The Palm Sunday is a moveable feast which always falls on the Sunday before Easter . In many Polish towns and villages (the best known are Lipnica Murowana in Małopolska and Łyse in Podlasie) there are palm competitions. The winners are the owners of the most beautiful and the highest palms. The palms sometimes are even 15 meters long. The region of Kurpie is also popular of making tall Easter Sunday palms out of small trees and decorating them with flowers and other ornaments in order to protect their houses from ghosts.
The Easter Sunday In the morning the whole family waits for having Easter breakfast together which we traditionally start with wishing one another all the best and sharing the food from the basket that was blessed on Easter Saturday. We usually serve eggs, cold cooked meats, salads and cakes among which the most popular are ”mazurek” and ”babka”. Easter tables are beautifully decorated with bunches of catkins and the first spring flowers. In some regions, e.g. in Silesia, parents hide some sweets in the garden and the children look for them. On Easter Sunday people mostly stay at home with their families. They usually go out and meet friends on Easter Monday.
The Wet Monday or ” Dyngus ” Day (Polish Śmigus-dyngus, Lany Poniedziałek) is the name of Polish Easter Monday. Once it was a custom that boys awake girls early in the morning by pouring a bucket of cold water on their heads and striking them with long thin twigs or switches made from willow, birch or decorated tree branches. Now, both boys and girls pour some water on one another on Easter Monday.
Święconka meaning "the blessing of the Easter baskets," is one of the most enduring and beloved Polish traditions on Holy Saturday. Baskets containing a sampling of Easter foods are brought to church to be blessed on Holy Saturday. The basket is traditionally lined with a white linen or lace napkin and decorated with sprigs of boxwood ( bukszpan ), the typical Easter evergreen. Poles take special pride in preparing a decorative and tasteful basket.
Easter eggs - Polish ”pisanka” is a common name for an egg (usually that of a chicken),ornamented using various techniques. The oldest tradition is to dye and paint different pattern on the chicken eggs . Originating as a pagan tradition, pisanki were absorbed by Christianity to become the traditional Easter egg. Pisanki now symbolise the revival of nature and the hope that Christians gain from faith in the resurrection of Jesus. Today in Poland, eggs and pisanki are hallowed on Easter Saturday along with the traditional Easter basket. On Easter Sunday, before the ceremonial breakfast, these eggs are exchanged and shared among the family at the table. This is a symbol of friendship, similar to the sharing of the Opłatek (Christmas wafer) on Christmas Eve.
The Easter Bunny According to the legend, only good children received gifts of colored eggs in the nests that they made in their caps and bonnets before Easter The Easter Bunny is a rabbit character who brings gifts and candy to children on the Easter holiday.
Makowiec is a traditional Polish cake usually baked around Easter. The cake consists of dough with a filling of poppy seeds, raisins, milk, butter, orange peel and nuts such as walnuts or almonds. The cake can be finished with a glaze made of powdered sugar and lemon juice . Babka It is a spongy yeast cake that is traditionally baked for Easter Sunday. Traditional babka has some type of fruit filling, especially raisins, and is glazed with a fruit-flavored icing, sometimes with rum added. Modern babka may be chocolate or have a cheese filling. Mazurek - traditional, sweet cake of the Polish cuisine. Mazurek is being baked in the period of the Easter. They are being made out of pastes of different kind: brittle, sponge, pasta, marzipan and is interleaving with mass, the preserve and jam. The surface is decorated with the icing, fruit, nuts and dried fruit. Mazurek can be baked in different shapes - oval, triangular, square or rectangular.
The butter lamb (Baranek wielkanocny) is a traditional addition to the Easter Meal for many Polish Catholics. Butter is shaped into a lamb either by hand or in a lamb-shaped mould. It is also sold at delis, Polish specialty markets, and some general grocery stores at Easter time. Frequently the eyes are represented by peppercorns and a Polish flag on a toothpick is placed on its back. White sausage is a traditional Polish sausage made from very finely minced veal and fresh pork bacon.
A cooked ham is an Easter traditional dish on Polish table. Żurek also known as Żur is a soup made from soured rye flour and mea. In Poland it is sometimes served in an edible bowl made of bread or with boiled potatoes. The recipe varies from region to region. In the Podlasie region, it is common to eat Żurek with the halves of boiled eggs. In Poland ”żurek” is traditionally eaten on Easter, but not only. Pasztet it is a pate, made of the mixture of the raw, cooked or baked meat, giblets, poultry, vegetable s , mushrooms, fish or cheese .