Polish traditions: Easter

I need to share two things with you: first one is that I nearly packed my stuff and this means I found some time for blogging :) The second – on Friday I will be already in Poland – working a bit, but also – enjoying our celebrations – Easter!

Poland is considered to be a catholic country. Or at least this is what I see during the celebrations like Easter or Christmas. People go to churches, meet with their families and celebrate…ok, what they celebrate?

If person is very religious, he or she definitely celebrates the resurection of Jesus. But most of the people, let’s call them “kind of religious”, just celebrate the time with their families. There are a lot of Poles who are abroad and if they only have a chance – they go to Poland to see their families. And yes, I will be one of those this year :)

Typically, the most important two days of Easter are Sunday and Monday. Sunday is considered to be a first day of Easter and Monday – the second one. There are actually things that lead into those two, so I think I should start with this one.

Of course there are many local variations of the traditions, but in case of my family – it is rather simple. I think the most noticeable period for the preparations to Easter is between Easter Sunday and the Sunday before.

A Sunday before is called “A palm Sunday” and it’s not about the palm trees at all. This Sunday people go to the church to Christen the palms. Palm can be just a twig or something that is not really a flower or a tree. After it is christened, it is brought home and stays there till it dies. Sometimes even a few years. This is symbolic as people welcomed Jesus with palms and they are a symbol of big things happening. Nevertheless, even though it is more symbolic, there are also contests in Poland for “the tallest” or “the most beautiful” palm.

Now there is a “Good week” – the most important is Good Friday and Easter. It’s because on Good Friday Jesus was crucified. On Sunday – he resurrected. And that is why we start Easter with a breakfast on Sunday. Before, from Friday till Sunday morning we do not eat meat. Also, some people do not eat anything till we have the next tradition completed – on Saturday.

On Saturday at my house we are doing two things: one is to go to the church to Christen the Easter Basket. Easter Basket consists of eggs, sausage (kiełbasa), bread and salt and pepper that we will share on Sunday morning. That is the tradition which does not allow my family to eat before the basket reaches home. Fortunately, christening of baskets start early in the morning and usually, it is done every 30 minutes. We also colour the eggs creating so-called pisanki. Pisanki is a common name for all the coloured Easter eggs. They can be just one colour or they can have different styles of decorations, like these ones: (picture from czasdzieci.pl)


Pisanki always decorate our home, they might be in the kitchen or on the main table. Does not matter – they are at home. When I was little, we also had a “pisanki fight” – when each person got one egg and the one that was broken – loses. Then we ate the eggs of course.

In my family, Easter Breakfast is rather simple. We have just a few meals, without any crazy, complex dishes. This is our table from few years ago:

mini-2013-03-31 09.44.02 (2)mini-2013-03-31 09.46.52 (2)

After we are done with “normal” food, we also have a lot of cake… like on every celebration ;)

 mini-2013-03-31 15.31.13 (2)

Easter Monday is considered to be a day where we cover each other with water. Yes, I know it makes just little sense, but that is how it is :) I am not a fan of it as sometimes it gets a bit violent. The tradition (called śmigus-dyngus or lany poniedziałek) was first used as a celebration for end of winter and start of spring. Then it was used to show the respect to the single girls… who have been covered in water that day. If a single girl was not covered in water, she felt offended. Maybe I am too modern, but I just don’t get it. Anyway, this is how Euronews covered it some time ago ;)

In my family we do not practice it. But if we do, it’s just a symbolic drop of water to wake the other person up. We do not get wet from head to toes.

Hopefully your Easter, does not matter how and when you celebrate it, will be full of smiles and positive emotion! Happy Easter to all celebrating it now :)


2 thoughts on “Polish traditions: Easter

  1. Oh my goodness, I never heard of this throwing the water -tradition. I have to say, I would not be too happy to be drenched in water! Your Easter celebrations look fun – enjoy :)


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