Easter is major holiday in Poland, and Easter celebrations are not limited to Easter Sunday. Easter-related traditions take place for more than a week in Poland. From Palm Sunday to Wet Monday, this period is marked with religious rites and practices with their origins in pagan times. It is important to note that Easter in Poland is celebrated Western Roman Catholic calendar. Holy Week lasts from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. Palm Sunday, the week before Easter Sunday, is marked by church attendance with palm-leaf substitutes in the form of willow branches or handmade bouquets of dried flowers. On Easter Saturday, baskets of Easter food are taken to church to be blessed; the food that is blessed is eaten as a part of the Easter Sunday meal. The Easter breakfast consists of hard-boiled eggs, cold meats, babka and other dishes, including a cake in the form of a lamb to symbolize Christ. Easter Monday is a family holiday in Poland and
is called Smigus Dyngus (also called Smingus-Dyngus), or Wet Monday, after the practice of men and boys pouring water on women and girls. However, the tradition isn't necessarily limited to males pouring water on females - the roles are often reversed. Regional variations of the tradition are also known to occur, and a woman's married status may protect her from being doused with water. However, it is best to assume that on this day, no one is safe from the Smigus Dyngus tradition!
Pisanki are Easter eggs from Poland, handcrafted in traditional designs that recall pagan symbols of fertility and spring. The custom of coloring eggs for Easter is still observed in Polish custom. The eggs are decorated with many traditional Polish symbols of Easter. Most popular are lamb, cross, floral designs or Easter's greetings such as Wesollego Alleluja. According to the Polish folk craft experts we divide Written Eggs to different categories. The eggs decorated with the use of treated wax are called "pisanki". Another technique involved gluing colored paper or shiny fabric on them. The eggs which are painted in one color are called "malowanki" or "kraszanki". If patterns are etched with a pointed instrument on top of the paint, the eggs are then called "skrobanki" or "rysowanki".
Swieconka is one of the most enduring and beloved Polish traditions. On Saturday people take to churches decorated baskets containing a sampling of traditional food to be blessed: hard-boiled shelled eggs, ham, sausage, salt, horseradish, fruits, bread and cake. Prominently displayed among these is the Easter lamb, usually molded from butter or sugar and colorful pisanki. The food have a symbolic meaning, for example: * eggs - symbolize life and Christ's resurrection, * bread - symbolic of Jesus, * lamb - represents Christ, * salt - represents purification, * horseradish - symbolic of the bitter sacrifice of Christ, * ham - symbolic of great joy and abundance. The food blessed in the church remains untouched until Sunday morning.
The Easter table will be covered with a white tablecloth. The white tablecloth is indicative of the white swaddling cloth with which Our Lord was wrapped when he was placed in the Holy Sepulcher. On the middle of the table in most homes housewife will put colored eggs, cold meats, coils of sausages, ham, yeast cakes, pound cakes, poppy-seed cakes, and a lamb made of sugar. Polish Easter Soup called Zurek or White Barscz is often served at the Easter meal, garnished with the hard-boiled eggs and sausage. There is also tradition to share blessed eggs with the members of the family and wish each other good health, happiness for the rest of the year.
HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE
Our Lady of Las Vegas Roman
3050 Alta Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89107 702-802-2300
April 2 - Mass of the Lord’s Supper
7:00pm (Adoration until 11:00pm)
April 3 - Friday of the Passion of the Lord
5:30pm - (Polish) Stations of the Cross
April 4 - Easter Vigil
12:00pm & 1:00pm- Blessing of the Food (Polish)
April 5- of the Resurrection of the Lord
BIESIADA "CYGANSKIE WESELE"
The Constitution of May 3, 1791 is considered one of the most important achievements in the history of Poland, despite being in effect for only a year, until the Russo-Polish War of 1792. Historian Norman Davies calls it "the first constitution of its type in Europe"; other scholars also refer to it as the world's second oldest constitution.
The Constitution of May 3 established constitutional monarchy, abolished elections of kings introducing hereditary throne, established government called the Guardian of Laws and introduced responsibility of the ministers to the Seym. Catholicism was considered the reigning religion. However, other denominations were assured tolerance. The privileged position of the gentry was maintained while considerable rights were granted to burghers. It was declared that the peasants were assured a protection of the law and of the country's government which paved the way to some more significant changes in the future. Peasants were recognized as a part of the nation for the first time in the Polish history which was clearly stated in the article on peasants and on the army. The provision on an obligatory review of the Bill on Government every 25 years was a novelty. May 3 was declared a national day. The Constitution did not close the process of reforms, but only its certain stage. The work on further changes was commenced nearly the next day.
The Constitution of May 3, 1791, stands for the proposition that free people everywhere must step forward despite all odds, to undertake the burdens of serving as champions of liberty. Truly, this is the belief which we honor today.