Easter rituals abond in beliefs and practice
related with the awakening of spring and
the nature returning to life. There are
symbols of life like: water, eggs, palms.
Water in folk tradition was the essence of
life, because without it nothing would
grow. It is claimed that the water was
protected by water demons and that is why
people were not allowed to bathe during
the period of plant growth because they
could be drowned by the demon. Eggs are
also a symbol of life, and people believe
that high life force can be gained especially
by having willow twings, which blossom
during the spring.
In the duration of Palm Sunday we meet in church to celebrate
Christ’s journey to Jerusalem by means of blessing palm. The
primary element of palm was a cane. One of the superstitions of
this day was that if you ate the grounded willow twigs; you would
survive a throat disease.
In Beskind Niski people always add
grounded twigs of yew-tree, limb-tree,
bladdernut-tree and juniper-tree. The yew-
tree has to scare ghosts away from the
horses, whereas limba-tree; from cows.
From the bladdernut-tree people smade
prayer necklaces. The blessed palms were
left far from home because the family was
afraid of the “cloud of flies”. Palm was often
used to protect animals from evil magic.
In Pruchnik people celebrate the Holy Thursday by revenge on the
Judas for his batrayal. For first we prepare an effigy which is then
hanged on a tree, located in a market-place. The following day,
Judas puppet is on trial for his misdeed. He is punished by
whipping and after that Judas has a walk of shame to the closest
pond where he is burnt and his remains are scattered in the water
Great Friday was an all souls day and that is why
people’s behaviour was similar to what it would
be during grief, they stopped clocks, they
weren’t allowed to do any work and activities
which could scare souls of death people. It
wasn’t allowed to sow grain because Jesus Christ
could bury it. Around Krosno allowed to sow
trees and cabbage.
On Saturday except food, was blessed two
basic elemts this world - water and fire. After
backing to home, people drink water,
throwing to it coals which ca e from blessed
fire. Connection these two contradictory
force have to gave a human health. Blessed
water was poured to well and “renewed”.
Sign of the cross drawed on the door by
water. By this, appointed safe space again
People believe that whatever the basket contains; will always be
available therefore it is important to place all of the products in the
basket for example: bread, eggs - a symbol of new life, meat -
representing wealth, butter and cheese. People blessed horseradish
with vinegar; salt which was used as a spell against evil forces. Some
people also placed a potato and a bone inside the basket. After
blessing, the potato was then planted and bone had to protect the
grain from rodents.
Resurrection of Jesus is a time when you'll hear church bells and
firecrackers etc. This tradition is known and celebrated by people.
After breakfast you were not allowed to sleep because it was
believed that the hay in the flex and potatoes along with other
vegetables will not grow. Always after that a farmer - householder
went to sow the field with some food from breakfast which one ate
during break. This is a custom to have good harvest next year.
Easter Monday is a day when you gain harvest, pregnancy and
purfication by flooding water. Old traditions used in Lasowiak -
nations included "walking with Cierpiszek". Cierpiszek was an altar
made with paper bags which protrude a small cross decorated
with flowers and greens. Little kids always walked with a
"Cierpiszek" and repeated: "they murder, they tormented the
God, they hang him on the cross, he revived after three days".
Similar rhyme was always said by kids which walked with a "Kurek
The most vital Easter habit formed by the new parish is a grave
guard. It is a characteristic element of festival on Subcarpathia -
they protect symbolic grave of Christ from Great Friday to Great
Sunday. Branches are formed on a military model known as Turks.
There are different names like guards, peasant soldier or
Kościuszko army. Their costumes are colorful around Radomysl
where the clothes of Turks were established. Their origin is
connected with Vienna relief. In the area of Przeworsk Turks’
costumes are similar to Kościuszko’s uniform from Uprising and
Duchy of Warsaw - it is in a village - Grodzisko Dolne which also
contains a monument of a Turk.
In Wielopole Skrzyńskie walking with drums before resurrection is
practiced . This custom dates back to Jan III Sobieski who came
back from Vienna and stayed here, giving residents the turkish
drum. Every year, at night from a Great Saturday to Easter Sunday,
a drummer drums and wakes up sleeping people on resurrection.
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