Who and When brings Gifts toPolish Children duringChristmas SeasonIn some regions of Poland the gifts are given to thechildren only on December 6th - since St. Nicolauscalled also Santa Claus is a patron of this day. But inthe majority of houses children (and adults) can expectgifts twice- on December 6th and also on ChristmasEve. The atmosphere of this feast is different than theatmosphere of Christmas eve since December 6th is anormal working day. Whereas Christmas is usuallycelebrated as a family feast.
Delicious Food for Fat ThursdayThe Thursday before AshWednesday is celebrated asFat Thursday - TlustyCzwartek . On this is theday when you forget aboutyour diet and eat mountainsof donuts (paczki) and allthe other things fat, greasy,sweet, full of cholesterol,generally unhealthy, andmmmmm.... delicious.
Sinking of MarzannaWinters in Poland were long and unforgiving. Therefore people are longing for spring.One of the ancient and pagan habits that supposedly was helping to get rid of winter was"sinking of Marzanna". Kids made a doll from old grass and tree branches and take it tothe river. They burn the doll and throw her into the river. The symbolic meaning of thisceremony is to get rid of winter therefore it is performed in early spring.
Palm Sunday TraditionsPalm Sunday niedziela palmowa is called also The Sundayof the Lords Passion. Here we will focus mainly on thetradition of Polish palmsThe most popular palms that people usually carry to thechurch are made of blooming pussy willows branchescalled bazie or kotki decorated with branches of birch,raspberry, currant and also some boxwood bukszpan, dryflowers and grass, ribbons and other decorations. In theCatholic Church the willow (Polish: wierzba) symbolizesthe resurrection and the immortality of the soul.
Art of Coloring Easter Eggs The Easter eggs are symbols of fertility and beginning of the new life. Some of the eggs were painted in traditional Polish folk patterns. These eggs were called "pisanki". Word "pisanki" comes from the root-word meaning "to write". Painting eggs is a multi-layered process of writing on an egg with hot beeswax, dying the egg, then finally melting and rubbing off the egg for a finished product.
Easter Saturday in Poland Easter Saturday in Poland is a busy day. Every Polish family visits a church with a basket full of food products (a piece of bread, salt, sausage, egg - usually painted etc). Especially children love it! The baskets are then blessed by a priest.
Wet Monday Smigus Dyngus (shming-oos-ding-oos) is an unusual tradition of Easter Monday. This day (Monday after Easter Sunday) is called also in Polish "Wet Monday", in Polish: "Mokry Poniedzialek" or "Lany Poniedzialek". Easter Monday is also a holiday in Poland. It was traditionally the day when boys tried to drench girls with squirt guns or buckets of water.
A long Mayday weekend inPoland.May 1st - International Workers DayMay 2nd - Flag Day, it is also celebrated as a day of Polishimmigration or Poles abroad, so called POLONIA DAY.May 3rd - The oldest feast is a feast of May 3rd which isdevoted to the day of constitution, since the famousConstitution of the 3rd May was established on that day.Many people go on the outdoor trips during long Maydayweekend.
St. Johns NightAt the end of June, at thetime of Summer Solstice,when night is shortest andNature bursts withblossoms and growth, wecelebrate the Holiday ofFire and Water, alsocalled Noc Kupaly.People gather at a fire,jumping through the fire,sing songs, dance andhaving lots of fun.
Girls wore wreaths of flowers on their heads. If the burning wreath was thrown inthe river and then pulled by a single man it might mean they are engaged.
St. Andrews NightThere is a long tradition of fortune tellingespecially for non-married girls on theNovember 30th in Poland. The main purposeof Andrzejki celebrations is to predict thefuture of unmarried girl, especially herprospects for a good marriage.Presently people do not take seriously thefortune-telling during st. Andrew Day butthis day is still celebrated because it is lotsof fun
Miners Day (St. Barbara Day),One of the most celebrated days associated with workers group is St.Barbaras Day on December 4th. St. Barbara is a patron of coal miners.Miners are dressed in the special uniforms during Barbórka. The uniformconsists of black suit and hat with a feather. The color of the featherdepends on the rank of the miner.
All Saints Day in Poland,November 1st Poles take flowers (especially fall flowers like chrysanthemum), wreaths, candles and votive lights into the cemeteries where graves of family, friends or national heroes are. It is worth to mention that the cemeteries in Poland are different than in any country. Graves and tombs are big and very individualized.
The atmosphere of All Saints Day is unique. In the evening cemeteriesare decorated in glowing and flickering colorful lights of countlesscandles.