Easter is a very special period of the year in Poland. It combines tradition, religion, food and various Slavic customs.
The list of Polish traditions and customs celebrated during spring holidays contains a number of interesting and surprising events. We suggest you which places to visit in April to experience a real Easter adventure.
The funeral of sour soup and herring
It sounds super weird, but it’s a real folk tradition from Kujawy, which used to be a way of summary after a period of Lent. The dishes allowed to be eaten through this time were mainly sour soup and herring, other products like meat, dairy or sugar was supposed to be excluded from the menu. While the Lent was coming to an end local people prepared a little “revenge” – they would bury the pots with the food deep in their gardens.
It takes its roots from old Slavic beliefs, where eggs had a very crucial meaning.It symbolized vital energy and the beginning of a new life. It was believed that it is a connection between the human world and the spirits and gods. Easter eggs are colored eggs, but we can distinguish them by the way of creation: Kraszanki – are colored by boiling eggs in colored water, in the past it was made only with natural ingredients like beet juice or oak bark; Nalepianki – mostly known in Cracow, are eggs decorated with colorful paper cutouts; Oklejanki – made in Mazovian Voivodeship, are covered with colored yarn, which creates very pretty patterns.
This tradition is connected with another one, known much better and very popular in Poland – drowning Marzanna. The puppets are made of straw, decorated with colorful ribbons and materials. Drowning or burning Marzanna has a symbolic meaning of saying goodbye to Winter and welcoming Spring. Hanging Judas refers to the story of betrayal of Chris by Judas. Initially, the puppet was hung on a church tower, and later on a tree or pole. It was knocked down, wandered around the village and finally burned and thrown into a pond or river. This performance was played in the 18thcentury, but lately, because of the pretty excessive aggression of the nature of the event, the church authorities prohibited it. However, today – locally, in a bit changed form – this custom is cultivated in Podkarpacie.
This Easter custom is known in Cracow, it is celebrated after Easter, on Tuesday. The name comes from the Krak mound, which, as the legend claims, was built with ground brought in hands. On the slope of this mound, eggs, apples, gingerbreads and a lot of other food products were rolled down straight to the hands of the poorer community. After the hill being destroyed, the custom was moved to the top of St. Benedict.
Poland is full of diversity as it comes to tradition. There are interesting and sometimes weird customs, that through all this year are still being cultivated.. Visit Poland on Easter to feel the amazing atmosphere of holidays combined with local culture.