Polish Easter. Sinking of Marzanna.
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Winters in Poland were long and unforgiving. Therefore people are longing for spring. One of the ancient and pagan habits that supposedly was helping to get rid of winter was "sinking of Marzanna". Kids made a doll from old grass and tree branches and take it to the river. They burn the doll and throw her into the river. The symbolic meaning of this ceremony is to get rid of winter therefore it is performed in early spring.
Easter is very important for Polish people from the religious point of view, as Poland is a very Catholic country. It is preceded, according to the religious tradition, by the Lent, which lasts for 40 days.
The Thursday before Ash Wednesday is celebrated as Fat Thursday - TlustyCzwartek . On this is the day when you forget about your diet and eat mountains of donuts (paczki) and all the other things fat, greasy, sweet, full of cholesterol, generally unhealthy, and mmmmm.... delicious.
Palm Sunday niedzielapalmowa is called also The Sunday of the Lord's Passion. Here we will focus mainly on the tradition of Polish palms
The most popular palms that people usually carry to the church are made of blooming pussy willows branches called bazie or kotki decorated with branches of birch, raspberry, currant and also some boxwood bukszpan, dry flowers and grass, ribbons and other decorations. In the Catholic Church the willow (Polish: wierzba) symbolizes the resurrection and the immortality of the soul.
The Easter eggs are symbols of fertility and beginning of the new life. Some of the eggs were painted in traditional Polish folk patterns. These eggs were called "pisanki". Word "pisanki" comes from the root-word meaning "to write". Painting eggs is a multi-layered process of writing on an egg with hot beeswax, dying the egg, then finally melting and rubbing off the egg for a finished product.
Easter Saturday in Poland is a busy day. Every Polish family visits a church with a basket full of food products (a piece of bread, salt, sausage, egg - usually painted etc). Especially children love it! The baskets are then blessed by a priest.
The butterlamb (Baranek wielkanocny) is a traditionaladdition to the EasterMeal for manyPolishCatholics. Butterisshapedinto a lambeither by handor in a lamb-shapedmould. It isalso sold atdelis, Polish specialty markets, and somegeneralgrocery stores atEastertime.
Frequently the eyesarerepresented by peppercorns and a Polish flag on a toothpickisplaced on itsback.
is a traditionalPolishsausagemade from veryfinelymincedveal and freshporkbacon.
Mazurek - traditional, sweet cake of the Polish cuisine. Mazurek is being baked in the period of the Easter. They are being made out of pastes of different kind: brittle, sponge, pasta, marzipan and is interleaving with mass, the preserve and jam. The surface is decorated with the icing, fruit, nuts and dried fruit. Mazurek can be baked in different shapes - oval, triangular, square or rectangular.
Makowiecis a traditional Polish cake usually baked around Easter. The cake consists of dough with a filling of poppy seeds, raisins, milk, butter, orange peel and nuts such as walnuts or almonds. The cake can be finished with a glaze made of powdered sugar and lemon juice
It is a spongy yeast cake that is traditionally baked for Easter Sunday. Traditional babka has some type of fruit filling, especially raisins, and is glazed with a fruit-flavored icing, sometimes with rum added. Modern babka may be chocolate or have a cheese filling.
SmigusDyngus (shming-oos-ding-oos) is an unusual tradition of Easter Monday. This day (Monday after Easter Sunday) is called also in Polish "Wet Monday", in Polish: "MokryPoniedzialek" or "LanyPoniedzialek". Easter Monday is also a holiday in Poland. It was traditionally the day when boys tried to drench girls with squirt guns or buckets of water.
Halina April 2014