Now that Easter is almost here, I want to share some of the Polish traditions we have this time of year. Some have been intact as long as I can remember & some a little newer but just as important to me.
Both pairs of my grandparents were born here, I believe, but their parents were born in Poland & came over in the early 1900's. My Babcia, (dad's mom). is the only grandparent still living @ 92 years old. So, we have 4 generations living here in the U.S.
We have many traditions through the year & Easter is one of the main ones. Before Easter, we have Lent, which is a Catholic time for fasting and praying for forgiveness. The day Lent starts is Ash Wednesday. The day before is Paczki Day! On this day, we eat paczki (jelly donuts with more fat than usual) to get rid of all the flour, sugar, yeast, & sweets before Lent starts. The bakeries here are packed from morning till night on that day!
On the Saturday before Easter, my Babcia, my 2 sisters, my daughter & me go to church to get our Easter baskets blessed. We take some food that will be eaten on Easter such as: kielbasa, ham, hard boiled eggs, bread, salt & pepper, and anything else you want to add, for this will be eaten Easter morning as our breakfast. We usually add a butter lamb, made by each of us, to our baskets. They usually turn out looking like any animal other than a lamb & more than likely, will have been, stabbed, squashed, or otherwise deformed due to self-consciousness of other lambs looking too professional...lol.
On Easter Sunday, we eat our blessed food for breakfast. In the afternoon, we go to a family member's house to share our meal. It consists of a sliver of raw horseradish on a slice of hard boiled egg for blessings & good wishes to all. The first course is the barszcz (white borscht), made from ham & kielbasa water, juice from dill pickles, sour cream, & peppercorns (which I usually end up biting into!). Into the soup, we put a mixture of ham, kielbasa, eggs & bread. The main entree is ham, smoked kielbasa (store bought), fresh kielbasa (made by us),bread, butter, cole slaw. Later on if anyone is hungry, we have ham & kielbasa sandwiches, usually with lots of horseradish.
Our traditions are based on lots of food & the love that goes into making them! Spending time with family is one of the best traditions you can have.
So, what are your Easter traditions? I'd love to hear what everyone does!
Talk to you soon from beneath "My Babcia's Babushka"!