The most important Christian festival of the year – Easter – is approaching. We all know its story. Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead to redeem our sins. We go to church every Sunday to commemorate the resurrection, but only this one special day is celebrated with great solemnity. Like many other holidays, this one too has its traditions. Many of them are well-known and we cannot even imagine Easter without them. At one time, other traditions were very common. Here are a few of them:
Palemki- Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week. Palemki were made from willow branches, boxwood, etc., and were decorated with all sorts of things-flowers, feathers, leaves and anything colourful. It was believed that a gentle nudge from the household with a consecrated palm tree brought good luck for the whole year, and palms put in vases protected the dwelling from misfortune.
The drowning of Judas – this took place on Holy Wednesday. A puppet was made of straw and dragged in chains around the neighbourhood. During this journey, the puppet was covered with sticks. At the end, the “Judas” was thrown into a lake or pond.
“The burial of the sour soup and the hanging of the herring”- Throughout the entire fast, mainly sour soup and herring were eaten. During the last two days of the fast, a “funeral of sour soup” was done, i.e. sagas of sour soup were poured on the ground. Herring was parted with in a similar style. it was “hung”, i.e. the fish was nailed to a tree. This was supposed to be a punishment for substituting meat throughout the fasting period.
Święconka- On Holy Saturday, a basket of food should be blessed. It must not lack eggs, a lamb, bread, horseradish, butter, salt and cold meats. The food from the Święconka is eaten the following day, after the resurrection.
The Easter egg – is a symbol of life and rebirth. It is associated with the tradition of Easter eggs and the tradition of sharing it. Eggs sacrificed at Easter were once believed to protect against evil and to ensure good fortune, health and happiness in love.