Easter! We in Poland its mark particularly solemn. Of course, traditions vary from region to region, but there is a certain unity in the long run. My family celebrations begin on Thursday. Prior to this, the whole month we fast. It’s not as strict as in the Orthodox Church – in the post we are only on Wednesdays and Fridays, do not eat meat (fish, eggs and dairy products are not prohibited).
After Palm Sunday (by the way, we do not just twigs verbochki and intricate multicolored designs of ears, herbs and dried flowers), it’s time more strict fasting. Grandparents refuse to at this time of the meat. On Thursday, all go to the temple to remember the last supper of Christ.
All Friday – one large preparation for Sunday, time for peace and quiet. The family try not to listen to music and to limit TV viewing, especially insist on it grandparents. The younger generation is still up to such “extreme” does not reach. Moreover, cleaning and cooking without music often resemble real hard labor. This is a real challenge – and otdrait wash all surfaces to shine after a long winter.
On Saturday morning all go to consecrate Easter basket with food. Earlier, a century ago, we sanctify everything that going to eat the next day, but today is the amount of food has decreased and it became symbolic. Who is in the basket must be: diabetes lamb (symbol obedient Lamb of God), a piece of sausage or ham (a symbol of health and prosperity), eggs – colored or simply boiled (symbol of new life and resurrection), salt (a symbol of simplicity and cleansing), horseradish or other sauce with bitter herbs (a symbol of the bitter torment of Christ), bread (symbol of Christ as the bread of life for every Christian), a piece of sweet cake (a symbol of excellence and striving for excellence) and cottage cheese (a symbol of unity and friendship with nature). We also decorate the basket with flowers, herbs, artificial chicks, crocheted napkins … In general, there is already everything is at the mercy of the rich imagination of the faithful.
Since Saturday, the Mass is not only a rite of consecration, all quickly return home to complete the preparation for the holiday. In the morning – usually 6 am – all together go to Sunday Mass, to testify that Christ is truly risen. Mass joyful and solemn, and after it the whole family Sunday breakfast waiting for the magnificent, though, for me, it is more like lunch. Table breaking of dishes: meat, salads, cakes and, of course, white soup (do it on bread). Before you sit down at the table, everyone takes a piece of consecrated eggs and tell each other good wishes.
Normally Sunday – a day for the family and the relatives. And often, people almost do not depart from the table. In my family, not to drink during a party, although I know that not all of these traditions.
Monday – the second day of Easter. This day has retained many pagan traditions. It is also called “Wet Monday” or “schmigus-dyngus” (many anthropologists and linguists are still trying to figure out what happened on this strange combination of words). On this day showering each other with water – which symbolizes the awakening to life – and in every way to make fun of the neighbors. This activity is especially popular with the children.
I remember as a child, I ran with a bucket filled with cold water to throw her friends. However, usually they are faster – their parents, our neighbors, veterinarians worked, and they had access to syringes for large animals … And it was a real weapon of mass destruction of long-range, and besides – many times faster than a bucket. So a water war, I usually lost. And most of the children and then losing the war against the common cold. It is not always the same Easter in a more or less warm season!
I heartily congratulate all Christians has already noted with Happy Easter and Orthodox brothers and sisters wish soon to meet her in the joy and light of the risen Christ!