Easter weekend – the Polish tradition…
For the last few years any major holidays were bringing shivers to my back. Not because I don’t like them, because I really do, but since both my parents past away it was very difficult to embrace the beauty and purpose of it. Christmas and Easter are all about family gatherings, enjoying each others company and cherishing traditions. I was torn and guilty. On the one hand I really wanted to introduce my kids to those beautiful traditions I grew up with and on the other any attempt of bringing it to our home was simply too painful. This year was the first time in 10 years when finally I was able to celebrate the Easter the way I used to with my parents. The tradition is so beautiful and seeing my kids excited, curious and fully involved made this wonderful time even more special.
Holy Saturday starts with putting together an Easter Basket ( Swieconka) with food that is taken to the church for blessing. It includes eggs, sausage, salt and pepper, bread and a small lamb statue ( made of sugar or cake) all with symbolic meanings. The kids decorated eggs on Thursday creating one of a kind work of art – Pisanki which looked so beautiful in the basket. After retuning home the food is placed in a designated place and remains untouched until Sunday morning.
On Sunday morning we had a festive breakfast. We shared the blessed food, exchanged good wishes and after that special moment we were officially allowed to enjoy all the delicious foods prepared for this wonderful occasion. In Poland the celebration lasts through Easter Monday called ” Water plunge Monday” or “Smigus Dyngus” where traditionally boys were pouring water on girls making them soaking wet. This joyful activity is specially anticipated by kids and quite fun if the weather is nice and warm. Not to my surprise, Maria decided fully embrace also this tradition and since here in Canada Monday is a regular working day for most people she made sure to get up early enough to make us wet before Mike left to work:)
“Swieconka” Easter basket
the food blessing takes place every half an hour and each time the table is completely filled with baskets. It is nice to see that so far from my home country there are so many people keeping the tradition alive
eggs, sausage, bread, salt and pepper, lamb blessed and ready to be shared along with the best Easter wishes:)