Monday, April 06, 2015

Polish Easter

“Sometimes everything has to be inscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you.”

Chris and Lidia: recalled many meories of Polish traditions Polish Easter Customs
Easter observances in Poland actually begin on Ash Wednesday, when pussywillows called in polish "bazie" or "kotki"  are cut and placed in the water.
Growing up, Easter was the worst of times, the best of times. We children were expected to fast as strictly as our parents for Lent. That meant no sweets, no meat on Wednesdays and Fridays, and lots of church services.
The reward for 40 days of "giving things up" was a great feast after Mass on Easter Sunday. As you might expect, a feast takes a lot of preparation so, from Holy Thursday on, our house was busy with kielbasa making babka or chalka baking, egg dying, and lamb cake making.

BBQ Polish Style

Blessing of the Easter Basket Foods
The blessing of the Easter foods is a tradition dear to the hearts of every Polish family. Being deeply religious, they are grateful to God for all His gifts of both nature and grace. As a token of this gratitude, they have the food of their table sanctified with the hope that spring, the season of the Resurrection, will also be blessed by God's goodness and mercy.
Baskets containing a sampling of Easter foods are brought to church to be blessed on Holy Saturday. The basket is traditionally lined with a white linen or lace napkin and decorated with sprigs of boxwood (bukszpan), the typical Easter evergreen.
The blessed foods and their symbolic meanings are:
* Egg (pisanka)—Symbol of life and rebirth.
* Sausage (kielbasa) or ham—All types of pork were forbidden under the dietary code of the Old Testament (Leviticus 11.7). The coming of Christ was seen as exceeding the old law and the dietary items now became acceptable (Mark 7.19).
* Paschal lamb—It can be made of butter, cake or even plaster. It is the centerpiece of the meal. Christ is seen as the "Lamb of God."
* Horseradish/pepper—Symbolize the bitter herbs of the Passover and the Exodus.
* Salt—Joins bread in Polish tradition as a sign of hospitality.
* Bread—Christ has been called "the Bread of Life."
* Vinegar—Symbolizes the gall given to Christ at the crucifixion.
* Wine—Symbolizes the blood of sacrifice spilled by Christ at the crucifixion.