Happy Easter! How Easter is celebrated 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 their religion.

The Sunday before Easter people bring dried flowers to the church in reference to the Palm Sunday, the day of the entrance of Jesus in Jerusalem. The week prior to Easter called the “Holy Week”, Poles visit representations of the tomb of the Christ, often decorated 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… On this day, supermarkets, shops and malls usually close at noon.

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 in recent years this tradition has suffered in respect of water resources.

Illustration source: The Tichnor Brothers Collection

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s