Easter in Poland
The forty-days period of Lent starts after so called “Śledzik” or “Ostatki” – the last Tuesday before Lent. On Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent, people go to church and ash is sprinkled on their head.
Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday when people go to church with branches of small palms, called in Poland “bazie”. Every year in some places there are contests on the most beautiful or the longest palm.
On Good Friday, which is a celebration of Jesus’ crucifixtion, people are not allowed to eat meat. On Easter Saturday the Christians take baskets full of coloured eggs, ham, sausage, bread and cakes and go to the church to have the food blessed. In the basket there is also salt, pepper, horseradish and a butter lamb. Everything is decorated with branches of cowberry.
On Easter Sunday all families gather at the traditional Easter breakfast. They eat blessed food, a lot of ham, sausages, eggs and cakes. The traditional Easter cakes are “mazurek” and “babka”.
Easter Monday is connected with the old Polish custom “Śmigus Dyngus”. That is why Easter Monday is also called “Wet Monday” because people pour water on each other which supposed to bring them health, beauty and fortune. It is the last day of the celebration of Easter in Poland.