Today is Easter, but how we celebrate Easter in Poland?

Easter painted eggs
Photo: Painted Easter eggs – Praktyczny Przewodnik – Wikipedia

Easter “Wielkanoc” is celebrated the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring. The tradition is linked to the religion but not only, a part of the rituals are also connected to the pagan traditions. Everybody celebrates this tradition in Poland, regardless of what their religious beliefs may be. 

The Sunday before easter people bring dried flowers to church in reference to the Palm Sunday, the day of the entrance of Jesus in Jerusalem. The week preceding Easter called the “Holy Week” Poles visit representations of the tomb of the Christ, often decorated for the occasion but also repaint their barns or other stuff in a kind of spring cleaning.

The Saturday before Easter Sunday, people paint eggs with a lot of colors and patterns, this tradition comes from the ancient times (5000 years ago). During this day peoples also create Easter baskets blessed at church by the priest and full of food with pisanki, sausages, ham, salt, pepper, cake, bread…

Easter baskets- Vladimir Alexiev – Wikimedia

Easter Sunday is the most important day, Poles go to church very early (6am) for the Resurrection mass and come back at home to share breakfast. Before starting they exchange wishes and Hallelujah. After that, families eat a large range of cold dishes and meats with ham, sausages, roasts meats, eggs, pâté (pasztet), bread… Just after they eat a large selection of cakes: babka (a sweet cake with a hole in the middle), mazurek (a cake with a layer of icing, dried fruits, roasted seeds, almonds, walnuts…) and also sernik (a cheesecake).

Polish Easter table – Katarzyna Javaheri – Wikimedia

On Easter Monday also called Śmigus-Dyngus (Wet Monday), people pour water on other people. In this tradition, the boys must pour the most water as possible on girls, the one that received most amounts of water has more chances to get married.
On the following day, Tuesday, girls would do the same… Nowadays everybody participates in this tradition but this year STAY AT HOME.

Illustration source: The Tichnor Brothers Collection


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