Friday, April 2, 2010

Holy Week and Wielkanoc

As we close out Holy Week with the penultimate Easter Sunday (Wielkanoc: Great Night) a tradition-rich weekend lies ahead and, in fact, spills over into Monday. Today is Good Friday, which is actually a day of fasting, but most people just settle on fish.

Tomorrow, on Easter Saturday, families go to church for a blessing of baskets of food-święcone. It's well endeared here, and even the most lapsed of Catholics love it. A wicker basket, lined with a lace cloth, is filled with decorated eggs (pisanki), small loaves of bread, salt, pepper, a miniature lamb figurine, a miniature chicken figurine, and a piece of sausage. Usually, springs of boxwood and pussy willow garnish the whole basket. The whole thing is called święconka. As with anything tradition that incorporates something cute, beautiful, or requiring the minimalist of artistic merit, some people turn it into a competition on who can create the most beautiful basket. Apparently, the competition can rival Abel and Cain's in terms of the heat.

Easter Sunday, is a festival one, where people usually gorge themselves with food and drink. Everyone visits the inlaws for Easter Breakfast and then a lounging about for the rest of the day. The whole country essentially shuts down while everyone goes home.
Easter Monday (something entirely foreign to me) should rather be called Wet T-Shirt Monday, as rogues go about throwing buckets of water on hapless victims. My personal plan is to launch a full-scale bombing campaign off my balcony.

Tuesday? It's business as usual and back to the normal grind.

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