Polish Easter Tradition from Montreal Canada

The celebration of Easter in our family does not occur during Holy Week only, it starts on Ash Wednesday and continues until Easter Resurrection Mass at 6am followed by Easter lunch and dinner. Following Ash Wednesday a date is set in church for Recollection/Reflection Week, the week starts during Sunday Mass and continues for three evenings of masses celebrated by a visiting priest from Poland or another country. This experience of Recollection/Reflection Week is always a learning experience. This week of reflection means reevaluating my purpose in life, my values and faith. Once Lent starts, we eat fish on Fridays. This may sound as if we are very religious, but we are not, this has been a tradition since my childhood, I am 44.

Holy Thursday and Good Friday we attend mass. My parents attend mass each Friday during Lent as well as other masses that are scheduled. On Saturday we go to church to bless our Easter baskets, starting from 10am-5pm. We always fast from midnight Good Friday until the basket has been blessed. The best part of Easter for me, is the blessing of the basket, coming home and serving the food that had been blessed. This tradition is similar to breaking oplatek at Christmas. My Easter basket is decorated with a lilac/white doily made by mom and Myrtle (plant) and lilac ribbons. The food we bless is; kielbasa, poledwica, boczek, eggs, horseradish, bread, and salt.

Our Easter Sunday menu varies. I like to serve roast veal, baked ham, roasted garlic potatoes, vegetables, green salad and desert (not traditionally Polish) but from year to year our menu changes depending on our mood and tastes. My mom always prepares flaczki, bigos, golabki and pierogi, but not necessarily for Easter or Christmas. This year my brothers and their families will not be celebrating with us, one in lives Boston and the other is celebrating in Toronto Canada. We are celebrating with my parents aged 71/ 68, my daughters aged 23/ 22, my husband and my childhood best friend Jadzia and her family.

Writing this, has given me a very nice feeling and reminiscing has been great!

Wesolego Alleluja i smacznego jajka.

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written by Mary Kula
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Below is a link to Polish customs' book written by Sophie Hodorowicz Knab, Mary Anne Knab (Illustrator). It is entitled Polish Customs, Traditions and Folklore

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