Traditionally the most important Christian festival, Easter is celebrated throughout the world with immense zeal and enthusiasm. The holiday not only observes Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead, but also marks the beginning of the spring season. One of the most celebrated holidays in Poland, Easter talks of food, decorations, church going and other rituals as part of Polish Easter traditions. The celebrations are not restricted to Easter Sunday, as they are carried forward for more than a week. Right from Palm Sunday to Wet Monday, religious rites and practices are prominent in Poland.
Poland is known all over the world for its faith in Orthodox Christianity. Hence, the country celebrates Easter in a very conventional style, mainly adhering to the traditional ways. Almost the entire populace of the country believes in Orthodox Christianity, which is the reason for religious practices proceeding in the same fashion in all parts of the country. In Poland, Easter celebrations start off with Holy Saturday with the preparation the 'Blessing Basket'. Colorful eggs, bread, cake, salt, paper and white colored sausages are laid nicely in this basket.
The basket is then taken to the church, to receive the blessings from the priest. Polish people believe that the forty days of fast, observed during the Lent period, are not over until the basket is blessed. On Palm Sunday, Polish people take palm branches and twigs, which symbolize Christ's entry into Jerusalem, to the church. These twigs and branches are, then, blessed and used for curing sick domestic animals and blessing pregnant women.
Later, the palm branch is replaced by a raspberry or willow branch, which is decorated with ribbons, flowers and leaves. A popular belief in Poland is that by consuming a willow catkin from a blessed branch, a person would be blessed with good health and luck. The ritual of 'Watering' remains the heart of the customary Easter practice in Poland. In it, every Polish citizen splashes water on one another. It is believed to bring along good health.
On Easter, the entire family gathers at the breakfast table, decorated with green leaves, with a sugar lamb placed at the center. After wishing each other happiness and good luck, the family members relish the Easter feast blessed by the priest. Some of the popular dishes are 'Beet and Horseradish Relish Cwikla', 'Gypsy Mazure Mazurek Cyganski', 'Raisin Mazurek Mazurek Rodzynkami' and 'Mazurek Royale Mazurek Krolewski'. The day after Easter is observed as the 'Switching Day' in Poland, wherein boys swat their girlfriends with a small willow branch. On Easter Tuesday, the girls strike the boys back. These special rituals performed make the festival very unique in Poland.
Easter celebration in Poland takes place in a traditional manner. Go through the article, to know more about the religious practices.