter and it is called Wet Monday. For foreigners it is dangerous to go out, because children and teenagers water everybody around with buckets full of cold water. In the past this tradition was observed in the mountains: boys watered girls, because a girl, who hadn’t been watered didn’t get married J

All images from the book “Zwyczaje i Obrzedy - Rok Polski” released by Podlesik Raniowski i Spolka under redaction of Renata Hryn-Kusmierek

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